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Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...

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Spidey learns the hard way why they call him "The Man of Steel".

"When you hit a man as hard as you can ten times and it only makes him sing like Little Richard, there aren't a whole lot of Plan B's."

In a fistfight, one participant (frequently The Hero) gets in close to his (usually much-larger and frequently The Brute) opponent, and lands a flurry of punches into his gut.

The opponent just looks down and smiles, completely unharmed, giving the hero a moment of sudden dread, before inflicting some violence upon him in return.

In some cases, this can be the beginning of a Curb-Stomp Battle.

The big guy may also say something like "Is That the Best You Can Do?" or "Stop it, that tickles." Sometimes the same effect is achieved when the target turns out to be Immune to Bullets.

Almost exclusively limited to the comedy-action genre, though it occasionally appears as part of a Professional Wrestling Squash Match, as a particularly cruel form of what wrestling fans call "no-selling."

See also No-Sell, The Worf Barrage, and Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!. When the flurry of punches actually does work but with a 10 second delay, it becomes You Are Already Dead. When the 'Uh Oh!' becomes Screw This, I'm Outta Here, you have Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Angel Densetsu. To the outside observer, most fights against Kitano play out as follows: assailant whales on Kitano as hard as they can, assailant expresses shock at the fact that Kitano refuses to fall, Kitano lays out assailant in a single hit. In reality, while Kitano is pretty tough, he's also highly skilled at dodging just enough to nullify a blow while appearing to take its full impact. He's also an Actual Pacifist who hates fighting, and enough of a Cloudcuckoolander that half the time he won't even realize he's in a fight to begin with. And that single, knock-out blow at the end? It's even odds that either the assailant panicked and knocked himself out somehow, or Kitano accidentally blundered into him and the impact knocked him cold. Of course, if you've frightened Kitano enough that he decides he has to actually hit you, then may God have mercy on you.
    • Most of the time, he won't hit you. He'll push you. 5 meters in to the air and 15 in length. Opponents knock themselves out when hitting the ground.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • When the Armoured Titan first appears, the Garrison hammers it with a barrage of cannonballs. The Armoured Titan is not even dented by this.
    • After Reiner and Bertolt reveal themselves as the Armoured and Colossal Titans, Eren attempts to fight the Armored Titan in his Titan form. He only manages to shatter both of his arms when he punches the Titan in the face.
  • Baccano!:
    • In the DVD extra episodes, Ladd Russo takes a direct hit from Graham Spector without flinching, then rips Graham's weapon out of his own wound and sends Graham flying across the screen. This is a case of one crazy character out-crazying another.
    • Also occurs in the main series when a group of mobsters shoot Szilard Quates full of bullets. He promptly returns the favor.
    • Given the number of immortal (and not technically immortal but still crazy powerful) characters in the show...
  • Happens a couple times in Berserk. The first time, Guts is fighting Wyald, and after slashing Wyald several times and knocking him to the ground, Wyald gets back up and knocks Guts around a little. Sorta subverted, as Wyald was really pissed at Guts instead of just shrugging it off. The second time happens right after the Eclipse. Guts is attacked by a nameless Apostle, fighting it with a new sword given to him by Godo. After chopping its arm off and disemboweling it, Guts finds that the blade has broken off at the hilt, leaving him unarmed and having to use the new Arm Cannon that Godo and Rickert made for him. Fortunately, he finds the Dragon Slayer, the strongest weapon Godo has forged, at the last minute, and promptly uses it to tear the monster apart.
  • Bleach:
    • Zaraki bares his chest, and gives Ichigo one free swing at him, anywhere he liked. Ichigo puts everything into his attack, and as a result, Zaraki is unfazed, and Ichigo's hands are bleeding, because Zaraki's natural reiatsu levels are crazy high.
    • Big Bad Aizen himself decides he wants to spice things by pulling off this trope after he's obtained his Hougyoku conquered self by taking two full sword strikes from Urahara and Isshin, stopping them both, pushing them back, getting chained up, then taking a full unloaded punching onslaught from Yoruichi who just appeared in the chapter. The Uh-oh comes in after Aizen gets back up, virtually unharmed. His response to all this?
      "What's wrong, this can not be the end, can it? I would make my next move quickly if I were you, for I plan on crushing you one by one into tiny fragments, down to the very last remnant."
    • It's reversed in chapter 419; Aizen, having basically evolved into an Eldritch Abomination, throws everything he's got at Ichigo (including one of his signature monologues). Ichigo's response?
      "Is that all you've got?"
    • Ulquiorra does this on multiple occasions, sometimes in the same battle. In one instance, after Ichigo has thrown everything he's got at him, Ulquiorra uses Ichigo's Zanpakuto, which Ichigo is trying to impale him on, to slice his shirt off to show off his Espada number.
    • Jackie Tristan shows off her strength by destroying some nearby rock formations with a Shockwave Stomp, but Renji won't take her seriously. Offended, she gives him two kicks, each generating a Kung-Fu Sonic Boom that obliterates more of the rock formations, but he isn't even hurt. He then rams his sword hilt into her gut and knocks her unconscious.
  • In A Certain Scientific Railgun:
    • Mikoto gets moment of this when she, in a fit of rage, attacks Accelerator with everything she has. Finally, she breaks out the "railgun" against him... and when he doesn't even notice it, she completely loses hope and gives up.
      Accelerator: Hey, what's wrong? Why'd you stop? ...Oh, I get it. Sorry! That was your best move wasn't it? Pity, I was hoping for more out of a fellow Level 5!
    • Accelerator in general tends to cause this in anyone stupid enough to attack him without having some kind of plan to circumvent his powers.
    • Any mage or esper who goes up against Touma not knowing what he can do usually has a moment of this, as they throw their strongest supernatural attacks at him and watch as the attacks and their effects simply vanish when they touch his right hand.
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Tamers:Impmon wanted to take on Indramon on his own, and Renamon let him (and told the others to do the same). Impmon launched his Infernal Funnel, and it did basically nothing. Indramon said that it tickled, then proceeded to beat the tar out of Impmon.
    • Digimon Data Squad: Belphemon has a fight with the DATS crew like this. Four Ultimates/Megas, two Perfects/Ultimates and Daimon Masaru himself wallop Belphemon (himself an Ultimate/Mega) with pretty much their entire repertoire without actually doing any harm. In retaliation, he eats a few time-distorting bombs and starts vomiting energy blasts that rip open space and time.
    • Digimon Frontier. Duskmon, Duskmon, Duskmon! Takuya believes a little too strongly in the "teamwork-overcomes-all" thing, and talks the others into following his plan for attacking the ridiculously invincible Duskmon, whom they hadn't been able to scratch before. This time, they follow his plan, and... Duskmon is completely unharmed again. Takuya, disbelieving, attacks again and again with one vicious punch or kick after another... as Duskmon stands like a statue. His thoughts as he realizes — as it really, truly had never occurred to him before — that an opponent can simply be stronger are an example of good character development in Digimon Frontier.
  • Dragon Ball Z has loads of these. Except it's more like Punch Punch Punch raised to the power of a dozen, with a few ki blasts for good measure. Cue the Uh Oh when the villain either takes the flurry of punches without moving at all or emerges from a giant cloud of dust.
    • Vegeta even did some Lampshade Hanging on this in the first season when Vegeta and Nappa emerge from the cloud of dust:
      "This is our favorite part; you know. You should see the looks on your faces."
    Made it all the more annoying after Vegeta does his Heel–Face Turn and then repeatedly becomes the victim of this trope.
    • Vegeta does get a few more chances to do this, though. In his fight against Android 19, he even allows the Android to take a hold of him and begin to steal his energy through its hands, only to remove its hands. Then in his fight against Semi-Perfect Cell, he takes a direct blow to the face, before telling Cell that that one 'was free...' then proceeds to lay a beatdown on him.
    • The villains aren't the only ones who does this. Goku, after going Super Saiyan for the first time, gives Frieza a lot of free hits for several minutes, and only gets injured when he purposefully takes a direct hit to the face from a fricking Death Beam (after making a show of easily dodging several Death Beam Spams beforehand)... and all that does is a minor scratch. "Uh Oh" doesn't begin to cover it. Just to clarify: Death Beam goes through anything it touches, and all it does to Goku is knock his head up a bit. And then he delivers his speech....
    • Broly is the undisputed king of this trope, because he combines this with Implacable Man. It's not that he takes the blasts and punches on purpose, it's just that he can't be bothered to move in anything less efficient than a straight line toward his target. There is a more literal moment when Goku delivers a fully-powered Kamehameha at point blank. Not only does Broly seem unaffected, he sneers and says, "What the hell was that?"
    • Super Android 13 does this to Vegeta, Piccolo and Goku, one right after the other. Goku's scene is the best known — he rushes 13 and hits him with a flurry of punches and kicks, while he just stands there. After a little while, 13 decides that it's just irritating, catches Goku's kick, and punches him in the crotch hard enough to knock him out of Super Saiyan. Uh Oh indeed.
    • Hercule/Mr. Satan was a frequent victim of this too, thanks to being so weak in comparison to the other characters.
    • During the Saiyaman Saga, some thug picks a fight with Gohan, and punches him in the face. His reaction afterward?
      "I think I broke my hand on that guy's face!"
    • Dragon Ball Super has a pretty straightforward example with Gotenks and Beerus. After his first punch fails to make Beerus budge an inch, Gotenks starts throwing dozens of punches while Beerus just floats there, not even bothering to block.
    • In Super's Universal Survival Arc, when Goku and Jiren square off for the first time. Goku tests things out by going Super Sayian 2, but Jiren doesn't even react to the punches. He switches to base God Form and this does make Jiren move...but only enough that he only needs his finger to block Goku's strikes. Seeing that he'll indeed need to power up further, he goes to Blue mode and engages battle with Jiren, however it's only enough to just keep up with his speed, Goku can't actually harm him (though he does manage to knock him through the surroundings at one point). Even his ace in the hole move, stacking Kaio-ken when in Blue form, isn't even enough to make Jiren get serious and only succeeds in wearing Goku out. Goku quickly disengages from the fight and form, ultimately admitting he might be in trouble this time.
    • It's mentioned that Jiren likes to invoke this in his fights: encourage the enemy to use their strongest attack and then just tank the hit with his own absolute strength, thus demoralizing them. He's not an idiot though: Jiren is well aware of the limits of his power and if an attack is actually a threat to him, he'll treat it seriously.
    • In Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, after Piccolo has unleashed his brand new Piccolo Orange form, Gamma 2, who had already beaten him normally and as Potential Unleashed, drops down and delivers a number of punches to the solar plexus. However, he realizes Piccolo is not moving at all and looks at him in abject horror before Piccolo drops him with one punch, leaving him in a crater, twitching like the bug he looks like.
  • Durarara!!: Shizuo' reputation as The Dreaded is firmly established when a random thug panics and smashes a wooden club across the back of his head... and all it does is piss him off (uh, that is, even more than he already was).
  • In Fairy Tail, Natsu, Erza, Gray, Wendy, and Lucy give it everything they've got when they attack Master Hades. Their foe is surprised by their ability and synchronization, but even their best attacks fail to scratch him. The heroes have barely enough time to realize that they are in serious trouble before Hades apparently vaporizes Wendy.
  • Fist of the North Star:
    • Subverted during Ken's fight with Mr. Heart. Ken throws a single punch at Heart, who is so obese that his belly fat absorbs it, holding Ken in place so Heart can hit him. Ken, after getting up, decides to use a different tactic: he kicks the same spot repeatedly, displacing Heart's bulk so Ken can reach his pressure points and cause Heart to asplode.
    • Later played straight in Kenshiro's first fight with Souther due to Souther's partial immunity to Kenshiro's Hokuto Shinken.
    • Also played straight in the second (Asura) major arc, when attempts to fight Kaioh for the first time, where Kenshiro fails to even scratch him.
  • Happens to Eimer in Glass Fleet when the "boss" of the big scary prisoners she's been kicking around finally shows up. (He is, however, taken out with one hit by Cleo not too long after.)
  • Hellsing: Alucard never does not do this. In every single fight, he takes the barrage of attacks face-first, getting shredded to bits by bullets... And effortlessly regenerates, leaving his enemy deep in the Uh Oh phase.
    • After curbstomping Luke Valentine, Alucard starts taunting him, demanding that he display this trope. When Luke doesn't, Alucard goes from disappointed to murderous.
  • Done in Higurashi: When They Cry (Kai!) when Okonagi punches Akasaka in the chest; he's feeling smug until Akasaka mutters, "Weak". Guess what happens next. It's actually different than some people might expect — Akasaka says "You call that a punch? Lemme show you a real punch...", Okonagi backs up to his car clearly afraid, Akasaka punches through the bulletproof windshield, and Okonagi faints from the attack barely missing his face. And then the True Companions come out to celebrate their victory for the day!
  • KonoSuba: During one of her earlier stints in fighting monsters, Aqua prepared for a mighty combat technique called 'God Blow', an attack that concentrates a Goddess' rage and sorrow, and whoever it strikes will perish... as long as it's some sort of undead. Against a living giant frog, it did jack shit. Aqua reacts at this failure with a cute face and trying to admire that the frog is pretty cute up close... and the frog ate her as a response.
    • It's not necessarily that it only works on undead. She's a water goddess using an elemental attack on a water creature. It's no wonder it didn't work.
  • Gundam:
    • Done straight in Mobile Fighter G Gundam twice in the same episode — First Domon tries it against Neo Russia's Argo Gulsky, then again when the two are fighting inside their Gundams. Both times, Argo ends the exchange by hitting Domon in the head with an ax-handle blow.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 pulls this trope off in the final episode, as Setsuna F. Seiei and the 00 Gundam face off against Ribbons Allmark and his Reborns Cannon. As Setsuna charges into melee range (and Setsuna is overall dominant in melee combat), we expect him to do some good damage to the Reborns Cannon then fly off as usual. Instead, Ribbons pulls out a beam saber and casually swats him out of the sky. The "Uh Oh" part of the trope comes right after, as the Reborns Cannon transforms; it shifts from its heavily-armed and range-focused mode to a more mobile and humanoid form, revealing that it's a freaking Gundam. Setsuna's expression is priceless. Yes, the memetic line of "It's a Gundam!" is said by a good guy.
  • Naruto has a tiny example. When Naruto faces the Idiot Brothers in a filler arc, Naruto uses his shadow clones attack the two big guys all at once. Nothing happens except for them both agreeing that it "itches".
    • Sasuke tries kicking Killer Bee with all his might. All it does is make Bee drop his sword... so he can write some new rap lyrics.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Subverted when Rakan asks Negi to punch him as hard as possible. Activating all of his power-ups and channelling as much magic as he can to his arm, Negi punches Rakan in the stomach to no immediately apparent effect. In the following panel, Rakan suddenly coughs up a torrent of blood and hits Negi for punching too hard.
    • Played straight later on when Negi actually fights Rakan. He brings out his new ultimate move, turns into lightning and beats the crap out of Rakan for an entire chapter, at which point Rakan falls unconscious. The next chapter starts with Rakan getting up, unharmed, and beating the crap out of Negi.
    • A form of this also happens during Ku:nel Sanders fight with Kaede; he essentially lets her unload on him because he's actually not there, and is using an invincible illusion to fight in the tournament, so it's impossible for him to be injured.
    • Also simultaneously played straight and averted. In The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, an advance team lead by Kotaro runs into Fate. Since one of the party has an invisibility artifact, Fate has no idea they're there, which gives Kotaro the idea to kill him. It doesn't work and Fate beheads Kotaro. Then it's revealed that that sequence was just an Imagine Spot, Kotaro hasn't moved an inch, and Fate's still walking down the hallway oblivious.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
  • In One Piece:
    • Luffy started the big fight against Arlong with a whole flurry of attacks, Arlong was not impressed. Slight subversion in that Luffy isn't really fazed by this either, probably because he was still soaked in seawater and probably unable to hit quite as hard as he could have.
      Arlong: Was that all you got?
      Luffy: Nah, just warming up.
    • Later on, Franky slams his metal fist into Rob Lucci, who does not budge or show any sign of being harmed. Franky is outwardly alarmed, especially in that he had earlier sent one of Lucci's fellow agents flying with that same move.
  • One-Punch Man: This happens all the time to Saitama, the series protagonist, as he's basically indestructible and so he often lets his enemies wail on him while looking bored until he finally decides to hit back and end the fight in one punch. In his fight with Suiryu, he dragged this out longer than usual, due to his wish to 'experience martial arts', but it eventually ended the same way as the rest of his fights.
    • Suiryu gets a second helping of this shortly thereafter when Gouketsu barges in after the Super Fight. Gouketsu simply No Sells any blow that Suiryu throws at him and brutally breaks him in both body and spirit.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Occurs after Ryôga learns the breaking-point technique. The training for it has taken his already Herculean endurance and increased it to ridiculous, exponential levels. So Ranma pounds Ryôga into the ground, and is ready to declare victory, when... Ryôga gets up like nothing had happened. Ranma proceeds to have an epic Oh, Crap! moment.
    • In general, when Ranma is fighting a new enemy (particularly in movies) he begins with his Chestnut Fist attack, which usually accomplishes nothing.
  • Re:Zero: In the first episode, Subaru picks a fight with some thugs, only for his punches to have no effect before they beat him up.
  • Rosario + Vampire has multiple layers of this in chapter 6 of the second serialization; Tsukune's friends take on the doppelganger but are themselves defeated in the process... and then Tsukune removes Moka's rosario and plants it on the doppelganger to temporarily weaken him before attacking him as much as possible until the rosario comes off. Then Inner Moka shows up and delivers a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner about doppelgangers. Cue the Evil Laugh and a very brief Curb-Stomp Battle at her hands.
  • Soul Eater:
    • One episode has Maka get into an argument with Black Star. She punches him in the face to no effect (because of both the power gap and the fact she doesn't use punches as often). He shrugs it off and tells her to challenge him to a duel if she wants to solve things that way.
    • Becomes even funnier if you consider that in the last episode of the Anime she literally just punches out the series's Cthulhu.
    • Before either of these, in the second fight between Maka and Crona, Maka repeatedly punches Crona in the face after she realizes that her Sinister Scythe is not effective against someone with Black Blood. As it turns out, all Crona got was messy hair, and Maka described as being like punching lead.
  • Happens between Kid Muscle and his opponent Pumpinator in an episode of Ultimate Muscle. At the beginning of the match, Kid tries some kicks that served him well in his previous fight, but they bounce right off Pumpinator harmlessly. It turns out that because Pumpinator is a humanoid athletic shoe, he's extremely resistant to wear and tear, to the point of being nearly invulnerable to striking. Kid figures a way around this by applying a series of submission holds.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • In the Yusuke vs. Toguro fight of the Tournament Arc, once Yusuke takes off his aura handcuffs, he, quite frankly, pummels Toguro into the ground. The "Uh-oh" comes when Yusuke jumps out.
    • Then subverted when Toguro punches Yusuke into a wall, destroying nearly everything on its path. Yusuke is in a wall, with dust all around. He finally stands up, and Toguro smirks and says, "That didn't even hurt you, did it?" Yusuke gives an affirmative.
    • In the Chapter Black arc, once Sensui unleashes his Sacred Energy aura, Yusuke and the others can't even touch him. Literally, their punches, sword strikes, and other attacks stop short before even reaching his body, while he just stands there smugly.

    Comic Books 
  • Another crossover feature Batman and the Hulk has Bats punching various points of Hulk's body trying to find a weak spot. After a couple panels, Batman looks up to see a very angry Hulk who says, "You try to... hurt Hulk?!"
  • Captain America: Played for laughs in vol 1. #378 (October, 1990), part of a crossover between Captain America and Daredevil. Rival crime lords Kingpin and Red Skull have tired of their gang war, and decide to settle their differences with a martial arts duel between them. Red Skull is confident that his superior agility and speed will win the duel. He lands several kicks and punches on his opponent, but the Kingpin seems unimpressed. Then the Kingpin catches the Red Skull in a massive bear-hug, pins him on the ground, rests his entire body and weight on the Skull, and threatens to blind or kill the Skull with his bare hands. The Skull quickly surrenders, is forced to sign away ownership of his drug operations to Kingpin, and then flies away. He gives a little speech about not being afraid of the Kingpin... but only once he is at a safe distance from the big man.
  • In Cruelty, Tobias both bloodies Reis and knees him in the groin — and is shocked that Reis seemingly feels no pain.
  • Daredevil
    • In the sixth issue of the original series, Daredevil finds that his punches are completely ineffectual on the massive Ox, and a typical scene for this trope occurs. To put this into perspective, in the very first issue of the series, a young Matt Murdock punched a boxing speed bag straight off its suspension, and this was before he started a regular workout regimen. In short, Ox is freaking hardcore; not a surprise given that he was normally a Spider-Man villain.
    • In a similarly early issue, during a confrontation with Ka-Zar, Daredevil learned the hard way that the jungle life makes you stronger than a mastodon. "No use! It's like trying to stop a steamroller! I expected that blow to his stomach to topple him..."
    • The Kingpin put it on a higher level. We have a whole page of Daredevil punching him from all possible angles, with no visible effect. Next page, Kingpin starts the payback with a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • The "plot"of the Doom comic is triggered by one of these scenes, where the protagonist tries to punch out a Cyberdemon while under the influence of a Berserker Pack, but finds that it wears off just as he throws the punch.
    Marine: OOH, HERE IT COMES! THE NIGHT TRAIN! Choo Choo Cha' BOOGIE! Choo choo cha'... choo ch... choo cha...*Bonk* oh my.
  • In a one-off story from the early days of Excalibur (the first half of Issue #3), Captain Britain tries to stand up to the Juggernaut (who's just broken out of prison), hits him to no great effect, then gets knocked a couple miles away by one punch. The team even know how powerful Juggernaut is, and that the way to stop him is with non-physical attacks, but on the one hand, at this point in his history, Captain Britain is too hot-headed to listen, and on the other, there's some suggestion that he's deliberately keeping Juggernaut busy while the rest of the team round up a load of other escaped convicts. Anyway, as the Juggernaut, having curb-stomped the Captain, is trying to leave, Phoenix steps in and introduces herself...
    Phoenix: Hi! I'm Phoenix. Guess what I do.
    Juggernaut: Oh, NO!
  • Herbie Popnecker, the Fat Fury, has such a powerful resistance to damage that he sometimes doesn't even notice that he's being attacked. Occasionally a villain will attack Herbie strongly enough to be noticed and he'll glance about in puzzlement muttering "Something...?"
  • During Infinite Crisis, Black Adam assaults Superboy Prime. Prime appears to be hurt by Adam's magic-charged punches... before revealing magic doesn't hurt him and punching Black Adam across the room and back into his own reality.
    "The magic it hurts! Actually, it tickles."
  • Happens to Bruce in Knightfall when Bane confronts him at his mansion. Admittedly he was worn out at the time and didn't have any strength to spare. But considering Bane was hopped up on Venom at the time, it highly likely he would've experienced this even if he was still fresh.
  • In one Lucky Luke book, on a Mississippi riverboat. Subverted in that our cowboy still succeeds, although his punches just tickle his opponent.
  • The Mask contains a few examples between Big Head and Walter. Notably, Kathy!Big Head once insists on fighting fair, no weapons, as she delivers a series of meek punches at Walter. Walter responds by punching her head through the wall behind her.
  • One issue of Moon Knight involving the... title hero fighting a number of voodoo zombies (yes, really) has one of these.
    Moon Knight: You're going down', ugly. You're going down and you're STAYING... you're not going down.
  • Almost the entire fight between The Punisher and The Russian in The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank. Frank is giving his all, and The Russian is just laughing it off
  • Robin (1993): When Tim discovers his newest opponents are super tough and stronger than a regular human in issue #160 he has the appropriate response and retreats while commenting "When hitting them hurts me more than my targets it's time to see about retreating and regrouping".
  • Spider-Man: This happens a lot to Spidey since he's generally written as an underdog character:
    • While trapped on a deserted island, he punches Venom in the face with everything he has. While it actually draws blood from Venom's mouth, Venom laughs it off and tells Spidey that he has First Blood. Though it comes back the other way in a later issue, when Eddie Brock tries to attack Spider-Man, only this time the symbiote is not around. Eddie is a peak human specimen, almost as strong as Captain America, but Spidey barely notices his punches. "Give it up, Eddie. Without the symbiote you're out of your league here."
    • The famous "Nothing Stops the Juggernaut" story from Amazing Spider-Man #229-230 is basically two issues of this. Spidey tries to deter the Juggernaut from kidnapping Madame Webb. He not only tries dozens of punches, but girders, webbing, a manhole cover, a load of bricks, a wrecking ball, a gas truck and more. Nothing works, but Spider-Man refuses to let another of his friends get hurt.
    • Another example happens in his first encounter with The Hulk. He throws his hardest punch and not only does he hurt his own hand but the Hulk doesn't even blink.
    • In the "Atlantis Attacks" story of a Spider-Man Annual, Spider-Man and She-Hulk are trying to stop a rampaging Abomination. She-Hulk gets knocked out and the fight moves on to a bridge. Spidey notes that all the civilians are clear, and Abomination is focused solely on him. He muses that maybe he can end this now, by putting everything he has into one, tremendous ... PUNCH!!!
      Spider-Man: Gosh, that worked. I think I made him blink!
    • In Spider-Man Noir, this is how Spidey's encounter with the Sandman goes down. Spidey hits Sandman with a punch right to the jaw that does absolutely nothing, and catches a hellacious No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that nearly kills him in return.
    • In the Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man special, Lex Luthor secretly energizes Spidey with a red sunlight gun, bathing the web-slinger in red solar radiation, allowing him to tackle Superman in the inevitable first meeting misunderstanding fight. When Superman realizes what's going on and the energy fades, Supes stands his ground and... well, it's the current page illustration.
  • Happens in Stumptown #4 when Dex is trying to punch a large thug named Whale.
    Dex: Sorry, but I had to try, you understand.
  • Superlópez: While facing off against the Galactic Gladiator, Superlópez attacks him with a flurry of punches. The Gladiator no-sells the attack, while Super's hands are badly hurt.
  • Played with, the first time Superman fought the Hulk (in the second Superman/Spider-Man team-up). After getting sucker-punched by the Hulk and sent hurtling, Supes plants himself in one spot and tries to No-Sell the Hulk's punches (This was Pre-Crisis Superman who could move planets). It works for a while, but of course, Hulk's strength increases the longer a fight goes on, so Supes is starting to feel it — when he figures out how to calm Hulk down, ending the fight.
  • One issue of Thunderbolts has Sunspot attack the Red Hulk, proclaiming that he's always wanted to use his Super Strength to beat up a Hulk. Red Hulk merely stares at him in return, and then swats him off-screen while Sunspot tries to sputter out an apology.
  • In a Transformers comic, Ironhide answers a challenge from a Decepticon called Stockade. This happens. This is kind of funny if you're familiar with the toys — Ironhide is quite a bit larger than Stockade.
  • Likewise in an X-Men tie-in with this same tale the X-Men are in England when they also run into Juggernaut. Rogue lands, draws back her arm, and lets fly with a punch that shatters windows up to a quarter-mile away. The next panel her has her staring at the smoke coming from her own fist and saying "Ah'm Impressed'. Panel after that? The rather bored-looking Juggernaut saying "Me, too" before he backhands her two miles into the air.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Phantom likes to let others try to punch him and take it without flinching before punching the other guy across the room. It works even with men who look as buff as himself and are noted for being especially strong.
  • Occurs in the Newspaper Spider-Man arc involving Thor apparently trying to kidnap Mary-Jane and take her to Asgard, run in February 2012 (timed to plug The Avengers). Spider-Man leaps to her defense and punches Thor in the face, with no result other than a hurt hand and a glowering thunder god. "It didn't even ruffle his hair!" he gripes to himself.
    The Comics Curmudgeon: Meanwhile, Spider-Man has decided to try out this whole "super-heroics" thing, with predictable results.
  • One Twisted Toyfare Theatre strip features Galactus landing on top of Four Freedoms Plaza, having been called to destroy Earth because the Silver Surfer found no-one capable of standing in his way (the Thing had stayed behind while the others went off on a mission, and fell asleep in front of the TV). When Galactus refers to The Thing as "fugly", The Thing socks Galactus right in the gut. After there being absolutely no reaction, The Thing offers up his opinion as to what to do next: "Well, I'm stumped."

    Fan Works 
  • The troll in With Strings Attached grabs Paul's leg and slams him against some walls, repeatedly. With this result:
    "Are you quite finished?" the very annoyed Paul said as he dangled, arms folded over his chest. The troll goggled at him for a few seconds, then screamed "AIEEEE!"
  • Lots of people in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, including the muggers, Lieyla of the “Terrible Trio,” Spectrem of the Guardians, and the mine-robbers at Boidan Mine, find out what a waste of time it is to try and hurt Paul.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Roll tries to punch and kick a Hammer Joe; it blocks her attacks easily with its heavy armor.
  • In Batman: Dead End, Batman punches a Predator. After taking three hits, the Predator simply Neck Lifts Bats and throws him across the alley.
  • In This Bites!, Cross has punched Luffy on two separate occasions: Once getting his hand stuck in Luffy's rubber body, and the other hurting hand worse than Luffy.
  • Facing the Future Series: In Bad Breakup, Dash gets upset and punches Tucker's robot, thinking it's actually Tucker. As a result, he badly injures his hand and Danny, Sam, and Tucker can't help but laugh uproariously at Dash doing that.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Izuku is going head-to-head with a high-ranking White Fang member only referred to as the Admiral. Izuku does his best to land hits with 5% Full Cowl running through his body, but all of them get swatted away or dodged with ease. Soon afterward, the speed boost he got from Weiss runs out.
  • During the Namek Saga in Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Goku activates Kaioken x20 to battle Freeza, prompting the usual Running Gag of the villain asking "Kaio-What?" When Goku finishes up his assault with a Kamehameha, we find Freeza scuffed up, but unharmed.
    Freeza: No, seriously: Kaio-what?
    Goku: Kai-Oh, Crap!
    Freeza: I thought so. [begins No-Holds-Barred Beatdown]

