I looked up to him then, and still do.
He was trying to teach me something,
and now I know what it was, now I know what he meant, now I know how it is!
One must eat the other who runs free before him. Put them right into his mouth
while fantasizing the beauty of his movements,
a sensation not unlike slapping yourself in the face..."
This trope is about a tactic, either bullying or combat, that consists of forcing/making someone hit themselves. Deals both physical and psychological damage. Especially when it's about bullying, expect The Bully to taunt the victim "why do you keep hitting yourself?" or, even more often "Stop hitting yourself!", hence the trope name.
In more dramatic examples, someone might have a piece of their person removed and used as a weapon against what remains of them. Especially when Only Like Can Cut Like, the easiest way to do it is to take a piece of that "like" to harm the rest of it. A weapon system could be turned against its own platform. A projectile may be reflected or caught and returned back at the attacker. More fantastic examples might even include a duplicate being created to attack the original or someone being forced to fight a time displaced version of themselves. If you've got psychic powers, maybe you can make people physically lash out at themselves or endlessly fight themselves in a nightmare? To a director, just seeing the actor fumble around on the green screen could be worth it.
Related to Why Did You Make Me Hit You?, which is about shifting the blame from the perpetrator to the (particularly weak-willed) victim, which may go hand in hand with this trope. Compare Attack Reflector, Catch and Return, Deadly Dodging and Misguided Missile. Compare Primal Chest-Pound, when someone purposefully hits oneself on the chest to show off one's fierceness and toughness. Likewise compare Kicking My Own Butt, when someone voluntarily beats themselves up for some reason. Compare and contrast Attacking Through Yourself, when someone deliberately hurts oneself to attack someone who cannot be reached otherwise. People Puppets is a particularly effective way to play this game. Super Trope to Psychic-Assisted Suicide, Sub-Trope to Hoist by His Own Petard.
- In Naruto, the Third Raikage is so tough that he can No-Sell most things. Then Naruto finds out what exactly can hurt him: his own technique. So by the aid of Frog Kata, Naruto bends Raikage's arm when he's going to strike, causing him to hit himself, wounding him deeply.
- Played for laughs in chapter two of Ghost in the Shell. Major Kusanagi gets irritated with the Minister of Internal Affairs when he starts to insinuate that he may interfere with later operations if she doesn't toe a particular line—their last mission caused a bit of a political mess. She asks to be linked to his cyberbrain directly (this is all happening over teleconference) and makes him punch himself in the face.
- At the end of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode "Missing Hearts", Motoko challenged Batou after he boasts about the physical superiority of male prosthetic bodies. He puts up his fists, ready to strike, but she simply smiles back at him. In that brief instant, Motoko hacks Batou's body and makes him punch himself out, then tells him she looks forward to reading his report on the way that he properly used all the muscles in his head.
- A Pittsburgh comedian riffed on the 2008 case where Donna Sturkie-Anthony beat her 43-year-old sister, Sherrie Lynn Gibson, with her own prosthetic leg, claiming that the (actual) charges of assault, aggravated assault, and harassment respectively resulted from "striking her sister, striking her sister with the weapon of the prosthetic, and repeatedly yelling 'Stop kicking yourself!' while doing so".
- A far less humorous and far more serious example in Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità. After screaming at Italy, Germany and Japan were horrified at themselves for doing so. They frantically apologized and proceeded to literally hit themselves. Anguished, Italy exclaimed for them to stop.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged plays with this during the Frieza Saga when Frieza grabs Vegeta by the hair and starts punching him in the back, singsongingly declaring "Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!" When Vegeta whines that he's doing it wrong, Frieza replies "Au contrare, Vegeta. You brought this upon yourself."
- Cobalt Karkat and mutant Kanaya in Red Dead Virgo have an entire conversation where Karkat constantly controls Kanaya into hitting herself.
(After he controlled her repeatedly)CG: WELL? ARE YOU CALM YET?GA: MUST YOU INSIST ON FORCING ME TO TYPE 'OW' EVERY TIME YOU MAKE ME HIT MYSELF YOU WEB WEEPING NUBBY HORNED DEGENERATECG: SIGH.CG: STOP HITTING YOURSELF.GA: OwCG: STOP HITTING YOURSELF.GA: OwCG: STOP HITTING YOURSELF.GA: OwCG: STOP HITTING YOURSELF.GA: OwCG: STOP HITTING YOURSELF.GA: OwCG: STOP HITTING YOURSELF.GA: Ow
- In Toy Story, Woody smacks Buzz Lightyear with his own arm as a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! moment.
- Flynt, a juvenile gorilla plays the punch yourself game with his friend Mungo in the Disney version of Tarzan. It only works twice before the subjected gorilla throws the other away.
- In a serious, non-mocking example, Rourke does this to Milo near the end of Atlantis: The Lost Empire when the latter tries to fight him.
- The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible is only able to defeat the Omnidroid the first time around because he sneaks inside it while it is still targeting him, causing it to hit itself until it is destroyed. This insight becomes invaluable when the heroes are fighting the new, improved Omnidroid in the climax.
Mr. Incredible: The only thing hard enough to penetrate it is... itself!
- In Zootopia, as part of her training at the police academy, Judy fights a rhinoceros in a boxing match. She's obviously too small to knock him out, so what does she do? Bounce off the ropes at the edge of the boxing ring and kick the rhino's arm into his own face, knocking out himself.
- In Big Hero 6, during the bot fight scene, Hiro's robot removes one arm of Yama's much bigger robot, and uses it as a weapon to break off the other arm.
- In Everyone's Hero, Mr. Cross amuses himself by making two bobbleheads of Babe Ruth fight each other.
- In Ralph Breaks the Internet, as Ralph fights the giant creature consisting of his clones, he leaps on its head, resulting in the creature hitting itself in the face as it tries to crush Ralph.
- In Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Ace does this (among other things) to a crocodile that unwisely tries to chomp him.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen sees Starscream get beaten with his own severed arm by both Optimus Prime and Megatron. He's a robot so he sticks it back on after they are done.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane catches Batman's fist and forces him to punch himself in the face.
- In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Peter Maximoff makes a guard punch himself in the face when he rushes through the kitchen that leads to Magneto's prison.
- Indiana Jones discourages Mola Ram from trying to tear out his heart by grabbing Ram's arm and punching him in the face with his own fist.
- In Return of the Jedi, Luke blows up Jabba's sail barge by firing its own cannon into the deck.
- In Evil Dead 2, after Ash's hand is infected by the Evil, he starts involuntarily punching himself in the face, smashing dishes over his own head, and even grabs himself by the scruff and flips himself onto the floor.
- And then in Army of Darkness, the Evil infests Ash again and begins splitting off as an evil clone, clobbering Ash with his own hand until he fully detaches. He's still technically hitting himself even after that, until Ash gets fed up with that bullshit and gives Evil Ash a double load of buckshot to the face.
- John Wick gives a darkly comic example when he's wrestling with a knife-wielding opponent and manipulates the hapless mook into holding the point toward his own chest. Wick then takes advantage of the mook's death-grip on the knife by giving the pommel a few good slams with his free hand.
- In The Goldbergs, Barry bullies his little brother Adam in this way by sitting on him and making him hit his face with his own hands in the appropriately titled "Why Are You Hitting Yourself?"
- In the MTV Movie Awards spoof of The Matrix Reloaded, a fight between Justin Timberlake and an army of Seann William Scott's clones (a la Agent Smith) accidentally devolves into a free-for-all until one clone grabs another and yells "Stop! Hitting! Yourself!". While repeatedly punching him in the face.
- A segment of the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert features Donald Trump's chief nickname strategist pulling this on Colbert.
- A hilarious inversion happens in The Flash (2014). Barry and Ralph are intercepted by a stupid mugger who tries to rob them, and while they discuss how to deal with him, the guy gets fed up and tries to shoot Ralph. The bullet predictably bounces off and hits the mugger in the leg. Not learning his lesson he takes another shot and this time the bullet hits him in the ass, prompting Barry to yell "Stop shooting him!"
- Brewster Rockit has had this at least twice: once when Brewster used "the Dork Side of the Force" and once when a microchip in Cliff's hand got hacked.
- Cheerleader Melissa is fond of using a Kondo clutch to stomp the back of MsChif's head in with her own foot. Or was until they became allies anyway.
- Amazing Kong's accordion rack is an elevated stop kicking yourself. MsChif was a favored target of this one too, until they became allies anyway.
- Beth Phoenix played a stop kicking yourself game with Melina at the Royal Rumble.
- In one of Raw's more unexpected instances, Jinder Mahal of Three MB tried to make Santino Marella hit himself with his own Cobra by playing a flute to charm the attack/snake puppet.
- After being repeatedly pie faced by Allysin Kay at SHINE 3, Christina Von Eerie responded by making Kay pie face herself, after spitting in Kay's hand.
- During a Mixed Tag Team Match, Maryse made Santino Marella hit himself with his Cobra.
- The "Puppeteer" mutation in Paranoia can be used to do this.
- The confusion status inflicted by enemies in some Role Playing Games is centered around either this and/or invoking Friendly Fire.
"Pokémon is confused! It hurt itself in its confusion!"
- Team Fortress 2 An inexperienced engineer can be injured and killed by his own sentry if an enemy tricks him to walk within its fire.
"On miss: Hit yourself. Idiot."
- Soldier and Demoman can also have their splash damage used against them, especially by using Bonk, a Dead Ringer, or an Uber to avoid taking damage yourself.
- Pyros can airblast certain projectiles—such as rockets, grenades, and flares—back at their attacker. This also makes them deal mini-crits this way.
- A more literal example is the Boston Basher for the Scout. It's a melee weapon that inflicts bleeding damage upon hit, but missing a swing will damage the attacker. This can also be intentionally used to jump higher than normal thanks to the game's physics engine.
- Skullmonkeys A cutscene has a hamster entering into a skullmonkey's skull through its orbit. While the tiny rodent is wreaking havoc inside the poor monkey's head, the latter starts headbutting a rock. A few seconds later, it punches itself for the desperation. As soon as it faints, the hamster pops out unscathed and says:
- Kirby: Some of the bosses have attacks that can be inhaled by Kirby to be spit back at the boss (or, rarely, gives him a copy ability). In Kirby Super Star, its remake, and Kirby: Planet Robobot, you can also use the Mirror ability to directly reflect the boss' projectiles back at them.
- Mega Man 2: Metal Man is the only Robot Master to be weak against his own weapon, the Metal Blade, as seen in the rematch against him.
- Mega Man Zero 4: This game introduces the Zero Knuckle, a weapon that Zero can use to pick a special weapon from enemies. This can also be used on a few of the bosses' attacks to be used against the boss, i.e Noble Mandrago's planted seeds (it only does little damage for Mandrago) or Weil's falling swords (the sword you gain only has one use, but is fairly strong).
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles:
- The boss of Flying Battery Act 1 is a monstrous version of those animal capsules with two flailing spikeball arms to smash Sonic with. It's invulnerable to even Super Sonic's attacks, and has to be beaten by staying on top of it, then moving away when the arms get ready to attack, causing it to hit itself.
- Robotnik's machine in Lava Reef Zone will launch mines that slide down the lava and will eventually collide into him and take him out. It's invulnerable to everything else, even Super Sonic's attacks.
- How It Should Have Ended: In his special episode, Kratos from God of War slays Anubis by stabbing him with his own staff. While doing so, he invokes this trope by saying:
Kratos: Why are you stabbing yourself?
Kratos: Why are you stabbing yourself?
Kratos: Why are you stabbing yourself?
- In Girl Genius, Agatha turns Count Wolkerstorfer's Humongous Mecha's magnetic weapon against itself, causing it to smash itself in the "face" several times.
- In Kid Radd, G.I. Guy takes control of Radd's body in a bid to use Radd's power to destroy the internet, and when Radd tempts fate by asking how G.I. Guy could make this any worse, G.I. Guy forces Radd to start punching himself.
G.I. Guy: Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself! Heh heh.
Radd: Ow! You... Ow! ...fiend... Ow!
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
"Hey, President Dork! Why you annihilating yourself?"
- Exaggerated in 2011-01-07, where all bullies are sent to Mars, whereupon they invent a machine that can remotely detonate any nuclear device.
