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Shockwave Clap

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Superman had smashed his great hands together in an impact that almost deafened the New Gods who hovered too near to him. The shockwave from the crash buffeted a flying legion of Para-Demons.

Clapping is pretty loud, but it pales in comparison to the Shockwave Clap. Sometimes it's just a really loud clap and sometimes it has the power to knock people over or cause physical damage. It can have more intuitive uses from time to time, such as blowing out fires.

This is commonly used by characters with Super Strength, since it lets them demonstrate their power without directly attacking someone (which could have messy results). Usually appears in the form of a powerful, high-pressure wave of air.

The "realistic" varieties of Sword Beam create a similar effect, but concentrated into a sharp edge. However, these are usually associated with skill rather than strength.

See also Kung-Fu Sonic Boom, Make Me Wanna Shout, and Shockwave Stomp. Not to be confused with Clap Your Hands If You Believe.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • One Piece:
    • How Emporio Ivankov's "Eye Beams" actually work, just replace hands with eyelashes.
    • Newgate, as per his Devil Fruit powers, can do Shockwave Punches.
  • Assassination Classroom: Nagisa is taught this as an assassination technique; clapping his hands in front of an enemy whose senses are on high alert disorients them. In the over-the-top style of the manga this is represented as a nuclear explosion

    Comic Books 
  • A trademark move of Fantastic Four's The Thing.
  • Also a trademark move of The Incredible Hulk where it's named the "Gamma Clap". In a notable instance, at the end of the Fall of the Hulks storyline, the Hulk uses this to stop a building from collapsing by using the shockwave to fill the building with sand (he was fighting on the beach).
  • The Sentry is shown using it against the minions of the Void.
  • Luke Cage performs this maneuver in the second New Avengers #1. Victoria Hand (Token Good Teammate of the Dark Avengers) meets him at the Avengers Mansion because Cap asked her to, but shows up with a gun on the grounds that she has no powers to defend herself with and the Avengers aren't exactly fond of her. Since he has Jessica and their baby with him, Cage demonstrates that the gun isn't much help by clapping his hands together so hard Hand goes flying.
  • Superman:
    • Supergirl has performed this move every so often. In Red Lanterns: Atrocities she uses a super-clap to take down a mob of Red Lanterns surrounding her.
    • The Killers of Krypton: As fighting an army of clones, Supergirl claps her hands together. The concussive blast blows her clones away, but unfortunately, it also makes their unstable cellular structure fall apart.
    • In Adventures of Supergirl, the titular heroine's eye beams ensure that Rampage cannot get close to her, so the super-strong Rampage tries to weaken Supergirl via a deafening thunder clap.
    • Superboy-Prime does this to hit two Sun Boy and Polar Boy in Legion of 3 Worlds.
    • Superman himself has been known to do this at times.
    • Legion of Super-Heroes: In his first appearance, Lightning Lad's electrical powers work this way (it was later changed to just using lightning without any clapping). From the story itself:
      Lightning Lad: "My hands are like the positive and negative poles of a battery! Each time I clap them together, a super-lightning flash leaps forth!"
  • In JLA: Incarnations #5, Vibe and his vibrational powers show you how it's done.
  • Flint did a more narrow-focused version of this technique during her time with Stormwatch Red.
  • X-Men: Arclight, in addition to her superhuman strength, endurance, and durability, has the ability to create seismic energy with her hands that generate shockwaves and geo tremors. As noted below, her film incarnation possesses the same abilities.
  • The Flash:
    • Hunter Zolomon (Zoom/Reverse-Flash II) was able to make sonic booms with just finger snaps, but he's also used this trope, which is basically a stronger version of the finger snap trick.
    • Eobard Thawne learned the trick from Hunter.
  • Black Adam uses this move during his attempt at joining the Justice Society of America (the first time); it knocks a few people away.
  • In The Transformers Megaseries, Thunderwing's claps have enough force to stagger larger Transformers and send smaller ones flying.