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Nicely subverted in Balls of Fury: Maggie repeatedly pummels a Giant Mook standing between her group and their escape route, only to have him gather himself and give her a look that seems to imply a serious ass-kicking is about to commence. Then, he falls over.
  • Batman Returns: Batman can't beat up a heavyset bruiser. So he stuffs a bomb earlier lifted from a clown in the guy's pants and throws him into a sewer.
  • A variation occurs in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Batman's punches are clearly hurting Superman until the kryptonite gas wears off and Superman clearly takes less damage with each punch, culminating in completely ignoring the last one.
  • Carlos, the Jerk with a Heart of Gold from the film *batteries not included, attempts a flurry of punches to the Gentle Giant Harry'snote  midsection to no avail. A bad idea, considering that Harry was already more than a little upset about Carlos shoving him down a flight of stairs earlier. Harry flashes Carlos a satisfied grin just before knocking the crap out of him and tossing him out the front door.
  • This happens to John Wayne's character while fighting a massive oilfield roughneck in the movie Big Jake.
  • This happens in Big Trouble in Little China. Although not bigger than Jack, Rain is a minor god.
  • In Blackenstein, Eddie attacks a rapist behind the bar. the rapist squares off and delivers a series of bodyblows to Eddie's torso. This completely fail to faze Eddie, who knock him down and kills him.
  • In the fight against the Big Bad in Blade, Blade gets several free shots Deacon, who then grins and "My turn!" before smashing him across the room.
  • Subverted in the grand fight scene at the end of Blazing Saddles, where an effeminate, tuxedo-clad dancer beats ineffectually on the chest of a large cowboy before bursting into tears and collapsing into the cowboy's arms. The cowboy comforts him. ("There, there.")
  • During the climactic brawl in The Cannonball Run, Burt Reynolds ineffectively slams several punches into the jaw of a massive biker. The biker mockingly suggests "Why don't you try this side?", pointing to the other side of his jaw. Burt replies "Thanks" and then slugs him with a wrench on the indicated side of the jaw, knocking the biker out.
  • Played straight by Russell Crowe in the boxing film Cinderella Man.
  • Played dead serious in The Dark Knight Rises when Batman comes face to face with Bane. First, Bane lampshades all of Batman's psychological tricks, not even batting an eyelid at gunpowder flashes going off in his face. Then Batman throws himself into the fight, punching so hard that his shouts and the sound of his blows echo off the walls... and Bane just stands there. A horrifying Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
    • Subverted later, though, once Batman learns why Bane was able to No-Sell him (Bane's mask feeds him with a powerful anesthetic that meant he literally didn't feel it). Once he learns to attack Bane's weak point, Batman turns the tables and curb-stomps him.
  • In Easy Street, The Tramp whacks The Bully over head several times with his nightstick while The Bully's back is turned. The Bully doesn't even notice till he turns 'round.
  • In Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, a teenage boxer gets into a fistfight with undead killing machine Jason Voorhees. Even more ludicrously, he punches Jason multiple times in the face, y'know, the one covered by a hockey mask? After he tires out, Jason decapitates him with one punch.
  • In the film revamp of Get Smart, while Agent 86 is beating on a very big Indian henchman who doesn't feel a thing.
    Agent 86: This is just ridiculous!
  • Pure, flat out, Godzilla. Time after time, in his first movie the Japanese defense forces threw everything at him, and he just kept coming. He does it again in The Return of Godzilla to the Super X, and pretty much beats the shit out of Baragon in an almost literal Curb-Stomp Battle with Baragon in Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!.
    • He was also partially the victim of this trope in his second battle with Biollante in Godzilla vs. Biollante because she had so much mass that she was able to shrug off even his most powerful blasts without taking much damage.
    • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Godzilla in his Burning form is the opponent and Ghidorah is the participant during the Final Battle. After his wings are incinerated, Ghidorah desperately attempts to fend an approaching Burning Godzilla off by blasting all three heads' Gravity Beams at him in close range. Burning Godzilla No-Sells it, and what's more he almost seems to give Ghidorah a Slasher Smile in response; before he delivers the next three phases of Ghidorah's Rasputinian Death.
  • When Hellboy encounters Mr. Wink in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, he initially punches Mr. Wink in the abdomen several times, with no effect. He pauses a second, and Mr. Wink gives Hellboy a huge punch.
  • HOUBA! On the Trail of the Marsupilami:
    • Dan Geraldo attempts to stun Bolo (The Great Khali!) from behind with a metal tray. The Giant Mook only gets more annoyed.
      Dan: ...I regret this gesture...
    • Later, Pablito tries to knock out a big soldier from behind with a branch. The soldier barely notices, thinking it's a bug.
  • If Looks Could Kill: When Michael fights Zigesfeld, he lands quite a few direct punches to his face, which accomplishes absolutely nothing except to make him really angry. Zigesfeld then backhands him using his mechanical hand, and this literally sends Michael flying.
    Michael: Shit!
  • Indiana Jones
    • He does this in Raiders of the Lost Ark against a gigantic Nazi bruiser. How he finishes the fight is disturbing.
    • He has a similar encounter with the same actor, but wearing a turban, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Again, his body ends up horribly mangled.
    • Luckily for him, in the third film that actor's character missed the Zeppelin. They planned to have a fight in the third film, and from the looks of it they were going to subvert this trope by giving the guy a glass chin. (There's some footage in the "Stunts of Indiana Jones" special on the DVD.)
      • A variation occurs later in the film, when Col. Vogel and Indy fight atop the tank. Once Indy finally gains the upper hand, he smacks Vogel's head against the turret a few times... then he realizes the tank is about to roll off a cliff...
    • Subverted in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull where Indy punches the Russian henchman several times, only for him to manically grin through bloodied teethnote . Indy makes for one last punch — but the guy falls flat on his back to be carried off by giant ants.
  • A standard feature of many James Bond films, often requiring 007 to rely more on his wit than his brawn.
    • The best example is the series of encounters between Bond (Sean Connery) and the sumo-wrestler-sized martial arts expert Oddjob (Harold Sakata) in Goldfinger. Bond's futile attempts to harm Oddjob early in the movie set us up for their classic final encounter in the gold vaults at Fort Knox. Everything Bond throws at Oddjob is met with a wordless smile from the latter, who never so much as flinches. With an atomic weapon ticking off in the room, how will Bond manage to defeat an enemy seemingly immune to violence and pain? (Bond throws gold bars at him, to no effect, for crying out loud.)
    • Minor example in The Man with the Golden Gun, when Bond faces 2 sumo wrestlers. After beating one off, he gets carried by the other, and tries to beat him, to the beat of the soundtrack no less — but the guy doesn't even flinch. Bond has to give the poor wrestler a painful wedgie in order to escape.
    • Jaws seemed completely impervious to any kind of injury at all, which honestly makes you wonder why Bond ever tried to take him in close combat after the first time. Also not helped by Bond's insistence on punching Jaws in the mouth. The guy survives electrocution to the mouth, a shark encounter (the shark is the one who gets bitten by Jaws), falling out of a plane, and falling out of an exploding space station. Even though Jaws suffered some Flanderization in Moonraker, all Bond could do to stop him was to incite a Heel–Face Turn with a bit of psychological manipulation.
      Bond: Don't worry, they'll make it. It's only 100 miles back to Earth.
    • Another good example: Lippe from the beginning of Never Say Never Again. Bond's fight with him is very reminiscent of Oddjob's, but it's much longer. They tear up most of the clinic in the process. In the end, Lippe is blinded with...Bond's urine sample, which causes him to crash into a wall and impale his back with beakers full of chemicals.
    • Abstract example in The Living Daylights during the battle with Whitaker: Bond shoots his 8 bullets at Whitaker, just for all of them to be deflected by Whitaker's body armor. Whitaker then takes out a machine gun and rips apart the room.
      Whitaker: You've had your 8, now have my 80!
    • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond is ambushed by one of Draco's goons in Tracy's room after the spy attempts to rendezvous with her for the night. He smashes a chair against him and throws five hard punches, none of which get any response from the attacker.
    • Tomorrow Never Dies has two: one during Bond's infiltration of Carver's building, in which a minor mook just laughs after two punches to the face (but falls with the third), and Stamper, a straighter example whose feelings of pain and pleasure are reversed, with predictable results. The latter mechanic is also present in Renard from The World Is Not Enough, who can take pain and use more strength than normal due to his total lack of senses.
  • Happens to Arnold Schwarzenegger of all people in Jingle All the Way. Huge Santa shrugs off several punches to the stomach and a giant candy cane to the head (it manages to still be believable because Huge Santa is played by Paul Wight, better known as The Big Show, who makes Arnold look somewhat puny).
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Hobbits attacking a cave troll should have this effect, but the scene is hardly played for laughs. Most of Gimli's fights would look like this, except that he has an axe.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Incredible Hulk: The Hulk has just finished bashing and pummeling the Abomination into the ground (with the help of cars used as boxing gloves). The Abomination simply spits out a few teeth and asks, "Is that all you've got?"
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see Tony Stark's Hulkbuster armor in action as he tries (emphasis on tries) to use it to neutralize the Hulk by tanking his hits and returning the favor with what appears to be a jackhammer with a fist on it. After a flurry from the latter, the Hulk spits out a tooth and glares at Tony.
      Tony Stark: [meekly] I'm sorry.
    • Captain America: Civil War, when Clint attacks Vision. He punches Vision three times in the face, and hits him with a baton hard enough to snap it, and just stares at the baton as Vision is unharmed. Subverted, however, in that he never thought he stood a chance against Vision, and it was a Batman Gambit to force Wanda to help him.
    • Happens way too many times to count in Avengers: Infinity War when it comes to fighting Thanos. The stand-out example is at the start of the film when Hulk attacks Thanos on Loki's command (yes, really), throttles Thanos for a bit and manages to pin him to a wall... only for Thanos to regain his composure, grab the Hulk's arms and push back before proceeding to lay into him like a professional boxer. You know it's bad when the Hulk gives an Oh, Crap! expression.
    • In Avengers: Endgame, Thanos takes on Captain Marvel for possession of the new Infinity Gauntlet. He manages to slip it on but she grabs the hand he has it on. Thanos tries to use the power in it but it's not working, so he tries to headbutt her... and it has no effect, she doesn't even flinch and it was like he just hit his head against a steel wall. She then forces him to his knee and is set to clobber him, forcing Thanos to pull off the Power Stone from the gauntlet and punch her with it just to knock her away.
    • Spider-Man: No Way Home: In their first fight, the Green Goblin laughs off Peter Parker's punches before dominating him.
  • In The Mask, Ipkiss unleashes rapid punches in the Big Bad's face. He stops for a second, panting, and gasps "I'm winning!" in an amazed voice. The Big Bad immediately seizes the initiative.
  • In Master of the Flying Guillotine, one of the martial artists uses a special technique that renders him invulnerable. His smaller and quicker opponent lands blow after blow to no effect before finding his weak spot.
  • During a barfight in the movie Michael, one of the drunks hammers at Michael's gut, then punches him twice in the face. Mike doesn't even blink — but then, he's an archangel.
  • When Ivan Ooze breaks into the Command Center in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Alpha the robot tries to karate chop him — cue belch noise, Ivan electrocuting Alpha, and Zordon giving him a Pick on Someone Your Own Size.
  • In Necessary Roughness, when the football team is confronted in a bar by their undefeated rival-college team, Paul Blake (a middle-aged quarterback) delivers a one-two punch to the jaw of the rival team's star linebacker. The punches have no effect, and we hear someone off-camera (probably one of Paul's teammates) say "Oh, Lord!" just before a massive bar-fight breaks out.
  • In the movie version of Popeye starring Robin Williams, Olive Oyl's luckless younger brother Castor attempts to get money for his family by challenging a pro wrestler to a fight. He pounds on the guy for several minutes to no avail; before the wrestler smiles and pounds the crap out of him, necessitating Popeye to come in and finish the fight.
  • The Man in Black is the victim of this when he goes up against Fezzik (played by André the Giant) in The Princess Bride.
  • Tony Jaa faces a big guy who does this in The Protector. He eventually turns the tables with elephant bones applied to joints.
  • In The Revenge of Frankenstein, the thuggish janitor catches Karl breaking into Dr. Frankenstein's lab and starts tossing him around the lab. Karl is scared of him until the janitor punches him in the face and it has absolutely no effect. The is a rapid reversal of fortunes and when Frankenstein and Hans arrive at the lab, they find the lab trashed and the janitor dead.
  • In The Ribald Tales of Robin Hood, one of the Sheriff's men punches Little John multiple times in the head and then headbutts in the stomach to no effect. John then decks him with a single punch.
  • Rocky
    • Done dead serious in Rocky IV, when Apollo Creed fought — or tried to fight — Ivan Drago in an exhibition match. The first round and a half were like this for Rocky as well until he landed a brutal haymaker on Ivan Drago which changed momentum in the fight.
    • Rocky himself uses it to magnificent effect against Clubber Lang's punches in Rocky III.
  • In Rogue One Baze shoots an AT/ACT with a rocket launcher. The AT/ACT's head is knocked aside. Baze looks pleased. When the smoke clears, the head turns back, utterly undamaged. Baze's face falls as it opens fire.
  • Played straight and then hilariously subverted in Rumble in the Bronx. A furious Jackie punches a Giant Mook several times for roughing up Danny, a wheelchair-bound little boy, but is met with only a stern look and an "uh-uh" shake of the head from the goon. Danny then tosses Jackie a football helmet to smack him with; the goon gains a large bruise and a bloody lip, but is otherwise still defiantly standing his ground. Danny then tosses over a massive pipe wrench. The goon takes one look at what Jackie's about to try on him next and immediately decides that surrender would be a good idea.
  • Shaolin Martial Arts: The villain, Master Yu Pi often delivers this to his opponents with his high concentration of internal chi. The Curb-Stomp Battle he gives to the Shaolin practitioners consists of him standing upright as his challengers throws punches at him, only to realize in horror that all their punches have no effect.
  • Happened more than once in various Bud Spencer movies.
    • In at least one instance, Bud's character doesn't even notice that a mook is punching him in the back, and only takes annoyed action when the mook smashes a chair on him.
  • Spider-Man 3: In Spider-Man's first encounter with the Sandman, Spidey throws a punch that does nothing but get his hand stuck in Sandman's gut. Spider-Man outright says "Uh oh..." before receiving a Megaton Punch from Sandman.
  • Subverted in Star Trek Into Darkness: Cowboy Cop Kirk, still furious at the death of Admiral Pike, gets no results trying to sucker-punch John Harrison. Fortunately for everyone involved, Harrison has already surrendered (for reasons of his own) and just looks at Kirk in bemusement rather than throwing any punches back.
  • When the turtles first encounter Tokka and Rahzar in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Donatello winds up and baseball-swings his bo into Tokka's chest. The only damage is to Don's cool.
  • Done in the first 3 Ninjas film, with a particularly large mook, before the heroes remember about vulnerable spots and beat the crap out of him.
  • The protagonist of The Time Machine (2002) repeatedly punches the Morlok leader in the face, only to have him laugh it off.
  • In The War Wagon, the bartender smashes a bottle over Levi's head during the Bar Brawl. The bartender then gets an Oh, Crap! look on his face as an unfazed Levi turns around and floors him with a single punch.
  • The movie version of Wild Wild West has Jim West trying to fight the last of Loveless's modified henchmen, only to end up invoking this trope. He gets the crap kicked out of him, nearly gets thrown out of the Spider Tank, and is only saved by a quick application of I Surrender, Suckers.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: In a deleted scene, Wolverine fights Juggernaut for the first time and actually drives his claws through Juggernaut's arm. Juggie doesn't even flinch, triggering an immediate Oh, Crap! moment from Logan — that he lampshades after Juggernaut curb-stomps him. Later in the film, Logan fights a mutant who can regenerate lost body parts. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts with his claws, Logan decides to Take a Third Option and goes for a more traditional weak spot.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Logan goes mano-a-mano against Fred Dukes a.k.a. The Blob without using his claws to get information from him. Logan's glove-clad punches prove rather ineffective.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Quicksilver uses his Super Speed against Apocalypse, and the former gets in some good hits before the latter compensates for Peter's ability, which leaves the speedster helpless. Xavier, who had generated a psychic connection between himself and Maximoff, copies the young mutant's idea and initiates a Battle in the Center of the Mind against Apocalypse on his own terms. Professor X also delivers several punches before Apocalypse gets around Charles' telepathy as well.
  • In Yellowbeard, the title pirate is in a British prison and one of the guards attempts to discipline him by beating him with a stout wooden rod. Yellowbeard doesn't notice.

  • Towards the end of The Boy Who Was As Hard As Stone, this is exactly what happens to a gang of bullies, when their victim fights back.
  • Max the Silent from Andrew Vachss's Burke books has done a variant of this on occasion. For example, as recounted in Terminal, he has twice purposely let Muay Thai practitioners knee him twice — which, for those not in the know, is supposed to hurt like hell.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes has Holmes and Watson attempting to gain entry into Dr. Jekyll's mansion. Butler Poole refuses to let them in and when they won't go away, he has another, larger servant named Bradshaw make them leave. Holmes, being a boxer, tries to fight the guy... but Bradshaw doesn't even budge from a punch across the jaw. Holmes then tells Watson maybe they should do as Poole says and skedaddle.
  • Happens in The Fifth Elephant when Carrot takes on Wolfgang. Carrot can floor Detritus (who is made of rock) in a fair fight, which gives you an idea of just how tough Wolfgang is.
  • Millennium Series: The Girl Who Played with Fire has this when Paolo Roberto, boxing expert, fights a giant who has a medical condition which means he cannot feel pain and an exceptionally thick skeleton. The only time the giant actually shows any sign of feeling any of the blows was when Miriam kicked him in the balls... and Paolo hitting him in the head with a plank helped as well.
  • In Hitler's War, a character punches a bartender with "a blow that would have dented a Panzer". The bartender barely feels it, and punches back. Cue stunned reactions.
  • The Achilles Curse in the Greek Mythology series Percy Jackson and the Olympians is shown to invoke this trope, with a subversion in that it has a weakness being in the part that keeps the bearer mortal.
  • Turn Coat: At the climactic fight against the Naagloshii, Harry throws the most powerful magic he's ever cast at it, but doesn't have nearly enough power in him to do serious damage. Fortunately, Listens-To-Wind is powerful enough to beat it down until it runs away.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: White Gold Wielder has Thomas Covenant call forth a Sandgorgon, previously noted for unending, inhuman aggressiveness and unrelenting power, to breach the centuries-reinforced gates of Revelstone. This is played straight right up to a sharp aversion when it turns out the Sandgorgon's blows are building resonant force within the gates until they tear themselves asunder in what could only be termed an explosion.
  • Some bad guys try to beat up Niobe's bonny husband in With a Tangled Skein, because they want to rape her. Then they comment that it's like punching rock. Then he schools them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel is famous for this.
    • Especially with Season 4's Dragon, The Beast. He does it to Faith in "Salvage", and in "Apocalypse Nowish", he stands there and repeatedly soaks the best shots of almost the entire cast (Angel, Wesley, Gunn, and Lorne), effortlessly bouncing flurries of punches, axe strikes, sword blows, bullets, and shotgun slugs, before casually throwing them through walls or off buildings.
    • Also played with for humor, when Angel faces off vs. Hamilton in "Not Fade Away". After throwing his best haymaker into Hamilton's stomach and only hurting his own hand, Angel sheepishly asks, "Did that hurt at all?" Hamilton replies, "Lil' bit," and then lifts Angel off the ground by his neck. "But it's all part of the job." Hamilton was played by Adam Baldwin, the stereotypical Colonel Badass. The aforementioned is a surprise to anyone?
  • Arrow: Happens to Laurel in "Midnight City" as she tries to rescue the aldermen from Brick's van. She throws several punches at Brick which he shrugs off with no effect, before announcing that he doesn't like hurting women and casually tossing her aside.
  • The A-Team:
    • Various Mooks do this to B.A. Baracus. Only rarely do they realize that it's probably not a good idea to punch Mr. T in the face.
    • Though it's reversed in "The Maltese Cow" by the same Asian Giant Mook who can take Baracus's punch in the face without flinching. At first, anyway; Baracus eventually subverts this via Dynamic Entry and then punching him while he's dazed.
  • In an episode of Buck Rogers, Buck faces a man who had all his pain nerves removed so he is an Implacable Man. Trope ensues.
  • Implied in Deadliest Warrior with the Spetsnaz.
  • The Defenders: In the second episode, Danny Rand and Luke Cage come to blows with each other. After being thrown against a fence, Danny unleashes a combination of Kung-Fu fury on him... only for it to do nothing at all. Only averted at the end when Danny summons the Iron Fist.
  • Doctor Who: Happens in "The Curse of Peladon" when a soldier attempts to stop Grun, the King's Champion. He punches Grun several times to no effect.
  • Near the end of the fifth season of Eureka, Jo walks up to a mirror and looks at herself. Mirror!Jo reaches out and grabs her by the throat. Jo slams her in the face a few times and Mirror!Jo doesn't even flinch.
  • Family Matters: Frequently used with Urkel when trying to fight someone bigger and meaner than he was. Most prominently seen in:
    • Season 2's "Requiem For an Urkel," where Urkel boxed tormenter Wille Fuffner in a three-round bout. Urkel winds up with his "Urkel uppercut," but Fuffner literally smiles. Urkel has time only to utter part of his "whu-oh" before Fuffner lays into the nerd, prompting others to stand up for the hapless Urkel.
    • Season 5's "Psycho Twins," the series' petulant Pro Wrestling Episode where Urkel and Carl wind up having to stand in for one of Carl's friends, who is a professional wrestler, in a match against the WWF's Bushwackers. The trope kicks in when Urkel and Carl try, desperately, to get the upper hand and actually do OK... that is, until Luke learns that Carl is a police officer … and both he and Butch hate cops!!! The No-Sell, whuh-ohs and a severe beating soon follow.
  • In The Flash (2014) episode "Grodd Lives", Grodd doesn't even seem to notice Flash running around him over a dozen times punching away at him. Grodd then manages to grab him and throw him through a wall.
  • This happens a lot in Get Smart. Typically Max will childishly insult his foe before realizing how outmatched he is, leading to a meek "Listen, fella, I hope I wasn't out of line with that crack about..."
    • In an episode, Maxwell Smart is infiltrating a camp of desert nomads when he bumps into a massive guard. "Where I come from," Max says with confidence, "we have a saying. 'The bigger they are, the harder they fall.'" After firing off a judo chop, two body blows, and a punch to the jaw that have no effect, Max muses, "Haven't heard of that one, eh? Well, maybe you know this one. 'The quality of mercy is not strained...'"
    • A variant used is when Max tries repeatedly punching a big guy in the gut, and the opponent confidently withstands it. However, something happens or is done to distract him from bracing himself and Max takes advantage to knock him out with a hard punch.
  • Even Hercules fell victim to this in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys once, when he went up a really big guy who took a number of blows without much reaction. Herc throws in some lampshading ("Doesn't that hurt?"), but eventually beats the guy.
  • Happened to the chronically clueless Colonel Crittendon in Hogan's Heroes when he attempted to use "killer judo" on a large German officer.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Happens in Kamen Rider Kiva, with Dogga in his true form; attacks by most weaker Fangire would have this reaction.
    • Happens in Kamen Rider Decade when Decade gets into a fight with Den-O (who was, at the moment, in Ax Form). Twice.
    • This is the theme behind the Diamond Dopant in Kamen Rider Double, who's basically composed of indestructible diamond. Double normally has an Oh, Crap! reaction when his most powerful attacks don't even scratch him.
    • How Kamen Rider Fourze Cosmic States makes its debut. After immediately switching to the form for the first time, the Aries Zodiarts attempts a point-blank shot to the chest with his rod, only to be forced back. Not even using commander-level powers would save him from the Curb-Stomp Battle that ensued afterwards.
    • Happens in Kamen Rider Wizard when Wizard obtains his Infinity Style, Legion, a previously unstoppable Phantom, slashes away at him with his halberd. The 'Uh Oh' part comes when Legion breaks his halberd on Wizard's armor. Wizard doesn't even try to block, he stands there letting Legion attack him for a few moments before kicking his tail.
    • Kamen Rider Build uses this to establish Ryuuga Banjou as thinking with his fists. He punches Strong Smash couple of times before realizing it has no effect and the Smash is not happy with it at all.
      • As the show goes on, Banjou actually ends up starting a Running Gag of inverting the trope. A number of villains try to effortlessly tank his fists, only to get caught off-guard by his evergrowing power level and beaten into a pulp.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: In "Belly Speaker", a drunken Arthur Conan Doyle attempts to start a Bar Brawl. After punching out two drinkers, he is confronted by a huge black man. He delivers several punches to the face with no effect.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "The Last Day", Lister fires his bazookoid into Hudzen 10 at point-blank range: after a short pause, Hudzen just smirks and knocks him across the room.
  • Relic Hunter: In "The Emperor's Bride", Sydney disarms the woman who is holding her at gunpoint. The woman (who is quite the Amazon) then casually grabs her wrist. Sydney then throws several punches with her free hand which have no effect (except for gradually irritating her captor).
  • In Smallville, "Bizarro", Bizarro gets on the bad side of this when he walked into a beam of sunlight, not knowing it is his Kryptonite Factor. In the light, while he's still rather powerful, he's no match for Clark Kent.
  • Unusually, Stargate Atlantis has this happen to a Red Shirt Action Girl in the episode "The Prodigal".
  • Deliberately invoked by Daniel Jackson in an episode of Stargate SG-1. Spotting a communicator he needs while he's being tortured, Daniel punches the Jaffa holding him in the stomach, eliciting no reaction aside from a haymaker that knocks him over the table, letting him sneakily grab the communicator.
  • Star Trek has used this from its very first regular episode:
    • In "The Man Trap", Spock attacks the creature masquerading as Nancy Crater with three full-swing punches. She takes them all without blinking, then sends him flying with one blow.
    • Captain Kirk finds himself on the wrong side of this in "Arena" when he goes up against a Gorn whose hide is too resilient for Kirk to inflict any damage.
    • This also happens to Ensign Chekov in the heat of a barfight against Klingons in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles".
    • This happens to Lt. Worf so often, he's the namesake for three related tropes: The Worf Effect, The Worf Barrage, and Worf Had the Flu.
    • In "Conspiracy", none of the blows that LaForge, Worf, and Riker land on the alien-possessed Admiral Quinn faze him even slightly — note Riker's Oh, Crap! look after kicking Quinn in the face. Eventually, it takes resident Combat Medic Dr. Crusher gunning him down with a phaser before he's subdued.
    • There's the Deep Space Nine episode "Valiant", in which a cadet crew try a highly dangerous plan to destroy a Dominion Warship. They make the shot, explosions cover the outside of the enemy hull, cheer cheer cheer... and then the explosion clears, and they see the ship is totally unharmed. And then everybody dies.
  • In Super Sentai and Power Rangers, the really big-ass Megazords sometimes allow themselves to take a beating just for the hell of it, before pounding the Monster of the Week flat.
    • A good textbook example of this takes place in Gaoranger/Wild Force, when the Gaoking/Wild Force Megazord makes its debut against the Barbed Wire Org. The Org claws the machine and kicks it, then stops and realizes he isn't doing anything. In Wild Force, Barbed Wire Org heavily underestimates his opponent's abilities before the Megazord proceeds to lay waste to the monster.
    Barbed Wire Org: Oh! You think you're real tough, don't you?!
    Black Bison Ranger: You're gonna find out!
    • Sometimes the opposite happens, and the Monster of the Week is the one dishing out the pain while the Robos/Megazords can't even make a dent. For example (one that most Zyuranger and MMPR fans are familiar with); Dora Franke/Frankenstein Monster starts its kaiju fight with beating on Daizyujin/Megazord, then tanking its finishing sword strike, which just bounces harmlessly off his chest. Later, after a temporary retreat, Dragon Caesar/Dragonzord joins Daizyujin/the Megazord and gets picked up by the tail and thrown into Daizyujin/the Megazord. Then they form Gouryujin/Dragonzord Battle Mode, who still gets pounded. The Rangers then use the mighty Ranger Slingers (not seen in MMPR) which do nothing but break his bolt and chain weapon. They use the Dragon Antler/Power Staff finisher on Dora Franke/Frankenstein Monster. In MMPR, only then is Frankenstein Monster defeated. But in Zyuranger, all he does is use the energy to power up into Zombie Franke (MMPR made Dora Franke and Zombie Franke different characters, as Frankenstein Monster and Mutitus, respectively; in Zyuranger, Zombie Franke is a new form of Dora Franke). Then Zombie Franke/Mutitus starts manhandling Daizyujin/the Megazord again, and things get worse when Great Satan/Lokar lends his power to transform Zombie Franke/Mutitus him into Satan Franke/Mutitus' super form. The tables only turn when the Rangers assemble Zyutei Daizyujin/Mega Dragonzord, and even then Satan Franke/Mutitus doesn't go down easily until they use the Empire Attack/Full Power Z-Sphere to disintegrate him in a bright flash of light.
  • Subverted in VR Troopers when JB used his Laser Lance attack, only for Mechanoid to No-Sell the impalement and initial slashing, laughing derisively at his weapon, ready to resume his attacks when it seemed JB's lance was about to run out of juice; fortunately, JB had a little extra power as he continued slashing. Mechanoid had an Oh, Crap! moment as he kept saying "Woah! Woah! Woah!" knowing he was about to be defeated.
    • Played straight with Fanbot, who was able to No-Sell the Laser Lance impalement and slashing (perhaps because he'd sucked up Knightmare's significant power beforehand); JB nearly got shredded, and only got away by impaling Fanbot at point-blank range with the Laser Lance.
  • The Ultra Series have a few examples, when a monster turns out stronger than expected and No-Sell all of the Ultra's attacks.
    • The original Ultraman have the titular character's fight against Skydon, a heavily armored monster who doesn't even flinch when Ultraman leaps on it's back and pummels it. Then Ultraman tries lifting Skydon to slam him... only to realize Skydon is too heavy to lift as the monster simply falls on Ultraman in a Negated Moment of Awesome. There's also the final episode when Ultraman tries fighting Zetton - keyword being, tries.
    • Series/Ultraseven}} have two different Mechanical Monsters, King Joe and Crazygon, both of them too powerful for Ultraseven to pummel. Ultraseven's attempts to fistfight them leads to this trope.
    • Return of Ultraman have Ultraman Jack facing Kodaigon, a Living Statue monster who simply stood there as Jack repeatedly punches it, to no effect. Jack even rub his wrists after punching at one point.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: Season 5's "Warriors," where a despot tries to perfect a genetically enhanced superhuman so he can clone and create an entire army of them to stage a hostile takeover of the world, the villain and his sidekick try to kidnap the woman who is using the same genetic formula (but for good). Walker and Trivette arrive to try to foil the kidnapping and –- in a twist of this trope -– try every kick and punch in their arsenal, and also fire their entire supply of ammunition into the muscleman's body … to no effect. Just before they can decide what to do next, the muscleman beats up Walker and Trivette and helps his boss make a getaway.
  • Wonder Woman: In "Going, Going, Gone", Wonder Woman toys with a Bruce Lee Clone. She gives him an opening at her abs which he gleefully accepts. Then he realizes that his hits didn't hurt her or even make her take a step back. Oh, Crap!!
  • The Wonder Years: The Season 2 episode "Fate" saw Kevin attempt to stand up to a school bully, Eddie, and defend Winnie's honor. He lands at least two haymakers ... which have no effect. Unfortunately for Kevin, Eddie's punches are far more effective.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Arthurian Legend: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has a version of this. The Green Knight challenges Arthur's Knights to a test. Whomever accepts gets to make one attack on the Green Knight, and he will not resist. The condition being that the Green Knight will be able to do the same a year and a day from that day. Sir Gawain steps up and cuts the Green Knight's head off. The Green Knight then picks it back up and says he'll see Sir Gawain in a year and a day, gets back on his horse, and rides off.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A bread-and-butter part of professional wrestling, and has been used by both faces and heels.
    • As used by faces, it is often used when in the midst of a comeback after several minutes of being dominated by his heel opponent. Often the heel will back off but be caught before he can land a sucker punch.
    • When used by a heel, his hapless opponent will try to land several punches before realizing the mess he found himself in ... and before he can beg off, he'll get the snot kicked out of him. This routine is used especially by Wrestling Monsters to make them appear unstoppable and feared.
  • Hulk Hogan made himself rich off this routine. The most common way, of course, was after he kicked out of an opponent's pinfall attempt after hitting his finisher; his opponent would land several punches but Hogan would blow them off, before the heel would try to beg for mercy and throw another punch (which would invariably be blocked and lead to Hogan's finishing sequence, or try an illegal tactic ... which would be foiled or also have no effect (and the heel begging off) and Hogan then going into his finishing routine.

    On occasion, when the storyline dictated this, Hogan was on the reverse end of this, especially when a fearsome new heel wrestler was debuting and challenging Hogan in their first televised confrontation. This formula — used with Zeus (to capitalize on the then-new No Holds Barred movie starring Hogan and Tiny Lister) and The Undertaker — saw Hogan trying to land a few punches to make the new heel go away, but the heel would be the one who would smile and Hogan would sell concern and fear ... just before he got his ass kicked. (All, of course, to sell tickets to future matches.)
  • Kane and The Undertaker (who would typically literally catch their opponents' third or fourth punch in their own hand before striking back), Sting, Eugene and Santino Marella. May be employed by a Giant Mook or Kung Fu-Proof Mook. Compare The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort; when the character who does this starts actually blocking or evading for real, you know the attacker can really hurt him.
  • Subverted in Ayako Hamada's inevitable match with Aja Kong in Arsion. Kong takes Hamada's strikes with little reaction before throwing her to the mat and kicking her. Hamada cries out in pain...then smiles. Still, it took Hamada about two years to figure out how to beat her.
  • Ric Flair incorporated a version of this on the receiving end whenever he was a heel. Flair combined his signature chops and punches on a babyface until realizing the chops and punches had no effect. Flair inevitably backed up and begged the face for mercy, and the face began his comeback.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Carlie pounds on Daigo to get him to back off from Hyeon. Her elation at breaking his nose with a punch is short-lived as it fixes itself, followed by a smiling Daigo taking the offensive against her.

  • Athletes in combat sports such as boxing and Mixed Martial Arts sometimes offer free shots to their opponents to intimidate them. This is generally considered to be poor strategy, since even if the resulting blow doesn't do much damage, your opponent still gets points for free shots.
    • Unless your name is Ricardo Mayorga. (And as long as you're not fighting Tito Trinidad, who hit Mayorga hard enough that even Mayorga was forced to respect Tito's power.) Mayorga made it a point to, at least once in each of his big fights, give his opponent free shots at him, which Mayorga usually responded to with a smile or by mocking the opponent afterwards. While Mayorga often lost these fights, he was never KO'd by the wide open shots he allowed his opponents.
    • Edison Miranda hilariously showed why, unless you're Mayorga, you shouldn't try to do this. In his fight with Lucian Bute, he took a shot and put his hands on his hips, mugging for the crowd. Bute was not amused. The next punch Bute landed was a titanic left uppercut that knocked Miranda out. Hilarious.
    • Nate Campbell tried to pull this one too, and it turned into one of the ultimate backfires in boxing history. Campbel badly hurt his opponent Robbie Peden with a nasty body shot, and Peden spent the next 30 seconds or so frantically dodging Campbell while he tried to recover. Peden finally recovered enough to answer back with a punch and Campbell responded by standing straight up with arms down at his sides, daring Peden to hit him again. Peden missed a pair of jabs, and Campbell continued to stand there, wide open. Peden gave him a look as if to say "All right, you asked for it", and knocked Campbell out with a single punch.
    • During K1 2001 World Grand Prix Mark Hunt and Ray Sefo showed what it looks like when both fighters use this strategy at the same time. Guess what country they come from.
  • Muhammad Ali saying "That all you got, George?" in the eighth round of the Rumble in the Jungle, then proceeding to knock George Foreman out. In a later interview, Foreman said "When he said that, I was like 'yup, that's all I got.' I knew I was in trouble." This was where Ali famously used the Rope-a-dope strategy, a kind of one-man Defensive Feint Trap that suckered Foreman into using up all his energy, while Ali stayed relatively undamaged by using the slack of the ropes to dissipate the punches' power.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Can happen in various Assassin's Creed games with stronger mooks if you don't parry or use a ranged attack. In III and IV, they'll simply catch your sword hand, look you in the eye, and headbutt you.
  • The Batman: Arkham Series has "Beatdowns", a move in which Batman (Or anybody else) confuses an enemy with his cape (or with something similar), and then proceeds to punch them in this fashion. The move has been part of the series from Arkham City onwards.
    • Batman: Arkham City invokes this trope with the lieutenants. If you're not careful to flip over their heads after getting in your half-dozen ineffectual punches, they'll smack you down with one hit. There are also enemies wearing body armor, which require either a beatdown, a special move or a ground takedown to go down.
    • Body armor enemies return in Batman: Arkham Origins, and there are enemies similar to lieutenants. In the ending, Batman unleashes three beatdowns to Joker in the Blackgate prison chapel.
    • In Batman: Arkham Knight the armored henchmen and lieutenants are combined, and the end result is a larger-than-average thug with very fast reflexes, very high damage, and they need to be taken down with either an beatdown or a special move (Militia variants require two). In predator, they carry miniguns, and need either a very long beatdown to go down, or have to be tricked to activate an instant K.O trap. In addition, fear takedowns don't work on them in either scenario. And if you take out a lieutenant before the rest of the thugs, it makes so much noise that your position is immediately blown.
  • A quite unnerving one occurs in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift where the final boss, after you have defeated him, comments that the fight was "a good warmup"... Yes, it's you, the player, who gets the "Uh-oh" line.
  • A Good Bad Bug in City of Heroes would occasionally have a squad of mooks spawn after a mission who would chase the player down across the entire zone until the player left or they were defeated. The bug was that occasionally the spawned mob wouldn't be level-appropriate, as they were supposed to be, but level 1 or 2, even when the player would be at levels 20+. The programming for these mobs meant the "chase hero down and fight them" rule overruled the normal "avoid starting fights with players X-number of levels higher" rule, resulting in the hilarious sight of a squad of enemies earnestly blasting away with all their powers at a player who could just stand around and completely ignore them.
  • The intro movie to DC Universe Online has Superman powered up enough to pull this on Black Freaking Adam.
  • In Destiny there is a Grimoire card detailing a Titan punching the Anomaly on the Crucible map 'Anomaly' in an attempt to open it and see what's inside. 24 hours later, down to the second, the AI Warmind Rasputin drops a satellite on her in retaliation.
  • Donkey Kong Country
    • Krusha in Donkey Kong Country laughs off almost any attack, and grey ones laugh off every attack aside from barrels.
    • Kruncha from the second game responds to being jumped on or spun into by roaring, turning red, moving faster, and killing your character just from touching him.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Hercule's "Present for You" attack begins with him punching his enemy... and doing zero damage. He then panics and offers them a video game (with a concealed bomb in it) as a peace offering. His throw also involves ineffectively punching his enemy rapidly, hopping back and then attempting to hit his enemy with a flying kick, only to be effortlessly swatted high offscreen... and then promptly falling on his enemy.
  • In God Hand when Gene flashes back to his first meeting with Olivia and the Three Evil Stooges, he attempts to take on Bruce by punching him a number of times. They don't faze Bruce, and he proceeds to knock Gene to the ground while telling a joke.
  • In Halo 3, Sergeant Johnson confronts a Brute Chieftain, and punches him in the chest. The Brute doesn't even react, and then calmly knees him in the torso and hurls him off his feet.
  • This trope sums up most of Norman Jayden's fight with Mad Jack in Heavy Rain. Jayden throws punches (and pieces of scrap metal!) left and right at him, but Mad Jack either dodges or lets them bounce off of him harmlessly. Note that this happens even if you time the button presses correctly.
  • In a flashback scene in Mega Man X4, Sigma fights Zero, who was a Maverick at the time, and seemed to be getting the upper hand, until Zero cuts off Sigma's arm then proceeds to do a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on him. Sigma only wins when his head crystal glows and gives him a headache, causing Sigma to punch out Zero and knock him unconscious.
  • Done in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance with Senator Armstrong. During the second phase of the fight, when Raiden is reduced to 0.1% health he runs up to the boss and proceeds to deliver some Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs on the boss, who simply stands there and takes it. After a brief pause, in which Armstrong brushes off his chest and adjusts his glasses, Raiden delivers yet another round of punches to no avail, causing him to scream "Why Won't You Die?!". While Armstrong does take damage from it, it's mostly Scratch Damage that barely takes off 10% of his health. note 
  • Metroid Dread:
    • In the opening cutscene, Samus encounters Raven Beak, a hostile Chozo in full Power Armor like herself. They have a skirmish, but none of Samus's attacks seem to register. Finally, she manages to shoot him in the face with a Super Missile... which puts a small crack his helmet. At which point Raven Beak decides to get serious...
    • When Samus first encounters an EMMI, she tries firing a few blasts and then a missile at its apparent weak point. When none of her attacks even scuff its armor, she turns and books it.
  • In Super Punch-Out!! the final boss, Nick Bruiser, lets himself be hit without defending for a while. While he suffers some superficial damage, he doesn't flinch at all; problem is, the more he's hit during that phase, the stronger he gets, which is no good when he starts moving. Attacking him like this makes him barely take 10-15% of damage, while allowing him take a whooping third of the player's lifebar with each blow.
  • Daigo's Team-Up assist in the Rival Schools games starts off with this. He dives down to protect his partner, while the opponent takes a few shots at him. Daigo absorbs the punches without so much as flinching before he responds with a Megaton Punch to the stunned opponent to finish it off.
  • In Shenmue II, Ren attacks Dou Niu with a few kicks to the side, and Dou Niu then grabs Ren's leg with one hand. Ren then begins to punch Dou Niu in the chest, at which point Dou Niu grabs Ren by the neck with his other hand. Dou Niu never flinches through the whole thing.
  • Most players expect only The Spiny to be invulnerable to stomping, for obvious reasons. Wigglers are one of the Mooks in the Marioverse that look particularly vulnerable to stomping, being just an oversized caterpillar. But they will instead shrug it off and literally Turn Red. Yes, even your reliable Goomba Stomp doesn't do anything.
  • Kazuma Kiryu, of the Yakuza series, is frequently on the receiving end of Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh.. moments in a somewhat rare instance of the trope being invoked in favor of the player. In one cutscene in Yakuza 2, a thug smashes a wine bottle across the back of his head. Kazuma doesn't even flinch, and the thug looks very frightened in the few seconds before Kazuma turns around and hurls him over a railing. Even better, this can happen in gameplay too. With the right upgrades, when Kazuma is in HEAT mode, enemy attacks won't cause him to recoil or fall down.
    • Yakuza: Like a Dragon; the intro to the Climax Boss Tendo opens with Ichiban doing a flying dropkick off his chest followed by a series of gut punches. Tendo doesn't even flinch before sending Ichiban flying with a Megaton Punch. And of course, Ichiban's fight against Kiryu earlier in the game opens with him putting his full strength into a punch to Kiryu's head, and it doesn't even ruffle his hair.

    Web Animation 
  • The DEATH BATTLE! between Iron Man and Lex Luthor has Tony realizing how much stronger Lex's Warsuit is in comparison to his Model 13 Iron Man armor when Luthor simply laughs off his flurry of punches while gloating.
    • Death Battle would later deconstruct this trope with the above mentioned Alucard for his fight with DIO; The biggest reasons Alucard could get away with employing this were his healing factor, which relied on the literal millions of souls he accumulated over his unlife as a Vampire, and the fact that he was the strongest and fastest Vampire in Hellsing. Thanks to DIO's own speed and power eclipsing Alucard's and most if not all of the Bird of Hermes' arsenal being useless against him, he could wear out that healing factor in a reasonable amount of time, with Alucard releasing Level 0 only making it easier for the JoJo Vampire to do so.
  • In the RWBY episode "Mountain Glenn", Ruby falls into an underground area and loses her weapon. When she encounters two mooks, she tries to punch them, but they easily shrug them off and then knock her unconscious.

    Web Comics 
  • Captain Gamer OOC makes use of this in Strip #4... until the camera pulls out to reveal that Guts Man only has a single point of energy left.
  • In Dominic Deegan: Oracle For Hire, Brett Taggerty, a buff jock hopped up on White Magic, is interrupted from beating up a smaller man by Rachel Hart. Taggerty angrily cries out "How about I break your face instead?" and punches at Hart's face with a strong right. The punch only break's Taggerty's hand, to which Hart replies "I break things with my face."
  • Everyday Heroes:
    • Iron Jane's first attack on Mr. Mighty turns into the Agony of the Feet; her next attempt fared no better.
    • Prayut hurts his hand when he punches Summer Mighty, who has the same super toughness as her father.
  • In Fite!, King Frogera unleashes a flurry of claw swipes on Lucco, then looks up to see that Lucco is now giant. Lucco then effortlessly picks King Frogera up and eats him.
  • Flaky Pastry: A variation has Nitrine in her power armor throwing a couple of effective punches... until the power ran out in 30 seconds and the suit froze up. She turns it into a Chekhov's Gun later.
  • One-Punch Man: This happens all the time to Saitama, the series protagonist, as he's basically indestructible and so he often lets his enemies wail on him while looking bored until he finally decides to hit back and end the fight in one punch.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • This happens to Miko Miyazaki when she attacks the Monster in the Darkness in strip #374, including the obligatory "That tickles!" Note that the Monster wasn't so much retaliating as wanting to play a game... specifically, "Who hits the lightest?" Means, its hit sends her flying whilst it held back as much as it could... She and her horse went through a brick wall and landed miles away. Unless you count her frustrated "Tickles!?", she never actually has time for an "uh oh". The Monster simply says "My turn first" and the hit comes while she is still talking to herself/her horse.
    • And again when Belkar and Haley encounter the Monster. Belkar attacks it with a flurry of stabs... and the Monster doesn't even notice Belkar attacking it. The two of them promptly decide to run away as fast as they possibly can.
    • And again in the arena fight between Roy and Thog. When Thog enters a rage and disarms Roy, Roy (while prone and extremely wounded) punches Thog a few times in an act of defiance. Thog doesn't even flinch, and catches Roy's third punch.
  • Sleepless Domain: This occurs during the fight with the amorphous monster in Chapter 8. Heartful Punch dodges its long, branching arms and gets in close to land a solid punch on the monster, but because it lacks a solid physical form, her punch doesn't have much effect. She gets out of the way just in time to avoid getting grabbed by the monster's arms.
    Undine: How's it going with this thing?
    Heartful Punch: Annoyingly. He's got one of those... nonspecific physical forms? Which means it's pretty punch-resistant.
  • In Zebra Girl, the second time the protagonists meet Professor Broadshoulders, Jack punches him in the jaw. Broadshoulders responds with a stern glare, and Jack replies: "I'm sorry."

