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Super Fly Reflexes

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This kind of dueling takes un-bee-lievable skill.

Super Fly Reflexes is when a character uses a hard-to-catch insect like a fly or gnat to show off their astounding reflexes. Usually by snatching it out of the air, though other common variations including hitting it with the point of a sharp object like a dagger or pin, or even slicing it in half in mid-air with a sword. Or Improbable Chopsticks Skill.

This can be done to show the character's amazing training and skill, or simply to show off the superpower.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the anime series, a Knife Nut assassin who's planning to challenge Golgo 13 impales a moth with a thrown dinner knife. Subverted in that he drew attention to his skill in a crowded dining room, right after lampshading how Duke Togo never drew attention to himself.
  • One skit from Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto has Sakamoto swordfighting with a hornet using a compass, as seen in the page image.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Whis at one point demonstrates his precision and speed by calmly grabbing a bee by its wings mid-flight, without causing any harm to the bee itself.

    Comic Books 
  • In the issue of Marvel's G.I. Joe comic where the first Star-Viper is introduced, he demonstrates his boosted reflexes by quickly grabbing three flies out of the air with one hand.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Home on the Range, Rico catches a fly with his hand and shushes it. The fly apologizes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Whole Nine Yards, Jimmy "the Tulip" Tudeski does this as a first sign of his former job as a contract killer. He even puts the fly in his mouth, too.
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man, a newly spider-bitten Peter Parker naturally catches a fly between two fingers, about an inch away from Aunt May's face.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy impales a fly by casually spitting out a thumb tack while being lectured by her school principal.
  • Also parodied in They Call Me Bruce when Bruce slices at a fly with a samurai sword, only to miss (because he's not the martial arts expert he's pretending to be). Bruce then claims that the fly "will make love no longer".
  • In the film of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ron comments that Cormac McLaggen has a build more suited to a Beater than a Keeper, saying that Keepers must be quick and speedy and have good reflexes. Cormac catches a fly between two fingers and says he thinks he'll be fine.
  • In a scene in The Magnificent Seven Lee's sitting at a table wrestling with his personal demons. Three flies appear by his cup, his hand flashes out and...
    Lee: [sighs] One... Time was when I would have got all three.
  • In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn shows off his Jedi reflexes by catching Jar-Jar Binks' tongue with his fingers, as Jar-Jar tries to steal the Skywalkers' last apple frog-style.
  • In Get Smart, Agent 23 makes his Big Entrance by smashing a fly and flicking it into the trash. It turns out to have been a Literal Surveillance Bug, much to the annoyance of its makers.
  • The chopstick example from The Karate Kid is parodied in Balls of Fury, where the protagonist's Old Master opens his cricket box, and the guy grabs the cricket. The master rebukes him and tells him that wasn't the intention. Unfortunately, the master's lucky cricket is now crushed.
  • Terminator: Dark Fate. When someone expresses skepticism that she is a Super Soldier from the future, Grace proceeds to cut a fly lengthways in mid-air with her knife.

  • Three samurai are arguing over which has the best sword technique.
    The first samurai swings his sword at a fly in the air, and the other two see the fly has been cut in half.
    The second samurai swings his sword at a fly in the air, and then points to the ground, where the other two see the fly crawling around as its severed wings gently float to the ground.
    The third samurai swings his sword at a fly in the air... and the fly's buzzing is suddenly a lot higher-pitched.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Everybody Loves Raymond, Raymond witnesses one of Robert's brief love interests catch a fly in midair between her two hands, and shortly after eat it. He humorously plays The Cassandra in trying to warn Robert about this freaky quirk. While not a woman of super powers per se, we later find out that she rather strangely associates herself with frogs and thus shares their fly-consuming behavior.
  • Happy Days: Fonzie's cousin does this, establishing his superior reflexes even as he is despondent that there is nothing special about him. He goes on to set a world record for catching quarters flipped off his own elbow.
  • RJ catches a fly barehanded in one episode of Power Rangers Jungle Fury after having spent the episode making friends with Flit, who is a talking fly monster.

  • Donald Keith's Mutiny In The Time Machine (1962). The villain Peters (AKA The Widgett) has an ability called "nerve speed" that allows him to move faster than normal human beings. He demonstrates it by grabbing a fly out of the air.
  • A variant appears in the Mobile Suit Gundam novelization. One of the tests the Flanagan Institute puts Lalah through is using her Psychic Powers to telepathically control a set of robotic arms and catch flies with them. She has no problem catching the flies, but doing it with enough finesse to avoid crushing them takes longer.

  • Depending on the production, this is often done by The Renfield in Dracula films and plays. He catches flies and eats them, or else he feeds them to spiders — then eats the spiders.

  • In Meat Shield, Sora offhandedly catches a fly while discussing a typical mage failing.
    Sora: Mages will spend hours researching a spell to kill a fly when it is so much easier— [catches fly between two fingers] —to swat it.
  • Parodied in One-Punch Man, in a scene where Saitama finds it inexplicably difficult to swat a mosquito despite being so fast that the movement of his arms creates Kung Fu Sonic Booms.

    Western Animation 
  • Æon Flux has the main character do this with her eyelashes in the opening credits. The movie steals this straight out of the original cartoon. The idea was to show off how much control the heroine has over her body.
  • In Hey Arnold!, Arnold's grandma starts teaching him martial arts and demonstrates her ability to catch a fly unharmed with her hand. When he tries it himself, he accidentally crushes the fly.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Yuyan Archers are boasted to have such Improbable Aiming Skills that they can pin a fly to a tree from a hundred yards without killing it.
  • In the Animated Adaptation of Trolls de Troy, as in the inspiring comics, flies are a troll's precious companions and source of pride. Getting their first flies is treated as a Coming of Age moment. Waha, being an adopted human, is fly-less and envious of the other trolls for theirs. So, it's rather common for her (sometimes with the help of her friend Pröfy) to try and catch the flies of another troll. When she's successful, a furious chase usually ensues.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:

    Real Life 
  • President Barack Obama once famously killed a fly during an interview.

Alternative Title(s): Super Fly Catching