Follow TV Tropes


Punch Catch

Go To
While some might use dodges or blocks to avoid the fist flying toward them, others prefer to simply reach out and catch it like a softball. Since this is almost always a demonstration of strength and superiority, the person catching the punch is rarely hurt by being punched directly in the palm. Instead, it often becomes an opportunity for the catcher to close his fingers around the offending fist and squeeze.

Note that this trope isn't just blocking or deflecting a punch. This trope is when the punch just STOPS, firmly placed in the palm of someone's hand. If they really want to demonstrate superior strength, they will proceed to either crush the hand or twist the arm painfully. If they want to showcase how much weaker the puncher is, they may even punch the original puncher in the face with their own fist or throw their arm backwards to knock the attacker off balance, both to add insult to injury.

Compare Bare-Handed Blade Block for when catching a sword instead of a fist and Punch Parry for when the fist is blocked with another fist. Unrelated to the expression "catch these hands," which is a euphemism meaning the person addressed is about to get punched, though the person delivering the line may fall victim to this trope anyway.



    open/close all folders 

  • The trope is used in an Australian Government-sponsored commercial. A man in a bar tries to punch another man in the back of the head when a third man catches his fist. The scene freezes around this man and he warns against "one-punch attacks" — attacks in which a single punch causes serious injury or death.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Seen in the first chapter of kiss×sis, when Keita catches his teacher's punch. It's also a bit of a deconstruction, as the character got hurt badly enough as to spend several chapters with his right hand in a bandage.
  • Oga from Beelzebub does this against Graphiel. Justified because he's Made of Iron.
  • Bleach:
    • Anime, episode 166. Ichigo has been beaten up pretty badly during his fight with Grimmjow. Orihime calls out to him, and he's inspired by her words. When Grimmjow strikes at him Ichigo casually catches Grimmjow's fist with his hand. Seen here
      Orihime: Please don't die. Don't die, Ichigo! You don't have to win, and you don't have to fight for me. Just don't get hurt. I couldn't bear it.
    • Ikkaku later tries this against Shishigawara, but the impact is so great that it breaks two of Ikkaku's fingers.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Negi may often be a target of Anya's Megaton Punches, but the one time he gets serious, he easily blocks her Flame Knuckle and proceeds to explain why she was wrong.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS shows just how physically strong Nanoha is when she does this to Subaru's Power Fist, and later, to the Sankt Kaiser-form of Vivio immediately before she ends those fights. Impressive, since the punches of those two are capable of shattering Deflector Shields.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • In Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, Turles catches Gohan's fist and painfully squeezes his hand.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, (and consequently, in the parody by Team Four Star) when Piccolo fights with The Brute, he catches a punch, then brutally crushes the fist and break the brute's arm to boot. Additionally, when Lord Slug beats the crap out of Goku during the start of the climax, Slug once tries to throw a punch, but Goku catches it and transforms into his "False" Super Saiyan form and immediately breaks Slug's arm. Slug gets better though.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks, Future Gohan catches Android 18's punch, but then a second later, Android 17 hits him in the back and then 18 sends him flying with her other hand. Later, 18 catches Future Trunks' punch and then punches him back with her free hand.
    • Goten catches Ikose's punch with one finger. Ikose then tries Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, but Goten blocks them all with his hands before knocking him out.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Batou intentionally lets his idol, a former silver-medalist boxer to knock him out during an investigation. When he later finds out that his idol had betrayed him by spying on the country, he confronts him and challenges him to another boxing match to settle things. He tries to knock Batou out using the same move as before, confident that it worked, but Batou caught the punch with his hand and countered with a right hook, knocking him out.
  • Dragon Drive: Manga-only in chapter 22, Reiji did this to Himuro Hikaru.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Arise. Motoko does this to another cyborg with an Arm Cannon. Both damage their hands, but the damage to the Arm Cannon prevents him firing on Motoko again.
  • Naruto:
    • Kakuzu caught Choji's punch in an episode. It should be noted that Choji's fist was currently about half the size of Kakuzu himself.
    • Sasuke did this to some gangsters and then proceeded to beat them up.
  • Saint Seiya:
    • Particularly excessive when Seiya's Establishing Character Moment is catching Cassius' fist in his palm. "Excessive" because Cassius' fist is almost as wide as Seiya himself is tall.
    • A variant of this is used by Silver Saint Lacerta Misty and the Marine Shogun Sea Horse Baigan. Both warriors's "impenetrable forcefield" is created by them defending their bodies with their open palms, moving them fast enough their opponent can't even see their hands.
    • Played by Cancer Deathmask, who is fond of this move. He then retaliates by blasting the enemy with the energy of their own attack and then some of his own.
  • In Ranma ½: The Movie, Big Trouble in Nekonron China, the Lucky God Kirin never touches anything himself, he uses his foot-long steel chopsticks to grasp and manipulate objects. Therefore, his defense consists of him catching punches with said chopsticks at absurd speeds, seemingly creating an impregnable wall in front of him until Ranma notices the marks the chopsticks leave on his hand. When he tried it on Akane, though, she just let her first fist stay caught and punched him across the room with her free one.
  • In SD Gundam Force, Captain tries to punch Professor Gerbera, only for Gerbera to catch the blow easily.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Toguro does this to Yusuke during their confrontation before the final round of the Dark Tournament. Also a CMOA for Yusuke, as afterward it's revealed that Toguro's hand is mangled (though it heals quickly).
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Reiji did this to Yuya, then scolded him for not trying to settle things with a duel.
  • In Puella Magi Suzune Magica, one of the first things Arisa did with her new Super Strength was to catch a bully's fist and slowly crush her hand.
  • In One-Punch Man, Saitama does this to Tanktop Black Hole after the latter tried to discredit Saitama's destruction of the meteor, claiming that Saitama was taking a threatening stance, then lunging down at him. This is after Saitama had swatted away the equally belligerent Tanktop Tiger, which might've been a good indicator that Saitama is more than he appears—not that it stops Tanktop Black Hole. Saitama just casually catches Tanktop Black Hole's fist (and inadvertently starts crushing it), reducing him to a simpering wuss who confesses he was lying to try and make Saitama look bad.
  • Natsu has been on the giving and receiving ends of this trope numerous times in Fairy Tail. During the Grand Magic Games, he does this to his opponent Sting after the later punches him with an attack that releases an explosion of energy that engulfs the arena, completely unharmed and causing Sting to realize maybe he underestimated him a little too much. During the Nirvana arc, he finds one of his flaming punches caught barehanded by Cobra, who not only doesn't react, but makes Natsu recoil in pain when he activates his own Dragon Slayer Magic and fries his hand with a burst of poison.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, Blue does to Red twice in the exact same manner. The first was provoked when he takes down his Poliwhirl, and the second was when he criticizes him for sending Eevee to Professor Oak's lab, leaving both it and Oak to be captured by Team Rocket.
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie:
    • During the climax, Ryu battles M. Bison in order to free Ken of the latter's Psycho-Powered mind control. The duel ends as Bison catches Ryu's fist in his palm, raises it above his head, and starts crushing it while Ryu screams. Cue Ken's heroic comeback that frees his friend before the villain grinds his fist to powder.
    • Earlier in the same movie Ryu does a variation in his fight with Fei Long, catching one of Fei Long's kicks, not with his hand but between his elbow and knee, stopping it dead, leaving Fei Long in a very awkward position and hampering his mobility for the rest of the fight since Ryu performed the move with enough force to hurt.
  • Fighter from the first episode of Goblin Slayer is making a pretty good showing against the goblins in the wake of Warrior's death. But then her kick gets caught in the grip of a Hobgoblin, the very first big goblin we see in-series, and from there, things go badly for Fighter. Very, very badly.
  • MegaMan NT Warrior: In the very first episode, when Lan decides to have his first Net Battle with Mega Man against Dex and Guts Man, the latter's opening move is a to punch Mega Man with a giant fist. Mega Man simply stands where he is and stops the punch with an open palm.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • One of Caped Crusader's favorite techniques, since it emphasizes just how immovable and unstoppable he is to the superstitious and cowardly criminals.
    • Tim Drake will grab an opponent's punch on occasion but as he doesn't have his mentor's bulk or raw strength he generally moves with the punch and uses it as the first step in grabbing them in a hold or temporarily keeping control of their arm during a fight.
  • Identity Crisis:
    • During the big fight between Deathstroke and the Justice League of America, Deathstroke catches Green Lantern's punch and then tries to override GL's willpower, hoping to use the ring himself without even wearing it. Green Arrow doesn't let him get very far.
    • Deathstroke also used this on Batman in a memorable scene from an issue of Detective Comics:
      Deathstroke: That was it, Batman. Your last free shot.
  • In Frank Miller's Daredevil run, The Kingpin of Crime sometimes used this to demonstrate his immense strength and skill.
  • In Final Crisis, Alpha Lantern Kraken does this while fighting Green Lantern John Stewart. The mark of his ring left on her palm clues Batman in that she attacked John, and that she's possessed by Darkseid's ally Granny Goodness.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man once caught the punch of an unruly biker who was trying to bully his way around pedestrians.
    • Likewise, Venom caught Spider-Man's punch in the first issue of his initial miniseries.
    • Spider-Man actually loves this trope, though he does it more casually and accompanies it with a wisecrack. It makes the Mook look weak as opposed to him looking Badass, though nobody denies he is.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: While Peter was first learning his powers, Flash Thompson tried to fight him and Peter did this instinctively. Flash's hand was broken and his parents sued Ben and May for the hospital bills.
  • In The Incredible Hulk #300 Hulk catches Iron Fist's punch in his hand and redirects the power of the punch back into Fist.
  • In Preacher, Jesse Custer does just this to a punch thrown by Cassidy, the Irish vampire. Stops it dead. Of course, because Cassidy has Super Strength as a result of being a vampire, Jesse thinks he's broken every bone in his hand doing it, but Cassidy doesn't know that, and because Jesse doesn't flinch or emote in any way, Cassidy is intimidated into meekly leaving. As soon as Cassidy is gone, Jesse has Tulip and Amy immediately drive him to the hospital. It turns out his hand is just badly sprained, not broken.
  • In an X-Men / Star Trek: The Next Generation crossover, Data does this when Colossus takes a swing at him, though he still is shoved back a few feet.
  • Superman:
    • In War World, Superman catches Martian Manhunter's fist when they fight.
    • The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), Superman catches Darkseid's fist during their final battle.
    • In The Great Phantom Peril, Jax-Ur tries to punch Superman, but the Man of Steel easily catches his fist.
    • Bizarrogirl: As dreaming she's fighting Superwoman, Supergirl sees Lucy to grab her arms right when she is hammering her down.
    • In 2017 storyline The Girl of No Tomorrow, the Girl of Steel catches Solomon Grundy's giant punch, so oversized that she needs both hands.
    • Superman: Brainiac: The titular villain catches Superman's punch during their final battle.
    • Last Daughter of Krypton: Kara tries to punch Reign when they first meet, but Reign catches her clenched fist with no trouble, noting that the Kryptonian girl seems weakened.
    • Strangers at the Heart's Core: Thanks to her magnified strength, Shyla Kor-Onn easily catches Supergirl's fist when Kara strikes her.
    • In Infinite Crisis, Superboy-Prime does this to Conner in their second fight. This neatly demonstrates that the difference between their levels of power is as vast as ever (Superboy-Prime has Silver Age Superman levels of power making him practically a Physical God while Conner is a Half-Human Hybrid who only recently manifested actual Krptonian powers having previously faked them with telekinesis).
  • Spider-Girl: May Parker is threatened by a schoolmate's abusive boyfriend who intends to intimidate her into keeping her nose out of his business. His punch never connects, though: May catches his fist and squeezes.
  • Judge Dredd does this to Bachmann at the end of Trifecta, after she has taken down Jack Point and Dirty Frank (from the spin-offs The Simping Detective and Low-Life, respectively) with ease. It's more of a distraction, as Judge Smiley comes up from behind and takes her down.
  • In Atomic Robo, one of Vanadis's Brutes does this to Robo's improvised battering ram.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): During Wonder Woman's fight with a brainwashed Superman in "The Witch and the Warrior" she catches a punch he throws her way in Times Square, which causes her some immediate bleeding and which she notes nearly snapped her arm.
  • Wonder Girl: Herc catches Cassie's first punch when he had the gal to show up at the cemetery pretending to be Conner (who had died stopping Superboy-Prime), but she quickly jabs Herc's throat with her other arm.
  • Archie vs. Predator: After being given enhanced strength, Archie catches the Predator's fist when he tries to stab Archie in the head with his wrist blades. Unfortunately, the Predator then gets his hand free and stabs him in the head anyway.

    Fan Works 
  • In Harmony and Valor: It Sounds Better Than "Pity Date", Flash Sentry does this to one of the two thugs that were harassing Sci-Twi. He then proceeds to knock them around with little to no effort.
  • In Fates Collide, Bazett effortlessly catches Yang's flaming punch, then punches her with her free hand and knocks Yang out.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, while lost in Celadon City, Ash runs into a smuggler who sics his Kangaskhan on him. Ash decides to fight it personally, and not only stops its punch with his bare hands, but also pushes it so hard that he almost knocks it over.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, The Ultra-Humanite manages to catch a punch from All Might and tosses him into the ceiling. This is all thanks to the Villain's Quirk, Over Man, which takes away up to 75% of the physical prowess of all humans nearby.
  • In Displaced, Spider-Man effortlessly catches the fist of a bank robber who tries to hit him. Wisely, the crook surrenders.
    Walking over, he grabbed the nearest bank robber that he hit with the door and lifted him so they were eye to eye. The man seemed terrified but he quickly schooled his emotions before taking a swing at Spider-Man. He didn't even look away as he caught the man's fist with a grip of steel.
    Just like that, the fight left the man's eyes.
  • In Shazam! fanfiction Here There Be Monsters, Ibac shows off his greatly-enhanced strength by grabbing and holding Captain Marvel's fist during their first brawl.
    He rocketed his mighty fist forward and slammed it into Ibac's mouth.
    The villain's mohawked head ratcheted back. For a moment, Cap was sure he had done some damage, and sent his other fist forward to follow up on it. But Ibac's larger hand caught Marvel's fist, and held it firmly. Cap was astonished.
  • Happens three times in Chapter 29 of Remnant Inferis: DOOM. First is when the Marauder catches Yang's fist and then knees her in the groin. The second is when the Marauder catches the Slayer's fist and then knocks him down with a headbutt. The third is when a pissed off Taiyang tries to slug the Slayer in the face, only for the Slayer to catch it and retaliate with his own.
  • Boldores and Boomsticks: Even after Yang uses her Semblance to massively boost her strength, Tapu Koko is able to stop her punch dead without budging.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Justice League: Doom, Superman catches Ace's punch with the most peaceful expression. Ace continues to pound Superman's face, and the latter barely flinches.
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Superwoman catches Batman's punch, then deliberately breaks a rib in retaliation with a Finger Poke of Doom. Owlman being Batman's Evil Counterpart also catches a punch thrown by Batman (it helps that he's wearing Powered Armor).
  • At the climax of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Milo tries to punch Rourke, only for Rourke to catch it and slam Milo's own hand back into his face. This is one example that is done quite believably, as Rourke is a very powerfully built trained soldier fighting a scrawny and untrained scholar.
  • One of Ada's punches are blocked this way in Resident Evil: Damnation. Played with in that the punch was caught at full extension.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • Po does this in the first movie, catching Tai Lung's punch between his thumb and forefinger (though Tai Lung is at the end of his strength by that point).
    • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress catches Po headbutting the boat's mast in frustration, so she challenges him to throw a punch that she catches in her paw.
      Po: YEE-HAHAHA-YEOOOOOOOOW! I think I prefer the mast!
      Tigress: Apologies. I used to punch the ironwood trees by the palace to train. Now I feel nothing.
      Po: That's severely cool.
  • Done by Brainiac to one of Superman's punches in Superman Unbound. Later in the film, Superman returns the favor.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, Rainbow Dash gets a little carried away while showing off her karate moves. Applejack catches a wild punch from her. Keep in mind this is about two movies before Applejack gains Super Strength as her unique magic power.
  • Strange Magic: After getting sucker-punched by Marianne despite her being held back by three of his goblin minions, the Bog King expects and catches her second attempt.
  • Superman: Red Son. Wonder Woman effortlessly catches Superman's punch, to his shock as in this alternate reality no-one has truly matched his strength before.
  • In the first Vampire Hunter D movie, when Count Lee's monsters came for Doris. Rei-Ginsei begins the fight by throwing a punch at D, causing D to casually pull this trope. Thoroughly shocking him and the Count's daughter Larmica since Rei-Ginsei possesses super strength and speed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Back to the Future Part II, Biff's grandson Griff catches Marty's hand when he tries to do the trick that worked in the first movie — saying "Hey, what's that?" and then punching Biff when he turns to look. Marty settles for kicking Griff in the nuts instead.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Played with in the Captain America: The First Avenger. After Cap knocks down the Red Skull with a punch, he gets up and throws a punch that puts a massive dent in Cap's shield when he blocks it. Cue another Oh, Crap! when Cap realizes the Red Skull is a Super Soldier like himself.
    • The Avengers:
      • Loki catches Captain America's fist during their fight.
      • Later, his brother Thor catches the fist of the Hulk but is quickly slugged by his free hand.
      • During their initial fight, Thor catches Iron Man's fist, but then promptly gets repulsor blasted in the face.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man subverts the trope yet again: The Hulkbuster armor's fist is capable of transforming into a ring clamp if a Punch Catch occurs.
    • Captain America: Civil War:
      • Captain America catches Winter Soldier's punch using both hands. However, Winter Soldier simply extends his arm and it launches Cap down an elevator shaft.