- In one strip, far-fetched Fridge Logic proves that this is the bully's way of saying "I love you."
- The Simpsons. A regular tactic of bully Nelson Muntz complete with the line "Stop hitting yourself!"
- When the class is given video cameras and assigned to make documentaries, Nelson's is called "Stop Hitting Yourself" and consists of Nelson filming Milhouse while using Milhouse's own fist to hit him in the head.
- Nelson attends a party given by a wealthy family. He is seen doing the same thing to a butler while saying, "Stop buttling yourself!" The butler politely responds "Would that I could, sir."
- In "Brawl in the Family" Nelson noogies a rare spotted owl while shouting "Stop endangering yourself!"
- In a Treehouse of Horror episode parodying Harry Potter Nelson points Milhouse's own wand at Milhouse's head to change it into a banana, an ostrich, and Mr. T. The incantation is "Stop Zapping Yourself!"
- X-Men. Sabertooth tried to play this game with Wolverine, to see how well he would take his own claws.
- Ben 10: Alien Force, when Ben turns into Way Big to fight a giant Vilgax, he grabs Vilgax's arms and does this to him. Kevin even laughs and says "Classic."
- In the 4th series, Ben 10: Omniverse, Ben turns into Ghostfreak and possesses Mike Morningstar/Darkstar and makes him begin to hit himself in the face repeatedly.
- In The Life and Times of Juniper Lee episode "Out of the Past", June does this during her climactic fight against Kai Yee after restraining his arms:
- Towards the end of the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode, "Land of the Flea", the Imaginary fleas that live on Eduardo jump onto Mr. Herriman and take control of his body, which includes making him hit himself. When they tell Frankie and the other imaginary friends that if they don't stop trying to kill them with powders, collars, and baths, they will destroy Mr. Herriman, or at least make him keep hitting himself.
- Done in Gravity Falls, with Dipper, by his clones.
- Kim Possible:
- There was an episode of where the characters entered a MMORPG that was based in medieval times where someone had started kidnapping various players. Wade took on the role of a wizard and cast a spell to make the villain hit himself with his sword (as well as taunt him by saying "Quit hitting yourself with your sword").
- Also done in an episode where Doctor Dementor steals and wears Kim's new battlesuit, but then Rufus gets his paws on the suit's remote control..
Ron: Hey, stop hitting yourself!
Dementor: I cannot!
- In the Kung Fu Panda short Secrets of the Furious Five, Master Viper fights a Killer Gorilla bandit. At one point she coils around his neck and wrist, forcing him to hit himself in the face. She also uses this tactic against Tai Lung in the movie.
- In an episode of Phineas and Ferb, Doofenshmirtz succesfully controls Perry's brain, and one of the things he makes Perry do is this.
Doofenshmirtz: Why are you hitting yourself?! Why are you hitting yourself?! Why are you hitting yourself?!
- Teen Titans had Jericho fight a villain by using his possession power to possess a villain, which means taking over their voluntary movements and force him to start literally punching himself.
- The Venture Bros.: In a fantasy sequence in "The Trial of the Monarch", Brock removes the arm of a thirty-foot-tall animated statue and uses it to demolish the statue's groin. The Brothers cheer him on with "Stop hitting yourself!"
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "To Change a Changeling", Pharynx used to do this to his brother Thorax when they were grubs, smacking him in the face with the latter's own hoof and asking him why he was hitting himself. This later turns out to be the trick to defeating the Maulwurf — since the only thing that can hurt it through its thick hide are its own attacks, Thorax and Pharynx goad it into slapping and biting itself by hovering next to it or standing on it and dodging before it can hit them. Pharynx explicitly brings up his childhood habit of doing this when he comes up with the plan.
- Regular Show: In "The Real Thomas", when Russia reveals how they plan to bypass the treaty between themselves and the US by taking parts of their country and forcing them into collisions on their missiles, Premier Koshkov's associate, Karpov, mockingly states, "Why are you hitting yourself, America?!"
- The Buzz on Maggie: In "Hooligans", ant bully Snap repeatedly stings a wasp with said wasp's own stinger, and asks "Why are you stinging yourself? Why are you stinging yourself?"