Follow TV Tropes


Recoiled Across the Room

Go To

Blown Across the Room doesn't happen in Real Life, thanks to the Third Law of Motion (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). So a gun powerful enough to send a body flying would send the shooter flying an equal or greater distance (since the bullet would be slowed by atmospheric friction before hitting its target). But what if the gun was powerful enough, firing a sufficiently large and fast slug, to blow someone across the room? Then the shooter would go flying as well. That's this trope, when a firearm or similar weapon is powerful enough to knock the person firing it down, or actually hurl them through the air.

Basically, it's Blown Across the Room meets Surprisingly Realistic Outcome. Subtrope of Law of Inverse Recoil. Related to BFG through Rule of Cool, and Toon Physics through Rule of Funny. The Invoked version is Recoil Boost, defied by Anchored Attack Stance. Contrast Weaponized Exhaust.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Lucky Luke has a wheelchair-bound old guy whose shotgun produces enough recoil to send him and his wheelchair careening backwards into the nearest pond.

    Films — Animation 
  • During his workday, Pixar's WALL•E discovers a type C fire extinguisher and tries to operate it. The jet of carbon dioxide surprises the little 'bot, and he goes spinning and skidding along the ground. In a fit of machine rage, WALL•E flings the Chekhov's Gun extinguisher onto the junk pile.
  • In the Pixar movie Ratatouille, during the scene where the old lady is trying to kill Remmy and Emile with a shotgun, the old lady jumps while shooting many times.
  • In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Nana gets recoiled to the ground when shooting Alex and Zuba, but the bullet gets deflected thanks to a container dropped in front of them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 1941 (1979): The anti-aircraft cannon is not secured to the ground the way it's supposed to be. As a result, when it's fired at the Japanese submarine offshore it rolls backwards along the ground and into a wooden building.
  • In Captain Marvel (2019), Carol discovers after unlocking her binary state that her blasts are strong enough to blow enemies across the room and herself in the other direction. The first time she blasts someone, she's hurled back several feet into some furniture behind her.
  • In Destination Moon, in order to illustrate to Woody Woodpecker (who stars in an animated film to help convince various men of industry to help finance and build the first rocket to the Moon) how rocket propulsion works, he's asked to shoot a shotgun. The recoil sends him flying several feet backwards. This is followed by asking him to blast several times towards the ground (which sends him aloft).
  • Ghostbusters (2016): The recoil of the first prototype proton pack sends Abby flying around in an Overly-Long Gag.
  • Men in Black: Agent K gives Agent J a small, very powerful handgun called a Noisy Cricket. Every time J fires it, he gets violently thrown backwards.
  • The Mummy (1999): When Evy fires a shotgun at a Medjai warrior, she gets knocked down and stays down until the end of the battle.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, this trope is Played for Laughs when the midget crewmember charges up a ramp, fires a gigantic blunderbuss, and is thrown back down the ramp.
  • ˇThree Amigos!: When Ned Nederlander has his showdown with the German pilot, El Guapo's second-in-command Jefe replaces his normal revolver with a much larger and more powerful pistol. When Ned fires it, he's blown backwards about 10 yards.
  • Wedding Crashers: The physically weak John Beckwith tries to fire a shotgun during a hunting trip and gets knocked down. Ironically, this ends up saving his life because Sack Lodge attempted to shoot him in the back.
  • In Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol, Mrs. Feldman fires off Tackleberry's Hand Cannon and is blown backwards. Rather than suffer any distress, she's actually delighted at this, exclaiming "That was fun!"