    Fan Works 
  • In Child of the Storm:
    • Hercules pulls a Dynamic Entry by doing this and pulverizing hundreds of demons.
    • Hulk uses this to disperse a tidal wave in Unfinished Business.
  • In From Muddy Waters, Izuku applies his strength Quirks non-lethally by doing this. He first uses this to knock away Uraraka and Todoroki during the Heroes vs. Villains exercise as well as shatter Todoroki's ice attacks. He later uses this to slow his descent after he and Todoroki launch themselves into the air over the stadium during the obstacle course portion of the Sports Festival.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Superman knocks a whole legion of Para-Demons out of the sky with a mere, powerful, ear-shattering clap.
    Superman had smashed his great hands together in an impact that almost deafened the New Gods who hovered too near to him. The shockwave from the crash buffeted a flying legion of Para-Demons.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Arclight (see above) has this ability. And that's all she does, but apparently she can control it well enough to make sure the shockwave only breaks certain materials.
  • Also used in The Incredible Hulk movie by the titular character to douse a fire.
  • DC Extended Universe: Wonder Woman can blast forth shockwaves by clashing her vambraces together.
    • That power is enough to budge Doomsday a few feet away in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
    • She discovers this power when training with Antiope in her eponymous film, sending Antiope flying and injuring her a bit as a result.
    • In Justice League, Diana uses the move against a terrorist leader who tried to shoot a bunch of hostages, which obliterates his body. Diana tries using this move against a resurrected Superman who's hostile out of Resurrection Sickness... but then he stops her before she can even move by grabbing her arms. She uses this again against Steppenwolf in the climax, slamming one wristband against her shield to make a platform collapse.

  • In Keys to the Kingdom: Sir Thursday, Dame Primus does this with the Second Key, which takes the form of a pair of gloves.

    Live-Action TV 
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has the MCU Hulk do this for the first time since The Incredible Hulk during an argument with his cousin Jennifer, the titular She-Hulk. Jen tries to copy him but her first attempt fails as She-Hulk's hands are a lot smaller than Hulk's. She quickly works out that she has to clap several times in a row to get it to work.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • In "Crisis on Earth-X, Part 1", Kara does this to stun Overgirl, before delivering a massive gutpunch that leaves her gasping on the floor, forcing Dark Arrow to grab her and order a retreat.
    • A year later, in "Elseworlds, Hour 3", Deegan!Superman does this to stun the heroes and make off with the Book.

    Tabletop Games 
  • An addition to the Super Strength power in Mutants & Masterminds.
  • One of the psychic powers (called Thunderclap) available to Space Wolf Rune Priests in Warhammer 40,000.
  • The Mega-Strength enhancement Thunderclap allows a character to do this is Aberrant.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3.5E has the Thunderclap feat from the Book of Vile Drakness that gives a powerful sonic attack in a cone that has a chance to deafen and even knock enemies down and also extinguishes unprotected fire sources, by clapping hands really hard. The more powerful the user (mesured in Hit Dice), the bigger the affected area and the harder it gets to resist. This feat requires a massive Strength score of 30 since it was designed for monsters, and a standard PC race would need a load of bonuses from various sources to reach such an amount.
    • The thunderclap cantrip from the 5E sourcebook Xanathar's Guide to Everything, which causes every creature within 5 feet of the caster to take damage if they failed the saving throw, as well as causing a thunderous sound that can be heard up to a hundred feet away.

    Video Games 

    Web Comic 
  • Captain Excelsior: The Thunderclap.

    Web Original 
  • An earth power in Phaeton.
  • Behemoth of Worm can do this, among his many, many, powers.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The Alpheidae, or pistol shrimp, can create bubbles with its claws which implode within a millisecond. The bubble heats the surrounding water to a temperature of nearly 4700°C (nearly as hot as the surface of the sun) when it collapses, producing a shockwave that can kill small fish at short range. At a measured loudness of 218 decibels at 1 meter, the gun also makes the pistol shrimp one of the loudest creatures in the ocean.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Thunder Clap


Miraculous Ladybug

Channeling the power of Sekhmet, Pharaoh is strong enough to create a shockwave with the clap of his hands.

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Main / ShockwaveClap

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