    Web Original 
  • In the Whateley Universe, Chaka, on her first day at Whateley Academy gets into it with Hippolyta, a six-foot tall amazon. Chaka lays the smackdown with a mammoth punch to Hippolyta's gut. Nothing. A little too late, Chaka realizes she's trying to punch someone who could probably stop a LAWS rocket with her abs.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "To Steal an Ant-Man" has an unusual example in that not only is it a villain who's throwing the ineffectual punches, he's doing so against somebody smaller than him. Of course, the giant is just a random thug and the "smaller" guy is the still-huge and Nigh-Invulnerable Luke Cage.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • Terry gets this treatment from his generation's equivalent of Bane.
    • Later, in "Out of the Past", he gets it once again from one of Ra's Al Ghul's henchmen while he isn't wearing the Batsuit. Then Bruce, younger thanks to a Lazarus Pit punches the guy with more success.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Before Terry, Bruce went through this while fighting one of Scarface's goons.
    • It also happened in "The Last Laugh" when the Joker had a giant robot clown called Captain Clown. Batman clearly didn't know it was a robot at first, and hurt his hand trying to punch it. (Later, even knocking it upside the head with a crowbar barely slowed it down; he had to knock it into a car compactor to finally destroy it.)
  • Invincible: A gruesome example occurs during Omni-Man's attack on the Guardians of the Globe with Red Rush. The speedster tries rushing the murderous superhero with a flurry of speed-blitzed punches only to be grabbed. He frantically attempts to strike Omni-Man with hundreds of desperate strikes, to the point of bloodying and breaking his fingers, before his head is violently crushed. Particularly horrifying in that Red Rush has accelerated perception of time, so he felt every agonizing microsecond of his death.
  • Ben 10:
    • Ben's first encounter with Vilgax had the alien warlord effortlessly shrugging off Ben's attacks. When Diamondhead breaks his fists (Literally) punching Vilgax...
      Ben: Oh, man! I guess I shoulda seen that coming...
    • In the Ben 10: Omniverse episode "Oh Mother, Where Art Thou", the Dittos experience this against the mature Pretty Boy clones.
      Ditto #1: Take this! And this! And some of that! (Pretty Boy clone doesn't even flinch)
      Ditto #2: I think he's taking it a little too well...
  • Riley does this to gargantuan implacable boy Butch Magnus Milosevic on The Boondocks. It doesn't work out for him at all.
  • In Castlevania (2017), even though Trevor has a holy whip that's made for the purpose of killing Dracula, he goes for swinging his fists at the Lord of Darkness, who reacts like this is not the first generation to try this.
    Dracula: Ah, you must be the Belmont.
  • Any time Darkwing Duck tries to use his martial arts on a bigger and stronger opponent, it goes something like this. He never learns.
  • Happens in a Donald Duck cartoon in a unique way: Donald enters a boxing match and, at the sound of the bell, comes out swinging punches. However, he is revealed to be ineffectually hitting the ref. The ref then points him at his opponent, who is roughly on par with a Greek Titan in terms of size and strength compared to Donald.
  • Donkey Kong suffered this in the Donkey Kong Country cartoon after having a curse placed on him that removed his strength. He went up against Krusha and rained a volley of punches onto the burly Kremling's stomach. Krusha's response was a sarcastic "Oooo, you're tickling me".
  • In one Freakazoid! episode, the eponymous hero throws himself at the villain Guitierrez and attempts to take him down then, after a few seconds of fruitless struggle, tries tickling him. Guitierrez doesn't even flinch. Finally, Freakazoid looks up at him and says "You're not liking any of this, are you?" just before the villain throws him away.
  • Frisky Dingo's Killface actually exclaims, "Punch, punch, punch!" when attacking Antagone, and when he sees she isn't fazed at all he says, "Nothing?"
  • In Gravity Falls episode "Fight Fighters", Dipper finds himself fighting the super-powered Ryu look-alike Rumble McSkirmish. Dipper manages to land a single uppercut...which only lowers Rumble's health bar by 0.5%.
    Dipper: Oh no.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • In the episode "Grudge Match", FOUR of the DC Animated Universe's toughest heroines basically throw the kitchen sink at Wonder Woman, even pinning her down — for about two seconds. She straightens up effortlessly, and everyone else is groaning after they land. Diana was tougher under mind control than she ever was in regular episodes — possibly as a result of her holding back most of the time so as not to unintentionally kill someone.
    • Diana herself ends up getting the short end of the stick in a fist-fight with Mongul in "For the Man Who Has Everything". He barely registers her blows. She hurts her own hands. In all fairness, Mongul is supposed to be tougher and stronger than Superman.
    • This also happens to Downpour when he tries to punch Aquaman. Aquaman then easily smacks him down.
      Aquaman: "King of the Seas," remember?
    • Superman himself is on the receiving end of this when fighting Doomsday. After everything he throws at Doomsday does nothing and Doomsday himself has about killed Superman, Supes tries lobotomizing him with his heat vision as a move of pure desperation. Unfortunately for him, Doomsday had already become immune to this. Only a timely eruption and quick thinking on Superman's part was able to save him.
  • In a Book 2 episode of The Legend of Korra, Bumi aggressively pummels a dark spirit with a flurry of punches. After delivering it an uppercut, the spirit only makes an aggravated look at him, prompting Bumi to smile awkwardly at it while sweating profusely before it punches him back.
  • Happens to Daffy Duck on several Looney Tunes shorts.
    • Also occurs to Bugs Bunny in "Bunny Hugged", where all his wrestling locks elicit from his opponent are some amused yawns.
    • Also happens in the Egghead cartoon, "Count Me Out" where Egghead punches his opponent as much as possible without him flinching, to which he exclaims, "It's unbelievable".
  • A giant cat takes a running start with his fist out towards Mighty Mouse in "The Cat's Tale." All his blow lands is a painful case of accordion arm.
  • Popeye:
    • In "Be Kind to Aminals", Popeye stops Bluto from punching his horse by eating some spinach and standing in front of the horse to take the blow. The effects are like Bluto punching a metal statue until he gets exhausted.
    • In the Boxing Episode "Out to Punch", once he gets up after eating spinach after being momentarily defeated due to having Cement Shoes, Popeye advances Implacable Man-style towards Bluto. Bluto repeatedly punches his face to no effect, even damaging his boxing gloves in the process.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): For the most part of an episode, this happens repeatedly to the girls against a very Godzilla-esque monster, who just shrugs off all their attacks and systematically punts them into the ground. Until Bubbles politely asks it to leave.
  • Subverted in ReBoot: Near the end of the third season finale when Matrix (Enzo) returns to Mainframe to free the system from Megabyte. After mocking the sprite and challenging him to "fight like a real sprite", Megabyte gives Matrix one free punch. Matrix sends the virus flying, who is suitably astonished at the dent in his chest. Played straight earlier, when Bob tried to stall Gigabyte while Mainframe shut down. It didn't work out too well.
  • Happens to Samurai Jack in his battle against The Guardian, once the combat devolves into fisticuffs. Jack socks The Guardian in the jaw four times; The Guardian simply grins it off, grabs Jack's arm and punches him across the room.
  • Same thing happens to Scooby-Doo as he attempts to throw a punch to the gut of the mummy ("Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too"). His karate chops are even less effective.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons episode The Homer They Fall, where Homer wins boxing matches simply by taking hits until his opponents get tired due to him being Made of Iron, then Cherry Tapping them for the win. Unfortunately, this is inverted when he goes up against an actual professional boxer who doesn't get tired as easily.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Happens when SpongeBob gets repeatedly punched by Flats but doesn't feel anything. Subverted, as Flats keeps trying until he gets exhausted days later.
  • This happens in an episode of Star Wars: Clone Wars, albeit with a lightsaber instead of fists: Obi-Wan is fighting Durge, a giant alien bounty hunter, and manages to stab him in the chest. Durge looks down, begins to laugh, and proceeds to beat the crap out of Obi-Wan.
  • In an episode of Superman: The Animated Series, Luminus creates a device that turns the light of the sun red, in order to dampen Superman's powers. At the climax the machine gets destroyed, so he starts punching Superman in desperation. He manages to land the first few punches, but Supes' strength returns too quickly, and he stops the last one with his palm, crushing Luminus' fist.
  • Solomon does this towards Octus in his Mr. Lunis-disguise in Sym-Bionic Titan, not realizing at first that he's a robot.
  • Teen Titans: Happens a couple times between Robin and Slade in Season 4, thanks to Slade's newfound demonic powers. Robin lays a series of hard punches and kicks to Slade, who just contorts back into an upright position and cracks his neck, completely unfazed. Cue Robin's Oh, Crap! expression and Slade flinging him across the block.
  • The Monarch invokes this trope in The Venture Brothers episode Showdown at Cremation Creek Part 2 when he attacks Klaus Nomi but fails due to his "plastic armor".
  • Wakfu:
    • In Episode 22 of Season 1, at the start of the fight against Rubilax, it seems at first that Sadlygrove has the upper hand, raining blows on the Shushu. But Rubilax just laughs it off, complains that it tickles... before starting to grow and revealing that the harder he's hit, the bigger he gets.
      Rubilax: Oh, yeah, it's always a bit surprising the first time.
    • In Episode 9 of Season 2, Sadlygrove punches Shushu General Anathar as hard as he can and realizes too late that Anathar has just copied Rubilax's power.
  • Yin Yang Yo!: It says something about the title of Night Master when even a joke of a villain like Ultimoose can become powerful enough to shrug off the hero's attacks from it. It takes a surprise hit from Yang's Paws of Pain to even make him flinch; everything else Yang musters can't even faze him.
    Yang: This isn't doing much, is it?
    Ultimoose: It's amusing me!
  • In the Young Justice episode "Darkest", Impulse delivers a flurry of punches to Tommy Terror's face. Tommy doesn't even flinch and Impulse ends up hurting his own hands.

    Real Life 
  • Part of Harry Houdini's stage act, but eventually led to his appendix bursting and his death. Though it's a bit more complicated: Houdini was already in the early stages of appendicitis when he took the blow. He simply chalked the pain in his abdomen up to getting punched (without having adequate time to prepare for the blow) and didn't seek medical attention until it was too late.
  • Several fighter aircraft, like the F4F Wildcat, the F6F Hellcat, and the A-10 Warthog, are renowned for their toughness and embody this trope. During the Pacific War, the Wildcat was feared by Japanese pilots for its ability to absorb hundreds and hundreds of rounds and still stay in the fight.


Video Example(s):


Max vs. "Frankie"

The Trope Maker demonstrates what happens when you insult your opponent before realizing they're too tough to punch out.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / PunchPunchPunchUhOh

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