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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, Gale-Force Sound, Make Some Noise, and Shockwave Stomp. Not to be confused with Clap Your Hands If You Believe.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers: 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.
  • 'Fantastic Four'': A trademark move of The Thing.
  • 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.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Also a trademark move of the 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).
  • Justice League of America: In JLA: Incarnations #5, Vibe and his vibrational powers show you how it's done.
  • Justice Society of America: Black Adam uses this move during his attempt at joining the JSA (the first time); it knocks a few people away.
  • The Sentry: The Sentry is shown using it against the minions of the Void.
  • Stormwatch: Flint did a more narrow-focused version of this technique during her time with Stormwatch Red.
  • 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.
    • Supergirl's Greatest Challenge: When some forest rangers are about to blow up a tree stump (which is concealing Kara's secret base's tunnel entrance) secret tunnel), Supergirl fakes the sound of a thunder by powerfully clapping her hands as shooting her eye beams at the dried-up trunk. Her trick makes the rangers believe that a lightning bolt has destroyed the stump for them.
    • 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.
    • The 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):
      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!"
    • "Superman vs. Muhammad Ali": In order to stop a humongous tidal wave from striking Bermuda, Superman smashes his fists together. The ensuing shockwave immediately shatters the gigantic tsunami.
  • The Transformers Megaseries: Thunderwing's claps have enough force to stagger larger Transformers and send smaller ones flying.
  • 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.

    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 
  • 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 Black Adam, the eponymous antihero uses such a move with a clap of his hands, rather effortlessly.
  • Used in The Incredible Hulk movie by the title character to douse a fire.
  • 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.

  • 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 (2008) 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Jimmy's Mini-Mecha, LUX5000, from Awesomenauts smashes its fists together at the end of their auto attack combo to create a damaging shockwave around them.
  • Borderlands 2: Gaige's Deathtrap can do this.
  • Champions Online: Thunder Clap from the Might framework.
  • City of Heroes: The Hand Clap power from the Super-Strength powerset.
    • Some of the electrical themed power sets also receive Lightning Clap, which is functionally identical.
  • DC Universe Online: Might characters can clap their hands to create a very focused, damaging ranged shockwave.
  • The Pandaren Brewmaster in Defense of the Ancients.
  • One of the central game mechanics of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. It would later be brought over to Super Smash Bros. Brawl in the form of Donkey Kong's Final Smash.
  • Hulk could do this as a ranged attack in The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, but it functioned as a radius effect around him rather than a cone-shaped projection the way it typically did in the comics. While listed as being an anti-air attack, it had a limited radius unless fully charged, which took too long to be useful.
  • Slammers from Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon use this as an attack.
  • In Marvel Super Heroes and subsequent Marvel vs. Capcom titles, this is Hulk's heavy air attack.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and Armageddon, Hsu Hao has a special named "Khan Klap/Thunder Klap" (note the intentional misspelling) which emits a visible pulse of air that damages his enemy while pushing them back.
  • Paint the Town Red has the Shockwave move, used when you dealt enough damage. Much like Alex Mercer you do this my slamming your fists together. Unlike Mercer, you don't have massive gorilla arms when you do it! It deals some damage but it's mostly there for crowd control as the game has a lot of guys coming for your blood and breathing room is important to kill everyone.
  • [PROTOTYPE]: Alex Mercer. That is, when he's not just eating people. Even better, he's not clapping hands. He's smashing his knuckles together.
  • Terraria: The Stardust Guardian that comes as a set bonus from Stardust armor has the ability to cause explosions that cause minor damage and draw enemies towards him and away from you by clapping his hands.
  • Colossus from X-Men Legends.
    • Hideous Masses can do this, usually after either a Shockwave Stomp to force you to jump, or after a hookshot to pin you down. The shockwaves travel very far, and can get you through walls, but you always know where they're coming from.
    • Sisyphus Prime has an especially brutal one, with the shockwave traveling vertically throughout the entire arena and being damaging the whole way. And he'll Flash Step right in your face each time before doing it, so you better get used to dodging sideways.
      "BE GONE!"


    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. Keeping pistol shrimp requires specially-reinforced aquarium glass because their shockwaves can crack normal aquarium glass.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Thunder Clap


Hulk's Thunderclap

Hulk can clap his hands together to create a powerful shockwave. She-Hulk's version has less force behind it, but it can still disorient someone as strong as the Hulk.

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Example of:

Main / ShockwaveClap

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