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"The Sailor Moon-like princess starts kicking spinning a lot. That's strangely familiar."
The Porn Critic's review of Star Ballz

When fighting enemies who like to gang up on you, it helps to have a powerful attack that hits on all sides to make cheeky enemies (especially Personal Space Invaders) give you a little more breathing room. Enter the Spin Attack, a move that consists of spinning around like a maniac to create an "Instant Death" Radius around the user.

In an actual swordfight turning your back to someone will leave you vulnerable to attack, so most characters who do this justify it by spinning fast enough that their body becomes a blur and no side is left open long enough for enemies to take advantage. The move however, may need to be charged up before use and/or leave its user vulnerable afterwards as a Necessary Drawback to discourage the technique from being used continuously.

A similar technique is the Death Blossom, which uses ranged weaponry like a gun firing a spray of projectiles in all directions. Typically shows up in various Asteroids-clones (and in The Last Starfighter of course) as a screen-clearing attack in lieu of the simpler Smart Bomb.


A Super-Trope to Rolling Attack, Roundhouse Kick, Hurricane Kick. For an alternative way to hit targets behind your back, see Dangerous Backswing.


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    Action Adventure 
  • NieR: The titular character's special Two-Handed Sword technique consists of swinging it in a full circle around him. Considering the sheer size if these weapons, it takes him time to wind up for the spin and to recover from it, but it's always an instant knock-down and destroys enemy armor.
  • Dungeon Siege II gives melee warriors one of these as an available power fairly early, which some players end up using throughout the game.
  • Star Control II: The manual suggests performing this maneuver (which is even referred to as a "Death Blossom") while flying the Pkunk Fury.
  • In The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang, Spike's basic melee attack is to spin around. He can also do a more powerful spin, though it makes him dizzy.
  • In the first Shantae game, buying the Tiara gives Shantae the ability to perform a jumping hair-spin attack in the middle of her Charged Attack. It's the strongest attack Shantae could do in the game, but the way it sends you sailing uncontrollably through the air in a weird angle and the fact that you need to do the Charged Attack beforehand makes it hard to use.
  • One of Mass Effect: Andromeda's available melee weapons gives Ryder the ability to perform such an attack every time they strike in melee.
  • Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King: Well, the whole game is a homage to the top-down Zelda games, so it’s only natural that this figures heavily into the gameplay.
  • In Dark Devotion, the late game boss Elemiah the Crow Lady can swing her katana while spinning like a top for a few seconds, and her assassin minions can use a similar attack with their scythes. Either attack will chew through the player's health like a buzz saw thanks to the game's lack of Mercy Invincibility.
  • Kid Baby Starchild: Little Dude has a spin attack that's activated by holding down the attack button to charge, and then releasing it to unleash the attack.

    Action Game 
  • Ferazel's Wand
  • Dante with his sword during a cutscene. In-game gun version with his Twosome Time, and sword version with his Prop Shredder.
  • Bayonetta has a variety of these called Bullet Climaxes which vary based on the weapon she's currently using. She can also do this with angelic halberds, whirling around the shaft like a poledancer as she brings the pain.
  • In Battletoads, the Dark Queen will spin so fast she turns into a tornado.
  • In Get Off My Lawn (2009), the protagonist has one called the Cyclone Spin. This ability sucks all enemies towards the protagonist. Though, it has a limit how long it can be used before recharging (which can be upgraded in the shop).
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has a variant - the Focus-360 Clear-out, you spin with a staff, slam it horizontally into the ground and all the enemies fall over.
    • Another example, a move where Neo grabs one enemy's feet and swings him in a circle to knock the other enemies over.
  • In Kamiko, Yamato's special attack has her rapidly spin the Blade of Kusanagi in a circle, becoming invincible for a short time and killing everything in her path.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • In many beat-'em-ups, each character gets a special attack which is a Hurricane Kick or some other spinning attack that hits enemies on all sides, at the cost of some health if it connects:
  • In Castle Crashers, a spin attack can be performed in the air. However, it's the weakest attack in the game, doing only 1 damage regardless of the player's stats.
  • The Amazon of Dragon's Crown has the Brandish attack, where the Amazon spins her Blade on a Stick around her at the end of a four hit combo. Like the Spin Attacks of other Beat Em Ups, it hits hard, has a wide-area effect, and makes her temporarily invincible while doing it. Investing more skill points into it lets the Amazon do it multiple times in a row.
  • Fighting Force Has this for Hawk Mason as a jump spin kick.

    Driving Game 
  • F-Zero has a spinning maneuver you can do to clear some cars out of the way. It costs you some of your shield gauge, though. If you destroy an opponent though, you get some back.

    Fighting Game 
  • A minority of Fighting Game characters, have some version of a spin-attack. The most common and reconizable ones are Ryu and Ken's Hurricane Kick and Chun-Li's 'Spinning Bird Kick' in the popular Street Fighter series.
  • Garuda from the Street Fighter EX series has a spinning headbutt and two different spinning uppercuts AND a spinning top attack. From EX2 Plus onwards, he can also do the spinning uppercut and spinning top with a katana... moves he stole from EX2's Hayate.
  • In Touhou Hisoutensoku, Cirno has a spellcard (Blowing Ice "Ice Tornado") in which she not only spins around like there's no tomorrow, but also creates a freaking ice tornado while doing it.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • In Battleborn, Rath's ultimate technique is a spinning attack called "Dreadwind".
  • In Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, using the saber staff opens up several Darth Maul-esque Spin Attacks.
  • This script for the Pyro in Team Fortress 2 allows a makeshift form of this attack.
  • A legitimately useful tactic in Left 4 Dead 2 involves revving the chainsaw as you spin around, causing zombies to just run into your whirling meat grinder without a moment's hesitation.
  • Serious Sam 3: BFE lets you perform a spinning attack with the sledgehammer, which comes in handy if you get yourself surrounded by gnaars or Kleer skeletons. You also get an achievement for killing three enemies with one spin.
  • Reaper's "Death Blossom" ultimate ability in Overwatch is this trope played straight. Upon activation: Reaper will move around slowly while emptying both shotguns in a radius around him for a few seconds, dealing 170 damage per second to any enemy in the radius.

    Hack and Slash 

    Mecha Game 
  • In Another Century's Episode 2, Marina's signature move is a Death Blossom-like spinning shot, dubbed "Marina Special" by Japanese fans; this becomes a plot point when the mysterious antagonist mecha Buster Ark uses the same attack, revealing the identity of its pilot.
    • It's also a Game-Breaker since, due to its damage coding, when used at point-blank range it's pretty much an assured One-Hit Kill.
  • Super Robot Wars BX has a very very very large number of sword-wielding mechs. Now, there are only so many ways to make sword attacks flashy. Spinning is one of those ways.

  • World of Warcraft: Warrior characters can invest talent points in the low-level Whirlwind attack or its 51-point big brother, Bladestorm. A fair number of bad guys use similar attacks as well.
    • One of the most well-remembered of these spinning bad guys is Lord Marrowgar. Everyone say it with me now: BBBBOOOOONNNNNEEEEESSSSSSTTTTTTOOOOORRRRRMMMMMM!!!!!
    • As in Wrath of the Lich King, Paladins can get one from a 51-point talent as well in the form of Divine Storm, probably its Protection tree little brother Hammer of the Righteous as well, though this one it is a magical hammer spins around the user, instead of the user spinning around like a maniac.
  • Yagudo in Final Fantasy XI have one hell of a spinning kick, stunning all the players around them(and anyone several feet away).
  • The Dervish ring in zOMG! does this. Based on the icon and attack animation, it's the air around the user that deals the damage and knockback.
  • Perfect World: Asoteric Runewolf's SUPER POWERFUL MIGHTY WHIRLING SLASH! It's a one-hit kill to anyone in range.
  • WildStar Warriors have this as their go-to AoE attack.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Online has the "Sweep" skill found on all sword weapons. Also, the "Roundhouse", "Spin Cut", and "Reverse Spin Cut" moves on the Broadsword's Combo tree.

    Platform Game 
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World let Mario use this with the Raccoon and Cape Power Ups, respectively.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy and sequel, spinning is Mario's main and often only attack, with many variations depending on context (on ice, underwater, etc.) or Power-Up. This ability is passed on to Rosalina as her signature ability in Super Mario 3D World.
    • The Mario Tornado and Luigi Cyclone attacks in Super Smash Bros..
    • Also used in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door with the hammer, occasionally required to clear away swarms of enemies. There's the swarm of Dull Bones in Hooktail Castle, the first encounter with the Smorgs in Riverside Station, the similar swarm of Dry Bones in the Palace of Shadow, and optionally, the Boos in Creepy Steeple. There's one enemy that can only be encountered by doing this to the Boos twice.
  • Crash Bandicoot can twist his body for a mini-tornado attack. Unlike most spin attacks, it's actually his basic attack.
  • Metroid: Samus's legendary Screw Attack. So famous, a website was named after it. The Screw Attack is, oddly enough, actually a Rolling Attack. In mathematical terms, a traditional Spin Attack yaws left-to-right across the body, and Samus's pitches forward into a roll.
    • It becomes an item in the Super Smash Bros. series starting from Melee, allowing the holder to perform the move with each jump. Amusingly, you can also throw it at an opponent, which damages them and forces them to involuntarily perform the move, leaving them open to a counterattack or simply sending them careening off a cliff.
  • Chewbacca could perform a spin attack in the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the Super Star Wars games, but he had to wait to use it again once he stopped using it or if gauge ran empty. Princess Leia also gained a spin attack when she is in her bikini costume in the Jedi chapter of the series.
  • In Super Smash Bros. and some of the Kirby games, Meta Knight uses a spinning attack called Mach Tornado.
  • The boss Reflux from Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc has an attack that consists of him whirling spectacularly around the entire arena.
  • In The Adventures of Lomax, it's the only attack the titular character can use even without his helmet (which allows him to throw it like a boomerang and use special abilities). Since nearly every enemy is susceptible to it and you are invincible to nearly every attack while you do it, you are very likely to keep using it without ever bothering to use the helmet attack instead.
  • Mega Man
    • Mega Man 3 has the Top Spin. You press the shoot button in mid-air, and Mega Man spins and damages any enemy he touches. However, more often than not you either get hit in the process, or use randomly use up way more weapon energy than normal, causing most players to dismiss it as useless.
    • Zero has had several moves like this in the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero games. (Since he's in a sidescroller, he spins Samus-style, front-to-back instead of left-to-right.) In most cases he can only do a spin attack in midair, but the Ensuizan move in X6 can be executed on the ground — indefinitely!
  • Lilac from Freedom Planet has a Dragon Cyclone move that she can perform on ground (after gaining some momentum) and mid-air.
  • Kao the Kangaroo: Kao can whip his tail in all games, though in the second and third he only does that while jumping. Round 2 allows for upgrading it into a legitimate spin attack that keeps Kao briefly suspended in the air.
  • Kyle & Lucy: Wonderworld: This is Lucy's main attack, which also acts as a Double Jump.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Along with Rolling Attack on land, the Kongs can spin underwater to attack enemies.
  • Ginger Beyond The Crystal: One of the enemy types Ginger faces in the game has an attack wherein it spins while moving in Ginger's direction.
  • The Way of Cinnamon: Cinnamon's first available attack is a spin attack.
  • In the Toy Story 2 Licensed Game, Buzz can attack enemies by spinning his wings at them. He can also charge up and perform a super spin attack, which leaves him dizzy afterwards.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • In League of Legends, two characters (Tryndamere and Garen) have this ability, along with a speed boost and slow immunity so they keep up with any enemy player they're shredding. In fact, Garen's signature low level playstyle involves hiding in a patch of grass and waiting for an idiot to walk in ("DEMACIAAAAAA!" is shorthand for that, though that sound is technically activated another ability entirely).
    • In fact, there are so many spin attacks that the fanbase coined a new term for it: Spin 2 Win.
    • Katarina has both the melee and ranged variants: Sinister Steel, where she spins around once to deal damage to all nearby enemies, and again with her ultimate, which sees her spinning in place for several seconds, sending a torrent of daggers at any hapless enemy champion who happens to be standing nearby.
      • Her ultimate is also named Death Lotus, which is a shout-out to the Death Blossom itself.
    • Riven's Broken Wings skill can be spammed three times in short succession before going on cooldown. The first two slashes make her spin to the left and then to the right, and the final slash does a forward somersault which ends by slamming her sword into the ground.
    • Riven's fellow Noxian soldier, Darius, has a skill that makes him spin around with his axe outstretched. Interestingly, enemies close to Darius will be hit by the handle only and take reduced damage. Enemies on the outer radius of the spin are hit by the blade and take increased damage.
    • Akali's Crescent Slash move has her quickly spin with her blades outstretched.
    • Renekton's Cull the Meek ability has him spin around to strike nearby enemies with his blade.
    • Wukong's ultimate, Cyclone, makes him spin with staff outstretched for several seconds, damaging anyone around him.
    • Xin Zhao's ultimate, Crescent Slash, has him spin with his spear outstretched, which covers a pretty nice range as far as melee characters go.
    • Zed also has one as his third skill, Shadow Slash. It's a simple attack that damages any nearby units. His shadow clone also performs the move when he does. If the shadow's spin hits an enemy, their movement is briefly slowed.
  • In Warcraft III the Orc Blademaster has the ability "Bladestorm", which causes him to spin around like a tornado, ripping through any nearby enemy ground units and buildings within in its reach, as well as somehow giving him temporary immunity to magic.
    • In Defense of the Ancients custom maps, since the Blademaster model is used for Yurnero the Juggernaut, he inherits the Bladestorm skill, and he's using it as a normal skill instead of an ultimate. And since Mogul Khan the Axe is using the model of a unique Blademaster hero (Grom Hellscream), he also gets a variation: Counter Helix, if attacked, there's a chance that Mogul will spin around and damaging nearby enemies.
    • Naturally, both Yurnero and Mogul retain these skills in Dota 2.
  • In the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Smite, several gods have abilities that do this:
    • Sun Wukong spins around with his staff extended, slowing enemies it hits.
    • Tyr charges into enemies while spinning with his sword, finishing in an uppercut.
    • Odin has Gungnir's Might, a spinning attack with his legendary spear.
    • Thor has Berserker Barrage, spinning around quickly for several seconds with his hammer. Used to best effect after a stun/fissure to deal nice damage to helpless enemies.
    • Chaac's skill "Torrent" has him spin with his axe to attack enemies and gives him protections based on how many enemies he hit. If his axe is thrown, he charges toward it and then performs the spin.
    • Chang'e's Crescend Moon Dance allows her to gracefully spin and leap in any direction, becoming briefly invincible while doing so. Her Moonflower Dance lets her do a spin that heals nearby teammates while damaging enemies.
    • Kali's ultimate, "Destruction", used to cause her to spin rapidly while moving, dealing damage to nearby foes. However with her recent rework, she simply gets a damaging aura and the inability to die for the duration.
    • Sobek's Tail Whip makes him whip his tail in a circle to knock up nearby enemies.
    • Xbalanque's Rising Jaguar lets him leap into the air, spinning and showering a wide radius with darts from his blowgun. If you poisoned enemies before hitting them with this, Rising Jaguar will deal extra bonus damage. Add to that Rising Jaguar's crowd-control immunity, and you have arguably the best move in his arsenal.
    • Guan Yu's Taolu Assault has him spin around his Green Dragon Saber to attack the enemy in front, occasionally switching from left to right so the sides get covered too. Just about the only thing he didn't cover is the back, but he can still turn around if he wants to.
  • Later on, Heroes of the Storm follows suit.
    • Sonya has the skill Whirlwind, which have her spin around with her two swords and dealing damage.
    • Lost Vikings also has a skill where each three spin around doing damage, named after the meme started by League of Legends, "Spin To Win".
    • The aforementioned Blademaster return in Heroes of the Storm under the identity Samuro, and retains the Bladestorm ability as one possible ultimate. Instead of spinning like before however, Samuro instead just turns around and slash in a quick succession repeatedly to replicate the effect without looking too much like Sonya's.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army: not sure if this alleviates the lack of realism at all, but Raidou does not remain perfectly upright while spinning (he passes even closer to the ground under the force of the Combination Attack category like this), and it takes a little bit of time for him to be able to attack again/block after that.
  • In The World Ends with You, the pins Lightning Anger and Lightning Rage give Neku this kind of attack. In addition, Mink Noise use spinning as an attack, as well as to avoid being hit by most attacks.
  • Avalon Code lets you do this with swords and hammers. The hammer spin attack lets you fly across the field like Superman for a few seconds.
  • This is Cornelius's special ability in Odin Sphere. One of his jumping attacks allows him to fly through the air with his sword extended like a buzzsaw.
  • Crono's cyclone technique from Chrono Trigger. A component in a couple of Combination Attacks, such as a variation where Robo grabs Crono by the legs and spins him around that way.
  • Trials of Mana: Duran's Whirlwind Sword tech as a Gladiator has him spinning his sword wildly while going across the screen, and Kevin's Whirlwind Kick as a Monk has him doing the same, but with his legs instead of with a weapon.
  • Featured frequently in the Tales Series ever since Tales of Destiny. Rekkuuzan/Tempest Slash makes a swordsman leap forward while spinning, effectively turning him into a human buzzsaw. There are also several combination techniques that feature a character leaping upwards while spinning and lifting the foe(s) into the air with just that, setting them up for a finisher.
  • In the first four .hack games, the Twin Blade skills Tiger Claw (and the elemental versions thereof) involves the user spinning like a top, damaging nearby enemies. The skill Staccato, employs even more spinning, but tilted and is for single target.
  • You'll see lots of spinning in Kingdom Hearts II. Many combo finishers are spin attacks, and Sora's Master Form turns every attack into one. It's even more flashy in Final Form since he controls both keyblades with his mind: cross-diagonal cuts, horizontal spins, drills, smashing spinning tops together, and several others that are probably too awesome to use in another game.
    • Sora also gets an attack that rapidly closes distance to his current target and hit it hard. He basically spins around on one foot, using the force generated from the spin to do more damage. As a bonus, he hits anything else in the way too.
  • Yosuke in Persona 4 does this as his follow-up attack. Though it is one of the least useful ones.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, a Journeyman of either Blade or Blunt skills can ''perform a sideways power attack with a chance of disarming", which, when in third person view, is demonstrated as your character spinning in a full 360 with their weapon in full extension.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, this is how faeblades work. They're a pair of curved blades with a handle in the middle, designed to be spun around the wielder's body to fend off attackers from all directions.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, you get Whirlwind Attack from the 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons rules, which the game is based on. (See below under tabletop games.)
  • Hit animation for sword users in Final Fantasy IV DS. Normal attacks are a generic up-down swing. For a Critical Hit, Cecil or Kain will swing their BFS around their body first, building up momentum before hitting.
  • In Pokémon the move Rapid Spin, which frees the user from restraining moves and also deals damage. The move Gyro Ball also works with the same principle, dealing the more damage the slower are you than your opponent.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you can do this with a power attack if you dual wield one-handed weapons.
  • Guy's charged attacks with hammers in Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is the Hurricane Hammer, which spins for longer with higher C. Atk. levels. It's notably the only charge attack Dekar doesn't share.
  • Mega Man Geo Omega's elemental cyclone attack from Mega Man Star Force description on this page.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Fraxy has Manjusri by Eboshidori, which uses this attack in the final step of its attack pattern. Anything within the barrier will be sliced to a fine powder.
  • Ballpoint Universe Infinite allows you to equip swords to your ship. One of the available swords spins around the entire circumference of your ship.

    Sports Game 

    Survival Horror 
  • Dead Rising has the Double Lariat and the Battle Axe's secondary attack.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Stranglehold's Spin Attack is the most powerful Tequila Bomb maneuver, and generally consists of Tequila spinning around in slow-mo with his arms and his guns outstretched like an angel of death (if he's currently using Guns Akimbo, that is) and blowing away every bad guy in the general vicinity in cool cinematic style.
  • Soldiers in Transformers: War for Cybertron perform this with a mace.
  • Bloodline Champions has the bloodline Ravener's self-explanatory "Spinning Strike" ability. The Guardian's Cyclone Charge ultimate is similar in both manners of being a Spin Attack and Exactly What It Says on the Tin. As is the Spear Master's Whirling Blade and Whirlwind ultimate. Funnily, the real point of the first example is to be an Attack Reflector against ranged attacks and improve the Ravener's movement speed.

    Turn-Based Strategy 

Non-video game examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Code Geass:
    • Suzaku was given the Fan Nickname of "Spinzaku" for the sheer amount of spinnery he pulls off throughout the series. The most egregious example is his flying twenty feet across the room to deliver a spinning kick, then falling short and delivering a punch instead.
    • That is not all. The Siegfried Knightmare frame uses this as a defensive and offensive maneuver due to its bulk and surface. The attack is so effective that it takes the combined forces of Cornelia and the Black Knights to take them down. (In part Cornelia just happened to jump in and used a downed Gekka to fire off a makeshift Hwatcha with downed Knightmare Frame equipment).
  • Combattler V: The Humongous Mecha of the first series of the Robot Romance Trilogy has the "Choudenji Spin" like Finishing Move. It consists of replacing its hands with triangular blades, spinning quickly to shape a tornado around its body, and ramming through its enemy. Justified, since often he is fighting a single Beast, and before using the move, Combattler paralyzes its enemy with an electrical discharge ("Choudenji Tatsumaki") so it does not move.
  • Mazinger Z: A variant. Mazinger Z possess a technique called Daisharin Rocket Punch ("Giant Swing Rocket Punch"). Rather spinning its whole body,the Humongous Mecha spins its arms rapidly, building up momentum before firing off both fists in standard Rocket Punch fashion.
    • Several Mechanical Beasts had spin attacks: Goronko S2 spun around and then rammed the enemy; Spartan K5 whirled its trident very, very rapidly to create a twister capable pick even a Humongous Mecha; Balkan P5 expelled air out of ducts all over its legs and spun around to wrap itself into a tornado; Grengus C3 wrapped its enemy in chains and then it spun around, dragging its enemy with it before slamming it in the ground...
  • Ranma ½'s Mikado Sanzenin, of the Golden Pair of Martial Arts Figure Skating, can perform the Dance of Death —a technique where he spins in place, giving the illusion of many arms and legs, and anyone stupid enough to come close is trapped by innumerable kicks, punches, chops, elbows, knees... Being a master of his art, he never loses his balance and experiences no dizziness afterwards.
    • When paired with Azusa Shiratori, the other half of the Golden Pair, the two of them can perform the infamous "Couple Cleaver," whereby she grabs a member of the opposing couple by the feet, expecting him or her to hold on to the partner by the hands. Then Mikado lifts everyone up into the air (with Azusa standing on his shoulders) and spins incredibly fast, so that the centrifugal force makes it increasingly harder for the opponents to hold on to each other. Whoever lets go first, it doesn't matter —the once-trusting couple has been torn apart.
    • The more serious foe Ryu Kumon, who can swing his arms to create arcs of vacuum with the technique Kijin Raishuudan, uses a variation of this technique —Kijin Dairanbu— to spin in place and toss dozens and dozens of deadly razor blades in every direction.
    • Ranma and Akane also performed one during the fight against the Dojo Destroyer (anime version). They stood back-to-back, and spun swiftly, punching and kicking to break all wood planks their humongous enemy threw at them.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Ninja technique Tornado Fighter, performed by the whole team. They would stand on the each other's shoulders (or depending on the iteration, form a ring) and would spin quickly, spawning a tornado around them that would wipe the entire opposition.
  • Gundam:
      • From the same series: God Slash TYPHOOOONNNN!!!!
    • Exia pulls one off in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 episode 2 when two Anfs attempt to attack him after the armed intervention. Cue to a dramatic spin attack that has him bisect both of them at the waist.
      • More often than not though, Setsuna has a habit of spinning around a target rather than spinning. This is to note that it is a lot better to blindside an opponent by zipping up behind them than to get surrounded by them.
    • The Wing Zero's Twin Buster Rifle can be pulled apart and pointed in opposite directions for a rotating attack of omnidirectional obliteration, a maneuver that every person to pilot Zero EXCEPT Heero takes advantage of.
  • Vita's Raketen Hammer attack from Lyrical Nanoha, which has Vita spinning wildly with her rocket-boosted hammer to deal extra damage on a target.
  • When overwhelmed and surrounded, members of the Hyuga clan in Naruto can perform the Hakkeshou Kaiten, which involves spinning around and expelling chakra from every pore in the body. Although it can deflect an arbitrary number of projectiles from any angle and fling back nearby opponents, it's exhausting to perform, so it's generally preferred to deal with problems individually if that's feasible.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin and Ginga Densetsu Weed features the Zetsu Tenrou Battouga, which involves spinning really fast and slamming into the opponent, slashing them hard with their teeth. Gin learned this move from Riki, who learned it from a wolf named Fuuga. Weed didn't learn this from his own father, though; he learned it from Tesshin, the adopted "heir" of Ohu.
  • Attack on Titan: Levi, in a display of Charles Atlas Superpower, performs what is arguably the most spectacular example of this trope. He is not, however, the only member of the Survey Corps to invoke this trope.
  • Sechs from Battle Angel Alita: Last Order takes this to its logical extreme when he uses his double-bladed BFS to perform a three-dimensional Spin Attack by spinning like a gyroscope, turning into a whirling sphere of death.
    • He also performs a sort of inverted Spin Attack by forcing his opponent into one, spinning his BFS around his torso like a hula-hoop to pin him down for his next attack.
  • Berserk: Guts's signature attack when using the Berserker Armor is a leaping somersault attack that turns his sword into a veritable buzz saw.
  • Pokémon: In addition to the Rapid Spin attack (see above under "Role-Playing Games"), Ash develops a technique that's known as "Counter Shield" in which a Pokémon spins while using an otherwise offensive attack (such as Pikachu's Thunderbolt or Monferno's Flamethrower), creating a barrier that can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes.
  • Touta Konoe from UQ Holder! spins hoops around his waist while fighting, becoming a living centrifuge in order to access the Mutually Exclusive Magic in his body.
  • Ranewater Calder from Zombie Powder spins during his Jet Ripper attack.
  • In Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Steel Ball Run, both of the main character's attacks are based around a technique called The Spin in conjunction with an Improbable Weapon. Gyro uses steel balls, and Johnny fires his fingernails.
  • Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia has Ushiwakamaru perform a vertical spinning attack on Gorgon that turns her into a veritable buzzsaw.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The Hunter performs one of these during the battle on the Plains of Death in With Strings Attached. Justified in that he's a lot faster than his undead opponents.
  • Midnight in Rise Of Empress Midnight does an unusual version of this trope where she creates magic blades and turns her body to form a wheel, a sideways spin attack with six swords.
  • All the Cures in Rhythmic Pretty Cure, given the nature of rhythmic gymnastics. The biggest examples are Cure Twirl, who incorporates tiptoe turns and ribbon spirals into his Signature Move, Pretty Cure Elegant Spiral; and Cure Clubs, who incorporates pirouettes and baton twirling into her Signature Move, Pretty Cure Passion Pirouette.
  • The tanks of the Gate fanfiction, Here We Go Again! sometimes perform 'whirlybirds', which is the term for spinning the M1A1 Abrams' turret erratically, usually for fun. In one instance, the US Marine tank crews realistically puts this tactic to good use when some bandits manage to board their stalled tank.