      • Spider-Man catches a punch from Bucky/Winter Soldier, and takes the time to geek out over his metal arm, holding him in place effortlessly; Bucky's surprised facial expression when it happens is priceless.
      • Similarly, Black Panther is also able to catch Bucky's metal arm on two different occasions and overpowering said arm.
      • Iron Man, after getting pretty thrashed in the climax, suddenly catches Captain America's punch thanks to a new program of his armor that reads Cap's movements.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: During the final battle, Captain America has to use both hands to grab a punch from Thanos's Infinity Gauntlet hand. It takes everything Steve has to put them into a stalemate before Thanos punches him with his other hand... taking Cap out instantly.
  • Bane does this both fights with The Dark Knight himself in The Dark Knight Rises. A notable contrast is done with both fights. The first fight, he is stopped so dead, Bane forces Batman to punch himself in the face. The second fight, Batman gets his hand free and lands his first blow on Bane's mask, changing the tide of the fight.
  • The Matrix:
    • In the subway fight, Agent Smith stops Neo's punch by grabbing his wrist, but Neo immediately extends his fingers to jab him in the throat.
    • At the end, Neo performs an arm catch when Agent Smith is trying to beat him down, then twists his arm and kicks him away. Originally this was planned as a recurring motif in the film - Morpheus would do it to Neo, Agent Smith would do it to Morpheus, and so on. This was replaced with the Bring It hand gesture.
  • The Matrix Reloaded: Agent Johnson catches Neo's punch, causing him to realize the Agents have been upgraded.
  • The Matrix Resurrections: Neo catches Morpheus' punch twice during a spar.
  • Undercover Brother. When Conspiracy Brother tries to punch Lance in the face, Sistah Girl effortlessly catches and holds his fist.
  • Batman & Robin. While Robin is fighting Bane he throws a punch at Bane's head. Bane catches his hand and throws him down a flight of stairs.
  • Initiated by the Green Goblin in Spider-Man against the title character, with a badass one-liner to boot.
    Green Goblin: Impressive! [kicks Spidey through two display tables and into a lamp-post]
  • In Hot Fuzz, Simon Skinner catches Nicholas Angel's fist and crushes it. A few seconds later, Angel returns the favor.
  • In Kung Fu Hustle, The Beast combines this with the No-Sell to demonstrate just how powerful and skilled he is compared to the Landlord & Landlady, first by performing a foot catch on Landlady's table-shattering kick, and then by catching and twisting Landlord's arm with enough force to rip his shirt sleeve to shreds, and then doing the same to a length of wood Landlady tried to jab into his face, twisting it to splinters.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Man of Steel: General Zod catches Superman's punch and immediately retaliates with an uppercut of his own.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Superman catches Doomsday's punch and twists his arm. Since Doomsday is so huge, he has to use both hands to do it.
    • SHAZAM! (2019): After acquiring super powers of his own, Dr. Sivana catches Shazam's punch. Near the end, Shazam does this to Sivana.
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising: Obsidian Fury catches Gipsy Avenger's punch before retaliating with a stronger one of its own.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: En Sabah Nur does this to both Quicksilver and Professor X in the physical world and on the astral plane, respectively. Apocalypse then twists Peter's arm, and he crushes Xavier's fist.
  • Fright Night (1985). Charlie, Amy and the vampire Jerry Dandrige are at a nightclub, with Jerry trying to seduce Amy. Charlie tries to punch Jerry but Jerry catches Charlie's hand.
  • In Deadpool, Angel Dust does one to Colossus and crushes his hand as well, while earlier no-selling a few punches from him. This shows just how powerful Angel Dust really is.
  • The director's cut of Watchmen shows the death of Hollis Mason from a gang of street thugs who bust into his house. Hollis does this trope to the first man who throws a punch at him, making it look as it he'll fight them off. But there are too many thugs and Hollis is no longer in his prime, so eventually they get the better of him.
  • James Bond:
    • GoldenEye. After Boris got into a fight with Natalya at the Janus Base in Cuba, he walks towards her after the guards restrain her and says "Don't ever, do that again!" which Natalya replies with "This is not one of your games Boris, real people will die! You pathetic little worm!". Boris tries to punch her out of anger, but Alec Trevelyan catches his arm just in time and orders him to check the computer to see if she did anything that would stop their plan.
    • Never Say Never Again. During the fight between Bond and the SPECTRE assassin at Shrublands, Bond throws a punch at the assassin and the assassin calmly grabs Bond's fist, demonstrating his tremendous strength.
  • John Wick: Chapter 2: Doing this to a push dagger just gets you an Impaled Palm. John Wick just keeps on pushing and pushes it into their heart.
  • Alien: Resurrection. Hybrid-Ripley does a full-arm extension catch of a basketball thrown hard at her head, though the subsequent bit where she shrugs off being smacked in the face with a dumbbell is far more impressive.
  • Enter the Fat Dragon: Sammo Hung's character Ah Lung is cast as a mook for a film starring a Bruce Lee Clone, but the clone is an arrogant bully and starts hitting Lung for real. Eventually, Lung has enough and stops the clone's punch by catching his wrist and squeezing before kicking his ass.
  • Speed Racer: A ninja attacks the Racer family at night, and makes the mistake of taking a swing at Pops Racer. Pops catches the ninja's punch without a blink and effortlessly puts him into a belly-to-back cross-chest hold. How the large and admittedly ponderous-looking Pops Racer is capable of such a feat is revealed when the camera zooms in on the class ring Pops is wearing: Greco-Roman Wrestling State Champion.
    Ninja: Uh oh.
  • Downplayed Predestination. A temporal agent catches a punch thrown by the Fizzle Bomber, only to get knocked out by a punch from the Bomber's other hand.

