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Punch Spin Gape

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Two characters are in a heated argument. Inevitably, they'll get into a fight. One character throws a punch that spins the other character's entire body around in a circle, usually making the punched character stare right into the camera for a moment, with a flabbergasted look on their face. Usually the punch floors the second character in one hit, though it is rarely a knockout punch.

This is often the consequence of a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! punch.



  • Rossiu from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann gets punched like this so hard at one point, his hairband bursts in two.
  • Rock Lee did this to Gaara in the Naruto anime and manga. Guess who it got worse for afterwards?


  • Back to the Future
  • In Constantine, this is how Constantine introduces former angel Gabriel to their newly-imposed humanity.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, a version of this happens with slaps instead of punches, and is a Running Gag directed at Jack Sparrow.
  • Hi is seated in a car, but still turns and flashes the camera a dumbstruck look when Ed decks him one in Raising Arizona.
  • Phil Connors does this to Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day. In the DVD commentary, the director claims that all he had planned was a punch followed by a stunned/surprised reaction from Ryerson; actor Stephen Tobolowski (who played Ryerson) decided to turn it into a full-on, stare-in-the-camera spin-and-fall after the punch.
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  • Something of this sort happens in the movie Sabrina (both the original and the remake with Harrison Ford) where Linus Larrabee punches his brother David after he badmouths the girl. Of course, this is all a Batman Gambit to make Linus express his true feelings, so the reaction is less shock and more "I Knew It!!"
  • A gunshot instead of a punch, but this happens to Frank in Once Upon a Time in the West.
  • It's brief but in Sin City, one of Marv's first punches to an advancing cop involves this.
  • Weirdly subverted during a bar brawl in Victor/Victoria. A dancer gets punched whil wearing a mask on the back of his head and it's the mask that ends up toward camera.


  • Mackenzie Calhoun does this to Admiral Jellico in Star Trek: New Frontier. Multiple times.
  • Magrat Garlick does this to a castle guard in Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. A lot of jewelry on her hand probably increases her punching power.
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  • Vimes does this to Lupine Wonse in Guards! Guards!

Live-Action TV

  • Scrubs:
    • Dr. Cox on executes one on Dr. Kelso at one point.
    • One episode had a running gag where Turk and Carla had a way of faking one of these (one person pulls their punch, the other turns their head and claps to make a slapping sound, a trick used in theater).
  • Having this happen is a Running Gag on My Name Is Earl.
  • Used in Police Squad!. Memorable because of the dialogue between the KOed boxer and his manager.
  • Shidou Mika of Chou Sei Shin Gransazer pulls this on Tenma when they first meet, with a roundhouse kick. This gets spun into an Actor Allusion two seasons later, when Mika's actress does the exact same thing to Takuto of Chou Sei Kantai Sazer X.
  • Nick does this to Stephen late in season 2 of Primeval.
  • in Doctor Who, Rory to the Doctor at the beginning of "The Big Bang".


  • Truth in Television: This is a standard way to fake a punch, and has been used for probably hundreds of years in theatre.

Video Games


Western Animation


Example of: