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Throat-Slitting Gesture

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Otto: And once the vicious one realizes he has no further use for an old, blind troll... I— Well... [does the throat-slitting gesture]
Dictatious: ...well, what? You know I can't see.
Otto: Oh. I moves my thumb across my throat. It is, as we say, a killing motion.
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A common, non-verbal way to threaten someone with death in fiction to slide your index finger against your throat to simulate a beheading or a Slashed Throat, sometimes with a vocalized "Kccch!" sound. Usually, the one being threatened will clutch his neck in fear.

Alternatively, this gesture is used to tell someone to "Shut up" or "Cut it out". In video broadcasts, it is used by those in front of the camera to tell the cameraman or programmers to cut away from the chaos going on before them.

A subtrope of Implied Death Threat. See also Slashed Throat and Off with His Head!.


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Examples:

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    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin: When the Genie explains to Aladdin that he can't kill anyone, he does the gesture, causing his head to come off.
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven: Carface makes the gesture when reminding Killer to take Charlie out back for his "big surprise".
    Killer: Surprise? What surprise, boss?
    Carface: The big... surprise.
  • Cinderella: When the King gives the Grand Duke the task of making sure Cinderella doesn't leave the ball before the Prince has proposed to her, he uses this gesture to indicate the price of failure.
  • The Emperor's New Groove: Kronk makes this gesture to warn Yzma that her drink has poison in it.
  • FernGully: The Last Rainforest: Hexus makes the gesture as he's about to attack FernGully with the Leveler. Since he's made of smoke, he actually cuts his "throat" and then regenerates it.
  • The Lion King: Scar makes the gesture during the "Be Prepared" number when he tells the hyenas to "take certain duties on board", i.e. help him with murdering Mufasa.
  • Peter Pan: Smee makes the gesture while asking Captain Hook, "Wouldn't it be more humane-like to slit [Pan's] throat?" He also does it when telling the Captain that "Tink tried to do [Wendy] in, she did."
  • Pinocchio: When the Coachman offers Honest John and Gideon a large sum for a job:
    Honest John: And, uh, who do we have to... Kccch!
    Coachman: No, no, nothing like that.
  • The Rescuers Down Under: McLeach catches Cody with one of Marahute's feathers and asks where he found it. When Cody refuses, McLeach pulls out a similar feather and mimes slashing his throat with it to indicate that he shot down Marahute's mate.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Cat in the Hat: During the cooking show, Host!Cat uses the "Cut the feed" variation when Chef!Cat chops part of his tail off and shouts "SON OF A B***!"
  • The Death of Stalin: As Khrushchev and his wife are going over the former's notes from last night (seeing which jokes were considered funny by Stalin and which weren't), she finds one that simply says "Molotov chhh". After some effort, Khrushchev remembers it means "Molotov *khhhhk*", as he's on the list for execution.
  • Galaxy Quest: Jason gives this gesture to Gwen while they're talking with Sarris as a sign to close their channel so they can plot against him. Unfortunately, she misinterprets this as him telling her they're doomed and leaves the channel open so Sarris can hear them plotting against him.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Drax, being Literal-Minded, is extremely confused the first time he encounters this:
    Star-Lord: She betrayed Ronan. He's coming back for her. And when he does, that's when you... [draws finger across his throat]
    Drax: ...Why would I put my finger on his throat?
    Star-Lord: What? Oh, no, it's a symbol. This is a symbol for you slicing his throat.
    Drax: I would not slice his throat. I would cut his head clean off.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: When Indiana Jones escapes from Belloq and the Hovitos warriors, Belloq makes a back-and-forth throat slitting gesture to the Hovitos as an order to kill Jones.
  • Schindler's List: When a cattle truck carrying women is passing by a boy on its way to an extermination camp, you can see him make this scary gesture indicating that they would be doomed.
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    Pro Wrestling 

    Sports 
  • American football leagues (both collegiate and professional) have banned the "throat slash" gesture. Players seen doing it are penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BECMI Immortals rules module IM3 The Best of Intentions. A picture of the jury that will decide the fate of the Immortal criminals shows one of them making a throat-slitting gesture as a warning of the fate of the accused.

    Video Games 
  • Cuphead: In one trailer, the Devil threatens Cuphead and Mugman, who are begging for mercy, with this gesture. For extra creepiness, the Devil's shadow has his hand shaped like a blade, cutting off the heads of their shadows.
  • Dark Souls II has the decapitation gesture, in which you point toward your opponent, do a throat slash and end with a thumb down. You can learn the gesture from Vengarl of Forossa, a still-living decapitated head.
  • Overwatch: Reaper has this gesture as an emote and one of his highlight intros.
  • In Undertale, Undyne may randomly do this during her Boss Battle.
  • In Civilization, Kupe of the Maori performed the Haka and ends with a Throat Slit gesture + tongue out for intimidation. When he sees the player is evil.
  • In Sunset Overdrive The leader of Las Catrinas threatens the player this way if she were to harm or fail to impress the kids in the hospital.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck: Tavros does this when he faces off against Vriska, then emphasizes it by holding up a teddy bear's severed head. Vriska makes a similar gesture, but holds up Tavros's severed lower torso instead. For context 
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella: Wonderella befriends a red balloon, which is then popped by a brat with a slingshot. She orders the other balloons to smother him to death with this gesture.

    Web Original 
  • CollegeHumor: In The Stinger to their parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", the girl closes her curtains in horror after finding out her crush is a neo-Nazi, and he makes a throat-slitting gesture with his fist in response.
  • In the Warrior Cats Darktail Multiple Animator Project Poor Unfortunate Souls, Darktail makes this gesture to Needletail to signal he wants her to kill Violetpaw.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "The Vault", the leader of the Bath Boy Gang threatens Shoko with this gesture and, in case she didn't understand, says "Pretend my finger's a knife".
  • Classic Disney Shorts: In Mickey's Service Station, Pete makes the gesture when threatening Mickey, Donald and Goofy to get rid of the squeak in his car by the time he returns. When time is up, Pete's face appears on the clock and the clock hands do the gesture.
  • DuckTales (2017): In "Daytrip of Doom!", after Webby's attempt to get "water" (fruit punch) goes awry and attracts a manager, Louie does the "Cut it out" version to tell her to shut up. She nervously raises a spork, apparently having misinterpreted the gesture as him telling her to kill the manager.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Fight Fighters", Robbie threatens Dipper with this.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In "Fox Pop", a fox paints himself silver and enters a fox farm after hearing a radio ad about how much women love silver foxes (not realizing that it's only for their furs). Once there, one of the other foxes tells him about a breakout and warns him about what will happen if he doesn't go with them with a throat slashing gesture. The fox thinks this means he'll get killed by the other fox, so when the breakout occurs, he stays behind, thinking he'll be safe. It's only when he sees the furrier approach with an ax that he realizes what he's gotten himself into, and does the slashing gesture on himself.
    • In "Wackiki Wabbit", Bugs puppeteers a roast chicken with strings to trick the two castaways into thinking it's come alive, and he makes the chicken threaten them with the gesture.
    • In "Golden Yeggs", Porky discovers that one of his chickens had laid a golden egg and asks which of them laid it. A goose tells the audience he did it, but is not telling because "I know what happened to the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg... krrrrch!"
    • In "(blooper) Bunny!", Bugs does the "Cut the feed" version as Daffy says "You smug son of a..."
  • In Trollhunters, Otto Scaarbach does this to Dictatious as he gloats on replacing him as Gunmar's right hand. Since Dictatious is blind, he has to explain that he did so.

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