  • Gruesome Krav from Skulduggery Pleasant, himself extremely strong, once made the mistake of punching Mr. Bliss. Bliss caught his fist and then crushed it.
  • In Of Mice & Men, Curley is beating up Lennie. As Curley swings at him, Lennie grabs his fist and holds onto it, then crushes it with his great strength, without even meaning to.
  • In Citadel, when Duncan challenged Coach Achala, Achala caught one of his punches and Duncan's whole arm broke.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Smallville:
    • Clark does it many times, even against Kara and Zod.
    • Also against Oliver / Darkseid in the Grand Finale.
    • Aldar and Doomsday both pull it on Clark.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "Seeing Red", Warren does it while under the influence of orbs that give him super strength, and breaks the guy's hand.
    • In "Two to Go", Spike does this during the Demon Trials, and discovers it's not a good idea when your opponent has flaming fists.
  • Angel and his son Connor do this a few times. So does Vampire Hunter Holtz when he first meets Justine in "Dad" — she's not impressed and follows it up by headbutting him.
  • Juken Sentai Gekiranger - Retsu / Geki Blue's brother Gou reappears after several years as a rabid Wolf Man. While Gou's the same age as before the transformation, he's not happy to learn the kid brother he remembers as a crybaby is now both a fellow martial artist and a superhero. After an argument about whether Retsu can handle it, he tries to prove his point by throwing a punch — and is very surprised when Retsu catches his fist and pushes him back.
  • Supernatural. In "Hammer of the Gods" a bunch of pagan gods get together to stop the Apocalypse, only for Lucifer to turn up and Curb-Stomp Battle them all. At one point, he does a punch catch to Baron Samedi. We don't see what happens after Lucifer catches his fist, but it involves a lot of blood splattering against the wall.
  • The Flash: In the episode "Grodd Lives", the Flash tries to sucker-punch Grodd with a super-sonic punch starting 5 miles away. Unfortunately Grodd senses the Flash's intentions and charges in to grab the punch and hurl Flash away.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Tuvok does this in "Rise" when one of the other illogical humanoids questions his right to give orders. As he's stronger than he looks, Tuvok then squeezes the fist just enough to cause pain, though not to cripple (which would be illogical). He does it again during his Battle in the Center of the Mind in "Random Thoughts". As Your Mind Makes It Real, his opponent feels the sensation physically; as he's an Asshole Victim, Tuvok doesn't stop until he collapses.
  • Lucifer. Lucifer catches Amenadiel's fist at the start of their fight in "#TeamLucifer". When he does so, the room shakes.
  • Teal'c did this in an early episode of Stargate SG-1.
  • In Preacher, The Saint of Killers easily does this to Jesse.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019): Lex Luthor has been going through the multiverse killing various Supermen. He confronts the Clark Kent from Smallville, only to find his kryptonite has no effect because Clark gave up his powers to start a family. Lex angrily tries to punch him, but Clark, who despite not having powers is twice his size and heavily muscled, catches his punch and knocks him down with a punch from his other hand.
  • A variation in Iron Fist (2017). Trying this trope straight with the Iron Fist would break your hand, so when Davos gains the power of the Fist, Danny Rand grabs his arm instead, stopping the blow from landing.
  • Titans (2018). Kory does a nastier version by picking up a fork during a Bar Brawl and 'catching' the punch on the sharp end.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • KOS-MOS blocks one of T-elos' punches this way in the third Xenosaga game. She's alot stronger than her so she breaks her arm doing it. T-elos does this to Ziggy just before the second fight.
  • Wesker does this to Chris in Resident Evil 5 proving just how much stronger he's become after being reborn.
  • DOOM Eternal:
    • A subverted example appears as part of a Glory Kill. The Marauder (an Evil Counterpart to the Doom Slayer) easily catches the Slayer's fist and looks at him smugly. Since the fist he caught happened to be the same one the Slayer's arm-mounted blade is attached to, the Slayer promptly responds by extending the blade deep into his skull.
    • In a flashback to when the Doom Slayer was Doomguy, he was arrested by the Night Sentinels and sentenced to Gladiator Games. Doomguy catches an opponent's punch and knocks him out with his other hand.
  • Asura from Asura's Wrath does this to a Taison in episode 8. Chakravartin does this to Asura twice, once in his creator form. Both times are done with just one finger.
  • In Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time Sigmund the robot ends up fighting Alister at the game's climax. He tries punching him with one fist and he catches it. He tries punching him with his other arm and the same thing happens. Then a cucukoo bird pops out of a chest compartment and whacks him in the face a few times before he knocks Sigmund away.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us Insurgency Deathstroke catches two of Regime Wonder Woman's punches, showing how good he is fighting against the amazon's old and predictable moves.
  • Kyuu does this in Chapter 7 of Rakenzarn Tales when the weaker Samuel tries a sneak attack. It also serves to show how Kyuu has gotten more skilled over the game in comparison to how he was winded from the tutorial at the start.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Adventurers can do this, and not just with their hands, if they spot the enemy is about to throw a punch and grab the attacker's hand, interrupting the attack. It works with other attacks and their corresponding body parts as well, leading to foot, horn and beak catches among others. Remarkably, this is a very necessary part to one of the most lethal techniques in the fandom's Fantastic Fighting Style, as having their fist in your hand makes it a cinch to put it in a lock and snap their wrist in two, or do something brutal.
  • In Vindictus, this is Karok's signature anti-boss move Clash. He catches the boss's incoming blow, forces it back, then throws them off-balance and hits them back. It doesn't matter what they wield, as long as it's a melee attack, but the downside is that he can only do it when the boss tries a smash move on him.
  • In Devil May Cry 4, Dante catches Nero's punch by grabbing his wrist. Nero tries to pull himself free but can't, then Dante playfully lets go, causing Nero's own strength to launch himself into a wall.
  • In the Final Fantasy XIV trailer for Stormblood, the Warrior of Light, as the Monk job, catches Lyse's punch in his hand. When he returns the punch, Lyse stops it open-palmed.
  • Some Giant Mooks can do this to you in Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb. If it happens, Indy will stare at his caught fist in disbelief before getting punched back. However, if you hit the secondary attack button before the counter, Indy will kick his opponent between the legs, knocking them down for some free hits.
  • In Batman: Arkham Series, the punch catch is a possible counter to various mooks. In Batman: Arkham Knight the counter button is also the same button as 'interrogate', so if you press it as a Riddler informant swings at you, Batman might catch his fist, squeeze it until the guy falls to his knees in pain, and then interrogate him.