  • In The Bands of Mourning, gunsmith Ranette makes for Wax an especially powerful shotgun, with heavy loads meant to take out Pewterarms or Koloss-Blooded. Wax describes the shells as nearly as big as a man's wrist. Recoil isn't an issue for Wax because he can anchor himself by temporarily increasing his weight, but for anyone without this power, the gun is almost as dangerous to the user. This trope happens twice during a Traintop Battle: the first time is Downplayed, as the bandit firing Wax's new shotgun merely breaks his hand trying to shoot it from the hip. Moments later, Steris tries firing the gun from a properly braced and kneeling position, and is thrown off the train entirely. Later, the gun finally gets used for (more or less) it's intended purpose: Wax fires it at an enemy Coinshot, who is Blown Across the Room without even touching the bullet (he tried Pushing it away from him, but it was too massive and moving too fast, so the Coinshot himself had to move).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider OOO: The primary weapon of Kamen Rider Birth is strong enough to send an untransformed Gotou falling back on his behind multiple times when he's first starting out with using it. Considering that this is the same man who once fired a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher with little issue, this should give a viewer an idea of how powerful the blaster is in comparison.
  • Supergirl (2015): Once pulled off with a shotgun in an early episode. Supergirl confronts a robber with the weapon and puts her hand over the muzzle of the gun. When the robber fires, he's thrown back from both the force of the recoil and the force that would normally go into propelling the bullet forward.
  • Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger: Seen in the video example, the Zenryoku Zenkai Cannon's Finishing Move recoil packs quite a punch, so much that no one has been able to stand their ground using it. Even through the team's best effort to support Zenkaizer using it in the standard sequence has them flying into the air, only held down by Zenkai Vroon standing at the furthest back. And when Zenkai Vroon uses it himself, it dislodges and sends his upper half flying despite being held waist-down by his comrades, due to his Detachable Lower Half ability.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • In Cave Story, the level 3 machine gun can propel you into the air (and even lets you hover indefinitely) when you shoot straight down. For some reason, it doesn't recoil that hard when you shoot horizontally.
  • Deep Rock Galactic has the Special Powder overclock for the Scout's Sawed-Off Shotgun, which adds enough recoil to launch him skyward if the gun's fired at the ground, or go flying off on a new vector if fired in the air. Since the Scout already has a Grappling-Hook Pistol, this lets him pull off some insane aerial maneuvers, especially on missions with the Low Gravity modifier.
  • Dota 2: Hoodwink's ultimate ability, Sharpshooter, fires a powerful Charged Attack from her crossbow. Due to her small frame, and her weapon's comparatively huge size, the shot knocks her back a short distance when released.
  • In Eternal Darkness, in Edward's chapter, the player can find the elephant gun if they rescue his servants from The Vampire. Because it's such a massive rifle and Edward's a fairly small guy, failing to let him brace himself before firing (by staying in the firing stance for a few seconds) will knock him flat on his ass.
  • Get Amped: A few weapons and gears will cause the user to be propelled back when they fire things from it, but the cake goes to Borg-specific gear "EL Expansion" where its strongest attack — a Wave-Motion Gun — will push the user several steps back, possibly into a Bottomless Pit.
  • In Kirby Super Star, the boss Marx's Breath Weapon move (where he shoots a gigantic laser out of his mouth) propels him far backwards outside of the screen.
  • No Time to Explain features this (and Recoil Boost) as a primary game mechanic, courtesy of the protagonist's BFG.
  • Ashe of Overwatch has a "Coach Gun" ability which is heavily made to resemble the Team Fortress 2 example below. While not her main weapon (she otherwise uses a semi-automatic rifle), the Coach Gun fires a shotgun blast that knocks opponents away and Ashe herself opposite to where it was fired, and it can be aimed at the ground to give her some vertical mobility.
  • Parodied somewhat with Dan's Haoh Gadoken Limit Break in Street Fighter IV: He launches a huge Gadoken forward which also propels him backwards. It's rather powerful for a Joke Character.
  • The Force-A-Nature, an unlockable weapon for Team Fortress 2's Scout, has the power to launch the Scout across the room if fired. This can be used to quickly escape engagements, or, if fired directly down, to perform a triple jump (as the Scout can regularly perform Double Jumps).

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Afterlife Blues has a page with a street thug who got his hands on a man-portable railgun meant to be used with Powered Armor, by a full-body cyborg, or as an emplaced weapon. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Bob and George sees this as a problem with Ran's Cossack Buster. Justified as it's an overpowered Wave-Motion Gun at its BASIC level. During the adaptation of Mega Man 5 the recoil is weaponized for Ran to suicidally blow himself off of Dr. Light's roof into the horde of Robot Masters on the lawn. This is later referenced in the final arc, but Ran doesn't want to do it again.
  • Spacetrawler: Here, Pierrot fires a handgun while spacewalking, and the recoil sends him flying away from the ship. In the comments below that page, Baldwin admits that he sacrificed realism for humor on that count.
  • Hughie X from Jason Yungbluth's webcomic Weapon Brown tries to shoot the Omnicidal Maniac using Brown's sidearm, which is a plasma pistol. Hughie had been warned that this gun "has a kick to it." Hughie was ready for a kick; he wasn't ready for the explosive recoil that sent him across the room and down a flight of stairs. Of course, Brown has a cybernetic right arm, so his pistol's recoil gets mitigated to a "kick."

    Web Original 
  • What If? explored whether it was feasible to build a jetpack in the Recoil Rocket entry. It is in theory, but it would take a very sturdy brace and shell not to break apart from the recoil.
  • Percy of Critical Role occasionally has to make a saving throw when he fires the BFG Bad News to avoid being knocked flat by the recoil.

    Western Animation 
  • Tech Coyote of the Loonatics Unleashed supplies his teammates with heat ray rifles that can be compacted to the size of a tuna can. The Big Guy Slam Tasmanian drops one and steps on it. The gun deploys to full size and starts firing, which acts like a rocket motor, propelling Slam wildly around the Loonatics' headquarters.
    Tech: Uncurl your toes, uncurl your toes!
  • The Simpsons: In "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson", this happens to Bart when he links up several police megaphones together and then says "testing" into them, creating a gigantic sound wave that destroys the room he was in, and the entire town.
  • Rocky, the diminutive mobster from several Looney Tunes shorts, is so short that firing a full-size Tommy Gun leaves him sliding backwards across the floor unless he braces himself with a 2 x 4.
  • This is a Running Gag with the Galeezle in 3-2-1 Penguins!, a gun that fires a claw which grows giant in order to grab a target and pull them into the ship while shrinking them. In the first episode Figel is blown back and only comes to a stop when he runs into Kevin. The exact same thing happens in the second episode even though Migel tries to hold Figel in place so they both get blasted into Kevin.

    Real Life 
  • During the filming of Predator, actors firing "Ol' Painless" had to be braced offscreen so they wouldn't be knocked on their asses, and this was when only firing blanks (and none of the guys shooting it are what you'd call small). Jesse Ventura described it as "like firing a chainsaw."
  • Averting this trope is part of the reason why anti-tank weapons have a second hole in the back of the barrel: without it, the rocket would push the gun back when it launched, which would make it more difficult to use.


Video Example(s):


Vroon Gets Blown Away

The recoil on the Zenryoku Zenkai Cannon is seriously strong. So much so that Juran gets cold feet at the prospect of firing it and passes it to the much stronger Vroon. They hold him by his legs, forgetting that he has a Detachable Lower Half, resulting in the recoil sending his top half flying into the distance.

How well does it match the trope?

4.56 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / RecoiledAcrossTheRoom

Media sources: