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The Right Hand of Doom

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"Look at the size of that whammer!"
Sgt. Whitman, Hellboy (2004)

Symmetry has often been considered a crucial element of beauty and form. So when a character designer wants to go for something bizarre, distorted, gritty, or badass, they will mess with the symmetry and one of the most common forms of Fashionable Asymmetry is to make one arm much bigger than the other.

It will still be an arm with a hand and digits but it will dominate the upper body and the size may be explained by some large glove-like piece of equipment or weapon. The creators may also decide whether or not to have the arm's considerable weight imbalance be acknowledged with the character walking with a slight shuffle or lean.

If this character is male, expect the fandom to immediately go for the obvious joke about how only one of his arms managed to get so huge.

Contrast with Red Right Hand, which, funnily enough, doesn't have to be a hand and is any mutation or defect used to denote an evil side. Not to be confused with The Left Hand of Darkness.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In AKIRA, Tetsuo gains a cybernetic left arm after losing his natural one. As his psychic powers consume him, the arm grows back and transforms into something alien-looking.
  • Bleach: Chad's spirit powers manifest as a huge armoured right arm. This gets evened out with his left arm after some training with Kisuke shortly before the Hueco Mundo arc, though his second arm looks completely different, and both of them are much larger than the rest of his limbs, so it's still an example of this trope.
  • The titular weapon of Buso Renkin's Homunculus Kinjou is a gauntlet on the right arm. One of its abilities is to absorb particles from the air to grow to enormous sizes.
  • Code Geass:
    • The Guren's right arm is larger and more skeletal than its left, and a different colour to the rest of its body. It can also bombard grabbed enemies with radiation until they explode. In this case, it's a Right Hand of Doom because the pilot is left-handed: the design of the radiation arm renders it unsuitable for any task except grabbing opponents and frying them, so it was installed on the pilot's non-dominant side.
    • The upgraded arm is much the same but with a greatly increased level of functionality and damage potential... Making it the right hand of Doomy Doom Dom. That's not counting the SEITEN's arm, which is the same, but with around a kilometre greater range, thanks to rocket boosts.
  • Zamasu from Dragon Ball Super after fusing with Goku Black. Their fusion becomes corrupted by mixing Zamasu's immortal body with that of Black's mortal one, causing half of his body to turn purple and mucky, with his purple side sporting an enormous arm.
  • Gundam:
    • One of the Manganac mobile suits in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has a giant claw arm made of the same indestructible miracle metal as the Gundams.
    • The Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OAV has a possible inverted example in the Banshee, which has a massive 4-digit claw dominating its left arm.
  • Hell Teacher Nube's left hand is actually a prosthetic made from a sealed demon. When he unseals it to fight off the Monster of the Week, it turns into a monstrous claw.
  • Kill la Kill uses this trope with Ryuko's berserker form, which is pretty asymmetrical all over, to be fair, but features a left arm approximately the same size as its body.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid has Corona's Meist Arm move, where she uses her earth control powers to equip one of her arms with a Golem's fist that's bigger than her entire body.
  • One Piece:
    • Sir Crocodile plays with this — his left hand is replaced with a huge golden hook, hiding a poisonous one underneath. However, it's his right, normal-looking hand that is the most dangerous — he can draw the humidity from everything he touches, including people, leaving them mummified.
    • In the twelfth movie, the Big Bad Z has a huge mechanical right arm.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Wild Tiger's Good Luck Mode powerup is a huge right hand.
  • In Xam'd: Lost Memories, the titular shapeshifters have this as their most common distinguishing feature.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Boldores and Boomsticks: Grendel's defining visual trait is the spiked mace of bone replacing its right paw.
  • One of the Characters that emerges from the Book of Characters in the library in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World is a woman with an oddly oversized right fist and "breasts roughly the size of watermelons."

    Film — Animated 
  • The titular character of Finding Nemo has one of his fins being much smaller than the other. The reason why he received this deformity is that at the very beginning of the film, his eggshell was cracked during the battle between his father Marlin and a barracuda.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • The Mote in God's Eye features the Moties, an alien race with two small, dexterous arms on one side and a heavy, powerful arm on the other.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Victarion gets something that probably qualifies here. While his left arm isn't any bigger, it is completely functional and probably super strong, but looks like it's been thoroughly barbecued.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The monsters and aliens from the various Ultra Series:
    • Yapool from Ultraman Ace plays the trope straight by sporting a blade in place of his right hand.
    • Ace Killer, also from Ultraman Ace, sports an abnormally larger (and more demonic-looking) claw on his left hand.
    • Tyrant from Ultraman Taro. Though more or less a contribution to his Mix-and-Match Critter appearance. Having a scythe for his right hand, and a Mace for his left hand. It can be counted as a pair.
    • Deathrem from Ultraman Mebius. His left hand looks like a giant saw.
    • Zaigorg from the Ultraman X Movie. He features a gigantic flail for his right hand.

    Multimedia Franchises 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Yagnoloths are a type of yugoloth (fiends that represent the concept of Neutral Evil), with one human-sized and one giant-sized arm. As both contract negotiators and field commanders of yugoloth mercenaries, they use the human-sized arm to draft and sign contracts with their employers and the giant-sized one to fight their enemies or beat unruly subordinates into line. They always wear capes that they shift about to hide whichever arm they aren't currently using.
    • Forgotten Realms introduced the banedead, a form of undead that have one of their hands twisted into an oversized claw that deals increased damage and may paralyze opponents struck by it.
    • Eberron has the battlefist, a magic item attached to warforged and Renegade Mastermakers/Self-Forged.
  • Exalted: An iconic Infernal (who is basically a living mummy) has a massive lobster pincer for his left hand. It's actually a demon melded into his body. The writeup for the artifact notes that it can shift into four different forms, one of which is more-or-less normal-looking, but the "honking big crab claw" look is most commonly seen.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Space Marines named the Power Fist trope for a reason: they're basically lightsabres in punching form when it comes to enemy armour. Since they also need to wield guns, power fists are usually on their left arms instead.
    • Horus sported a massive electro-claw fittingly called the "Talon of Horus". Now that he's dead, Horus's successor Abaddon now wears it.
    • Graevus of the Soul Drinkers. His right hand isn't clad in a power fist... because it's grown to about the same size as one. He has been known to use it to snap spines.
    • Commissar Yarrick has an Ork Powah Klaw almost as big as the rest of him in place of his right arm, which is strange for two reasons: A) Using xeno technology is usually punished by death in the Imperium and B) most Orky technology only works because the Ork's gestalt psychic powers make it work the way they believe it should. This, along with his laser eye (which was the Orks' idea), raises some interesting questions about Yarrick's relationship with his preferred enemy.

    • Many figures have oversized right arms or hands, including the six Toa Hordika (in The Movie, these are even shown fused together with their weapons) and six original Piraka sets, Mantax from the Barraki series, and Hewkii from the Toa Mahri line (who also has a gatling gun built into his forearm). From the bigger toys, Sidorak has an enormous right hand with gripping claws, and Makuta Icarax has a rotating blade for a right hand. Lefties include Lewa and Tahu from the original Toa Mata line, and Matoro from the Toa Mahri.
    • The Quake Beasts of BIONICLE (2015), whose entire right arms are enlarged arcs of crystal they use as striking weapons.

    Video Games 
  • Bionic Commando moved into 3D with his arm chain shot going from medium-sized to overwhelming tractor piece on his left side that really shouldn't allow him to stand.
  • BlazBlue: Ragna the Bloodedge usually has a normal-looking (if artificial) right arm, but it transforms into a huge, black, demonic claw for his Devoured by Darkness special and his Astral Heat.
  • Bloodborne: The Cleric Beast bases most of its attacks around its massive left arm and claw.
  • Bomberman Act:Zero: Bomberman has an oversized claw glove on his lefty.
  • Borderlands: Badass Psychos have one huge arm and one useless, shrivelled-up arm. The big arm isn't especially muscular, but it's very long. Krieg, the playable Psycho of Borderlands 2, can temporarily become a Badass Psycho with his Release the Beast skill.
  • In Contra: Hard Corps, Colonel Bahamut uses a mechanical variant of these to fight you.
  • Cookie Run:
    • Red Velvet Cookie's right arm is that of a clawed cake monster, while his left arm is that of a normal cookie.
    • Both of Lobster Cookie's arms resemble that of... well... a lobster, but his right one is slightly larger, and a different color than his overall color scheme.
  • In Darksiders, War has a massive metal prosthetic for his left arm after it was originally chopped off by Death in the past.
  • In the Devil May Cry series, Nero's Devil Bringer is a demonic right arm that while isn't particularly large by itself, projects a massive ghostly claw when he uses it to grab enemies. In Devil May Cry 5 the Devil Bringer gets cut off early on, forcing him to rely on cybernetic arms, with the Buster Arm in particular being the largest and bulkiest-looking.
  • In Fate/Grand Order, Julius Caesar's left arm becomes a massive limb made of marble upon reaching his Third Ascension.
  • Jecht in Final Fantasy X has a massive, deformed claw as the Final Aeon. Then in Dissidia Final Fantasy, he uses it to throw exploding punches.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, when using the Dark Impulse command, Terra's left arm becomes a shadowy claw. Xehanort also uses the same attack when he possesses Terra.
  • League of Legends:
    • Riven has a relatively large right glove so she can use her BFS.
    • Veigar has a large (for his size, anyway) spiky metal gauntlet on his right hand that seemingly serves no purpose except to make him look eviler.
  • Left 4 Dead 2: The Charger special infected has a ludicrously large right arm but a stump for its left arm.
  • Between Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Ocelot replaces his lost right hand with Liquid Snake's arm. It does not look natural, and for good reason. However, he replaces it with a cybernetic prosthetic by the time of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, revealed towards the end.
  • Overwatch: Doomfist's gauntlet takes up his entire right arm. As such his entire play style revolves around using his mobility to pop in and out of punching range and his abilities (Seismic Slam, Rising Uppercut, and Rocket Punch) have short cooldowns to compensate the small number of shots his Hand Cannon (a shotgun-gun that fires from his left knuckles). His ultimate, Meteor Strike, is just a much, much stronger form of Seismic Slam.
  • Paladins: Torvald has a massive, runic stone gauntlet on his right hand. His real hand is actually in the gauntlet's wrist, with the gauntlet's hand and fingers floating separately from the rest of the gauntlet. Despite its large size, the gauntlet functions more like a Tricked-Out Glove, shooting energy blasts and projecting shields instead of being used for punching. Torvald's ultimate, Hyper Beam, unlocks the latent powers of his gauntlet, firing a massive blast that sends enemies flying.
  • Pikmin 2: The segmented crawbster's right front leg has grown into a huge, armored claw shaped like a spiny club. It can't kill Pikmin with it, but it will smack them everywhere with it while removing their flowers, making it harder for them to outrun its Rolling Attack.
  • Pokémon:
    • Kingler, being based on the fiddler crab, has a gigantic left claw.
    • Clauncher and its evolution Clawitzer have a larger right claw than left, from which they can shoot watery projectiles. They're based on the pistol shrimp, which is known for its large claw.
  • Resident Evil: This is a recurring design element for B.O.Ws.
    • Resident Evil: The T-002 Tyrant has a right arm that's human, and a left arm that's a twisted claw with elongated, asymmetrical talons.
    • Resident Evil 0: A variant of the T-002's design is also used on the T-001 Proto-Tyrant.
    • Resident Evil 2: William Birkin's first and second mutations both have an overgrown right arm, although he gets balanced out in his third mutation. In the first mutation, it's simply an overly long arm with a massive eyeball growing out of the shoulder, with the second mutation causing it to swell and bloat into a meaty, malformed claw adorned with razor-sharp talons. In the 2019 remake, the first mutation's arm is more visibly swollen and twisted, so it looks closer to his second form's arm.
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis: It's subtle enough to be easily missed if you're not paying attention, but the Hunter Beta has a much larger left arm and hand than it does a right one.
    • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica: Taken to an extreme, as the Bandersnatch has no left arm at all, but its right arm has grown into a rubbery, elastic tentacle-like appendage.
    • Resident Evil 4: Jack Krauser's One-Winged Angel form consists of mutating his damaged left arm into a bladed tentacle that he can use as a weapon or a shield.
    • Resident Evil 5: Wesker's final mutation turns his right arm into a massive flail made up of jagged metal shards held together by the writhing black worms of Uroboros.
    • Resident Evil 6: The Ustanak's missing right arm is replaced by a set of modular yet invariably oversized and deadly-looking cybernetic prosthetics.
    • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles: The T-A.L.O.S. has a human-like right arm, used to aim and fire a shoulder-mounted multiple homing rocket launcher, and a much larger and more inhuman left-arm that reaches down to the ground, ape-fashion, and serves as a brace. Subverted when it goes One-Winged Angel, in which its arms become symmetrical monstrous sets of talons.
  • Samurai Shodown: Neinhalt Sieger's weapon is a giant gauntlet with a glowing hand.
  • Soul Series: Siegfried/Nightmare combines this with Red Right Hand, as the corruption caused by Soul Edge manifests as a grotesquely oversized and monstrous right arm.
  • StarCraft II: Alexei Stukov grew this after becoming infested by the Zerg virus. It's even more pronounced in his Heroes of the Storm incarnation.
  • In The Surge and The Surge 2, Single-Rigged weapons invoke both this and Blade Below the Shoulder at the same time. The player wears a single massive weapon attached to their right arm and uses their entire body and the power of their Rig to manipulate the enormous weapon. Since most of these weapons are repurposed industrial tools, they're already awkward to begin with, and fighting with them is less about timing swings and combos and more about dodging and jumping around and attacking at the right moment to minimize their massive stamina cost.
  • Tales of Berseria: Most of the time, Velvet Crowe's left arm is of normal proportions, though covered in bandages. However, when she unleashes her power as a Therion, it transforms into a huge demonic claw-like appendage which she uses to devour her enemies (and occasionally allies) and assume their power.
  • In Threads of Fate, Doll Master is first introduced in Rue's storyline by killing Claire (a woman who took Rue in when he was weak and who tried to protect him from the Doll Master) with his gigantic "Arm of Death".
  • Equipping Arm Cannon type weapons in Warframe will cause your Warframe's right arm to become massively overgrown with either Sentient technology (for the Shedu) or Infested tissue (for the Bubonico). Even when the weapon inactive, the arm continues to remain notably outsized compared to the rest of the body and causes the Tenno to stand bracing its added weight. They are still quite capable of spelling doom for enemies: in exchange for this awkward handling, arm cannon weapons tend to hit like trucks.