    Web Animation 
    • In the first "Goku vs. Superman" fight, Goku does this on Supes when revealing his Super Mode. Superman returned the favor by catching Goku's power pole.
    • Quicksilver catches Flash's punch and then swings him around by his arm.
    • Hulk and Doomsday do this to each other.
  • Red vs. Blue Season Ten has Maine do this. He was strong before, but this was to demonstrate his new enhancements after his injuries from Season 9.
  • Also from Rooster Teeth, in RWBY, the team is up against a Mini-Mecha, and after taking a few blows it tries to punch the Big Guy of the team, Yang. This doesn't work out very well at all, as she catches the fist and then explodes the mech's arm with her rebuttal. During the Season 5 "Yang Trailer", an Ursa attempts to do this against Yang, but she is so strong that its arm explodes.

    Web Comics 
  • Aurora: Kendal's talk with the possibly-villainous Falst goes wrong when his friends show up and attack Falst. In the violence that ensues, Kendal ends up catching Falst's punch and using his superhuman strength to snap Falst's wrist.
  • A variation in Break, where the catcher also uses his other arm to secure the attacker. Used against a Ki punch as well just to show off a little more.
  • In UC, one of the grey possessed high school students easily catches Kelsi’s fist, at the beginning of their fight. Kelsi is understandably shocked, as a few comics earlier, she knocked down the same high school student, sans possession, with a single angry punch.
  • In League of Super Redundant Heroes, Mary-Sue the Flying Brick can catch Apocalizard's fist casually and without looking, despite the supervillain being two or three times her size.
  • In Zebra Girl, a vampire combines this with Badass Back for extra superiority, catching Sam's punch without even looking. Subverted immediately afterwards - Sam's gloves are a religious symbol.