  • The Death Blossom attack used in the finale of The Last Starfighter. The Gunstar rotates in every possible direction and fires all of its weapons simultaneously, hitting literally everything around it. It's also an attack of last resort, as it leaves the ship completely vulnerable both before and after use. It's also untested, and could blow up the ship.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo grabs a pole and just spins around with it to fight off the horde of Smiths, which can be recreated in the The Matrix: Path of Neo game if you've unlocked the right moves.
  • Used in the movie version of Potop (see: Sienkiewicz Trilogy). When you are strong enough to wield a solid wooden bench as a weapon, the trope ceases to be unrealistic. (the fight starts at 5:30)
  • This happens all the time in Hong Kong kung fu movies, especially those of Jet Li.
    • It happens twice in Tai Chi Master, each time with a staff. The first fight his staff breaks but he continues using the separate halves like a pair of escrima sticks, which is actually plausible for fighting off a large group in a circle. The later fight involves a long staff which is a lot less realistic since it would lose momentum after the first person it hits.
    • More memorably, in My Father Is A Hero Jet Li swings around his SON tied to the end of a rope.
  • Jackie Chan doesn't use it quite as often, but in the restaurant fight of Drunken Master he does 3 variations in a single scene.
    • He first uses a wooden bench offensively. As with Jet Li, the bench would lose momentum upon contact with its first target
    • Then he hides under a table and spins in it to defend against his opponents' axes. This is mostly comical, but is arguably plausible since he's not on the offensive, just trying to deflect their attacks.
    • Finally he uses a bamboo pole whose end is splintered to rake his opponents with dozens of tiny cuts. This is also plausible since the weapon is supple enough to rake across multiple opponents without losing momentum, and the sharp tips wouldn't require much force to cut.
  • In Iron Man 2 Tony uses a spinning Frickin' Laser Beams attack to take out the last of the "Hammeroids".
  • The protagonist of the wuxia film The Magic Blade, uses this method, spinning himself in circles while twirling his dual blades, allowing him to massacre plenty of enemies with ease.
  • In the Star Wars series, various characters do these in lightsaber duels, especially the prequels:
    • In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn does one while fighting Darth Maul, and Maul himself does a spectacular and flashy leaping spin move while fighting Obi-Wan.
    • In Attack of the Clones Anakin tries Dual Wielding against Count Dooku with a lot of spinning (he did say it was a good trick, after all) but it's rather ineffective. Yoda, on the other hand, uses a ton of spinning attacks against Dooku and fares much better.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan does it while fighting Anakin, and Palpatine notably does a spinning leap to attack four Jedi at once, which was so over the top that it became a meme unto itself. Yoda again does his signature spinning jumps.
    • In A New Hope, Obi-Wan does a very slow and pointless spin while fighting Darth Vader.
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke spins on his heel while fighting Vader, but he does it as part of a recovery move and unlike the previous movie, it actually looks cool and sort of makes sense.
    • Worth noting: Nick Gillard, the swordmaster for all of the prequels and the man who wrote all the duels, said that he knows the spinning move makes no sense in combat (it leaves the whole back exposed and doesn't have any special advantage in attacking) but he throws it into his choreography because of Rule of Cool. Bob Anderson, who did the choreography for Episode V and VI and was the Vader stunt double, was an Olympic fencer and so used a more straightforward and slightly more realistic approach, whereas Gillard seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from Chinese Wuxia.

  • In the Bolo series, created by Keith Laumer, the titular super-tanks would do a spin attack by locking treads on one side and keep the other side spinning. Anything that was in the bolo's path was crushed into a nice paste.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In third edition Dungeons & Dragons, there's a feat (with a long list of prerequisites) called Whirlwind Attack. Guess what that does. Notably, the feat is almost as poor a maneuver in the game as it would be in real life.
    • The exception would be using reach weapons (that allow you to melee attack from farther away than close-quarters), making this a less silly option. Unless you're using a whip, since it has the longest reach of all melee weapons, and there are several excellent whip types in non-core books, right up to the Game-Breaker psionic Prestige Class that allows you to create a weapon out of Pure Energy. And empower it with more Pure Energy. And use feats to make it hit harder, and ignore armor. However, this only applied to 3.0 rules, as in 3.5 the feat was changed so that it explicitly could only be used against targets that were adjacent to the person using it and also prevented it from being used in combination with the Cleave, Great Cleave feats, which dropped it down from Awesome, but Impractical to Cool, but Inefficient level.
    • The Iron Heart school from Tome of Battle contains a number of maneuvers like this, culminating in "Adamantine Hurricane" which lets you strike every opponent twice with improved accuracy and move in the same round.
  • And then 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons plays it straight again with several melee AOE powers that do basically this, such as the Fighter's Cruel Reaper, the Ranger's Wandering Tornado, and the Rogue's Dance of Death.
    • "Great Cleave" also returns in 4E, this time as a Barbarian power
  • Night Goblin Fanatics in Warhammer, although their rationale for doing so isn't so much "gotta get some breathing room" as it is "RRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA".
  • Whirlwind Attack and Grand Disarm in GURPS. After trying it you're defenseless but "in a cinematic game it's traditional for enemies to gape and gawk after this happens".
  • Peony Blossom Attack in Exalted. After spending quite some time as a speed-bump Charm containing a weaker version of the devastating multiple-strike Charm Iron Whirlwind Attack, it was errata'd into a single spinning cut that could hit every opponent within several meters.

  • Subverted/deconstructed in It's Walky!. A super-powered mook starts spinning rapidly in the presence of the main cast's only Badass Normal, Jason. He runs away at first, then, reasoning that this is probably "more of an oscillating fan thing than an airplane engine thing", sticks his arm into the range of the spinning man... who promptly stops dead, severely dizzy.
  • Attempted in Soul Symphony when Olivia and John combine their energy shield, flight, and energy sword spells together to launch themselves as a spinning buzzsaw of energy. It doesn't work out.
  • Since Axe Cop tends to get attacked while dancing, one of his dance moves is spinning on his axe and kicking the surrounding bad guys in the face. (Though a kick, it's not of the proper form to be a Hurricane Kick.)
  • Waterworks: Flush "Cyclone Cistern" attack. It begins with him spinning leisurely... then gradually builds up to a spinning tornado of death that sucks in foes (and note that all the while he's holding a knife in his outstretched hand.)

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The grandfather of this trope, the legendary Tasmanian Devil?
  • Used by Mr. Krabs with a sword(fish) to plow through a horde of zombie fish.
  • Ninjago is this trope. The primary attack of the main characters is spinning so fast they turn into mini-tornadoes, like the Tasmanian Devil but with more elemental powers.It isn't called Masters of Spinjitzu of nothing.
  • In the third season of ReBoot, Matrix's gun (rather unimaginatively named... Gun) even has a firing mode explicitly called 'Death Blossom.'


Mario spin

In Super Mario Galaxy, Mario has a spin attack that can break crystals and activate Launch Stars.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpinAttack

Media sources:

Main / SpinAttack