    Web Animation 
  • In Madness Combat, after getting revived with the magnification chamber, Hank gains a large crustacean tentacle (which later morphs into an actual hand) in place of his right arm.

  • El Goonish Shive: Lord Tedd has an impressive mechanical gauntlet on his right hand. It's somewhat ominous to readers when the main universe's Tedd makes an (admittedly less elaborate) version of their own. It stores magical energy and feeds it back, enhancing Tedd's seer abilities.
  • There are two candidates in Tower of God for the Devil of the Right Hand. Guess what their arms transform into.
  • In The Witch's Throne, the Witch gets a black arm with purple magical circles that resemble eyes covering it.

    Western Animation 
  • The Bots Master: Street BOYZZ bot Jammerzz has a large jackhammer device as his right arm, which he uses in combat.
  • Masters of the Universe, being, well, Masters of the Universe, has at least four characters who fit this description — and, in every case, it's the right hand/arm that's the larger one. The obvious example is Fisto, who depending on the continuity either wears a huge glove, has a mechanical prosthetic hand, or has a naturally enormous right arm. The evil crustacean warrior Clawful has a massive right claw much larger than his left, inspired by the above-mentioned fiddler crab; this is exaggerated in the 2002 cartoon. Then there's the 2002 incarnation of Trap-Jaw, whose mechanical arm is much larger and longer than his natural one, and Fisto's Evil Counterpart Jitsu.
  • In Mixels, Krader's right arm is a super-huge three-digit robotic one, in contrast to his left arm's tiny one with a small pincer hand. It gives him his tunneling abilities by acting like a drill and is strong enough to break through rocks.
  • In the Pet Alien episode "Big Hand of Fate", Tommy's right hand becomes comically large (right before his baseball tryouts) after he touches an irradiated meteorite. Though Tommy initially hates his new hand, he grows to enjoy it when he realizes how useful a big hand is for catching baseballs.
  • ReBoot: Gigabyte's right hand is a grizzly three digit claw with long yellow nails. This claw is used to drain energy from his victims.
  • In Regular Show, The Grim Reaper has an incredibly muscular right arm in contrast to his scrawny build.
  • Qilby the Traitor's wakfu arm (technically, it's his left) in Wakfu. It starts out about the same size as his normal right arm, but it can get a lot bigger in the blink of an eye.

    Real Life 
  • It's common for crustaceans to have asymmetrical pincers, and this in fact is the norm for a large number of them. In the common lobster, for example, one claw is bigger and blunter, acting as the "crusher" claw, while the other is more slender and has sharper 'teeth' and acts as the "cutter" claw.
    • Male fiddler crabs grow gigantic claws on one arm (which one depends on the crab, and can even switch during a single crab's lifetime if he loses the big claw). They use them to fight other males but mostly to show off to females.
    • Pistol shrimp have one that doubles as a natural Arm Cannon.
  • British freight trains did not have continuous brakes until after the demise of steam, roughly speaking. Braking was effected by means of steam brakes on the locomotive and hand brakes on the locomotive's tender and the brake van. Certain classes of locomotive were notorious for the operation of the tender brakes requiring much strenuous winding of a small hand crank to little effect. It was the fireman's duty to wind this crank, and it was said that firemen who were regularly assigned to those classes of locomotive could readily be distinguished by having one arm bigger than the other.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Right Hand Of Doom


Gija's Right Arm

Gija, the White Dragon Warrior, has a powerful dragon-like arm that was bestowed upon by the White Dragon.

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