    Western Animation 
  • Teen Titans
    • In "Apprentice", Robin tries to punch Slade who just catches it with his hand.
    • In "The Beast Within", as Cyborg wails on Adonis with multiple punches, he finally recovers enough between hits to catch Cyborg's fist and squeeze hard enough to cause sparks to form from Cyborg's fist.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In "The Demon's Quest", Ra's al Ghul's henchman Abu keeps shoving Batman, who says, "I'll call that...strike one." then "Okay, that's two." Eventually, Abu throws a punch at him. Batman catches it and says, "And that's three!" He crushes Abu's fist and throws him over his shoulder.
    • In "Robin's Reckoning", Robin does this to Zucco, and then proceeds to give the mobster the beating of his life. Batman barely shows up in time to prevent his sidekick from killing the man.
  • King of the Hill:
    • In "The Company Man", when Hank finally tells off the idiotic Bostonian he's been stuck with, he throws a punch at him. Hank catches it without missing a beat.
    • During a flashback in "Be True To Your Fool", when a drunken Hank pokes a beefy guy in a punk rock bar, the then-in-shape and badass Bill intercepts the fist.
  • Superman: The Animated Series:
    • When Superman's drained powers start to return in "Solar Power", Luminus makes a last-ditch attack on him. He gets a few punches in, and then Superman recovers enough to catch his fist and painfully squeeze it moments before decking him.
    • In "Father's Day", Kalibak catches Superman's punch and then punches him with his other hand. At the end of the fight, Superman catches Kalibak's punch and then twists his wrist, sending Kalibak to his knees in pain.
    • During the final fight in "Legacy", Darkseid catches one of Superman's punches after Superman hits him a few times. He crushes Superman's fist until Superman punches him away with his other hand.
  • Young Justice:
    • In the first season episode "Agendas", when Match punches Superboy after Superboy uses a Shield patch, Superboy catches it before sending him flying.
    • Black Beetle loves this trope, to show off just how much stronger he is than everyone else. In "Before Dawn", he does it to Batgirl, Wonder Girl, Superboy, and Blue Beetle in the same fight!
  • When Ross becomes the Red Hulk, his strength allowed him to pull this on the Hulk in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!.
  • In ReBoot, Megabyte does this to Matrix.
  • Non-superpowered example in Gravity Falls in the season one finale. After Dipper breaks his way inside Gideon's giant robot and the two brawl Dipper is able to catch Gideon's fist and then whack him with it, making the Motion Capture Mecha do the same.
  • Justice League:
    • In "Injustice For All", Batman catches Joker's fist and then punches Joker with his other hand.
    • In "Tabula Rasa", Amazo catches Superman's fist, but then Superman immediately headbutts him.
    • In "Kid's Stuff", Superman catches Blockbuster's fist and makes him punch himself in the face.
    • In "Wake the Dead", Solomon Grundy catches Superman's fist and crushes his hand.
    • In "Destroyer", Darkseid catches Superman's fist and then headbutts him.
  • In Family Guy, Peter tries to punch Liam Neeson, who catches and crushes Peter's fist. Peter then follows up with his other fist and Neeson does it again.
  • Samurai Jack:
    • In "Jack vs Mad Jack", a monkey-like bounty hunter catches Jack's punch and gloats, but Jack simply kicks him.
    • In "The Good, The Bad, And The Beautiful", Zeke catches Jack's punch and painfully squeezes his hand, then punches him several times with his other hand.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • In "The Winning Edge", after Mason Forrest gives himself super strength with the Slappers, he catches Batman's punch by the wrist and painfully squeezes it before lifting and slamming him.
    • In "Bloodsport", Stalker catches Batman's fist and painfully squeezes his hand. Batman tries to punch him with his other hand, but Stalker catches and squeezes it too. Batman escapes by kicking him.

    Real Life 
  • In actual combat, catching an opponent's punch would be Awesome, but Impractical. Not only would it hurt and possibly break your hand, but you would need a huge strength difference to be able to pull it off. If you've got the reflexes to catch a punch, it's far easier and safer to simply dodge or deflect the punch. Of course, the whole point of this trope is to demonstrate immense physical superiority, and look totally badass in the process.
  • A somewhat more practical method in real life that is less common in fiction is to instead catch the wrist of the punching hand and pull it out to the side.
  • One way boxers block a jab is to "catch" it with their same-side hand, basically giving the jab a high-five (illustration). The difference is that there's no attempt to grab and keep hold of the punching hand; the hand doing the "catch" is open and relaxed, which dissipates the force of the punch. Rather, the defending fighter will counter with a punch while the opponent retracts the blocked jab.
  • Done in boxing training by the coach, through gloves with large pads on the end, meant to absorb the hit. While it doesn't catch the fist per se, it sure does look a lot like this.
  • A simpler way to do so, as taught in some Martial Arts schools, is to block the punch first, then grab it after the block. Not quite the same, but much more practical than just catching it in midair.


Video Example(s):


"And that's three!"

Throughout the episode, Batman had been pushed around by Ra's al Ghul's servant, Ubu. On the third time, however, Batman turns the tables.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / RuleOfThree

Media sources: