An Arm and a Leg

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The deep as his sorrows.
"Where's the rest of me?"
Drake McHugh, Kings Row

Essentially, limb loss as dramatic device. Can come about in a variety of ways:

  1. The character deliberately removes the limb themselves, under duress or otherwise.
  2. The loss is accidental, or occurs during battle.
  3. Another person/entity deliberately rips, cuts or otherwise separates the limb from the owner. It may happen in battle, but it's not a type 3 unless the amputation was deliberate.

May be the predecessor to Artificial Limbs, Arm Cannon, Hook Hand or Swiss Army Appendage. Frequently appears in the backstory of a Handicapped Badass. If played for laughs it's Only a Flesh Wound. Characters with Appendage Assimilation will simply stitch a new appendage on the gaping hole. If it's a severed hand, expect it to be be used in a Dead Hand Shot.

Note that this trope only applies when limb loss is deliberately used to advance the plot. It does not apply to preexisting conditions or incidental carnage amongst background characters. If the incident leading to the loss is featured in a flashback by all means include it, but if we only see the character after it happens it doesn't count.

Compare Kneecapping and Agony of the Feet.

Arranged by medium as usual, but please note what type it is at the beginning of the entry.

Examples of An Arm and a Leg include:

Anime & Manga

  • Fullmetal Alchemist has had two types among multiple characters, the better to show off the universe's automail Artificial Limbs. Edward Elric, the main character had his leg taken away from him by Truth as a "equivalent exchange" and then deliberately sacrificed his right arm to bring back his brother's soul (who lost his body for the same reason) so he got a type 1 and 3. Also Lan Fan hacks off her own (already all but severed) arm and attaches it to a stray dog to throw off Bradley's scent. Those are the two biggest characters we see it happen to, but several more have it as part of their back story.
    • Scar may have lost both his arms after Kimblee causes an giant explosion.
    • Wrath gets both of his arms blown off by Scar.
  • Thanks to the warriors' regenerative abilities, this happens on a routine basis in Claymore:
    • Irene loses an arm to Priscilla, turning her into a Handicapped Badass when she survives the battle.
    • Clare loses an arm to Ophelia, but Irene then cuts off her own remaining arm and gives it to Clare as a replacement.
    • Deneve's most impressive limb-loss to date was when she ripped off her own zombie-infected arm and chucked it at the enemy.
    • And most recently, Priscilla cut off her own arm after shoving it through Raki's shoulder, and it has now become a MacGuffin after falling into the hands of the Organization.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Touma has his Imagine Breaker arm sliced off by Aureolus. After the battle, his arm is reattached.
    • Also in his battle against Fiamma of the Right, it got cut off again, but it grew back.
    • It happened again in Baggage City, at Othinus's hands.
  • Vision of Escaflowne: Lord Folken's arm was bitten off by a dragon.
  • Since no one dies in Bleach, this is a popular method to show that someone is badly damaged:
    • In the very first episode, Ichigo cuts off Fishbone D's arm.
    • Jidanbo, giant gate guard the group encountered when they first went to the Soul Society, got his arm lopped off by Gin (Orihime fixed it).
    • When Ichigo first met the Arrancar Yammy Riyalgo, he chopped off his arm. It was later reattached by an Arrancar surgeon in Las Noches, whereupon Yammy showed his gratitude by smashing her.
    • Before that, Yammy punched Chad's off (Orihime fixed it).
    • Grimmjow got his arm sliced off as punishment for being too reckless (Orihime fixed it).
    • During the battle for Karakura Town, the good guys lost a total of 5 arms in types 1 and 3.
      • Aizen cuts off Gin and Komamura's arm and Toshiro's arm and leg.
      • Three Arrancar girls each sacrificed an arm to create a horned man-thing to fight for them during the battle for Karakura Town, so that would be a type 1 for each of them. It turns out that their Espada represents sacrifice, which explains a lot.
      • Soifon asked her lieutenant to chop her arm off when it got infected by Barragan's decay power, so she's a type 3.
      • In a type 1, Yamamoto sacrifices his arm in an attempt to blow Aizen to oblivion through the use of forbidden magic.
    • Ulquiorra got his arm ripped off by Demon Ichigo a few chapters after Ulquiorra did so to Uryuu.
    • Ichigo in his Fullbring mode sliced off the left arm of Tsukishima.
    • Kenpachi cuts off four of Nnoitra arms.
      • He also cut of numerous of Yammy's legs.
  • In Elfen Lied, this happens a LOT. Heads and internal organs also occasionally go flying.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima
    • Negi gets an arm cut off while fighting Kagetarou and gets it reattached later.
    • Later on, a flashback reveals that Jack Rakan, got both his arms cut off when Ala Rubra fought the Lifemaker.
    • Even later, both his legs and arms are erased from existence by Fate's Reality Warper powers. He uses his artifact to summon Armor legs and arms and keeps fighting.
  • Ginga Nakajima of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha loses her left arm during her battle against the Numbers Cyborgs in StrikerS. Jail Scaglietti would later replace it with an arm that could extend and spin as a drill after he captures her.
  • In The Animatrix -- The Second Renaissance Part II, during a battle sequence, a gigantic battle robot rips open a mecha to get at the human inside. Metal tentacles coil around his limbs and then rip him away from them as he screams. The short scene is effective and intense.
  • Loss of limbs is a common injury suffered by the Pandoras in Freezing during their battles with the Nova. While they have access to medical science that can regenerate their limbs, this also reduces their overall lifespan.
  • Guts of Berserk loses part of his left arm to the demons during the Eclipse when a demon with a set of impressive choppers clamps down on it, and he has to chisel it off with what's left of his weapon to free himself so he can save Casca from being raped by Griffith as Femto. He fails in this endeavor due to being dogpiled by monsters and getting his eye clawed out soon after freeing himself, though that doesn't make the moment any less Badass.
  • Several of the Gunslinger Girls suffered Type 3s this before being cyborgized as Type 1s, and occasionally get Type 2s in the course of their missions.
  • In Texhnolyze, Ichise gets poked in the eye in the first episode by a women who hired him for sexual services, causing him to defend himself using his fists. Unfortunately for him, that woman belongs to a major criminal organisation, which retaliates by cutting off his right arm and his left leg. He later gets some Artificial Limbs.
  • In chapter 307 of Hunter X Hunter Gon gets his right arm cut off by a zombified Pitou sans head.
  • Squalo from Katekyo Hitman Reborn cuts off his left hand to better understand the techniques of the previous sword emperor.
  • The work of Shirow Masamune has several examples, usually to show just how badass his cyborg heroines are. Major Matoko Kusanagi from Ghost in The Shell is the Queen of this trope:
    • Type 1: In the first movie Motoko rips her own arms off trying to pry open a tank.
    • In Man Machine Complex a different Motoko (Motoko Aramaki, Motoko Kusanagi's "daughter" made from cloned tissue, cybernetics and borrowed memories) ejects an arm after it becomes infected by a computer virus.
    • Type 2: Motoko gets an an arm blown off during a kidnapping attempt in the original manga. Being a full-body replacement cyborg it doesn't slow her down much, nor is it permanent. She gets half of her head blown off in Ghost in the Shell 1.5 to much the same effect.
    • In the first season of Stand Alone Complex she loses her left arm fighting an Axe Crazy mook in an armored suit, making her so angry she hammers it repeatedly with point blank shots from an antitank rifle (cocking and firing it one handed) until the operator begs for mercy. After all the times she's lost a limb, she gets to rage a bit.
    • Later in Stand Alone Complex Togusa pulls an arm off a Villain of the Week with a judo throw. Turns out it's a ploy and the arm is rigged with a bomb to cover her escape.
    • A type 2 in Dominion Tank Police by the same author; gynoid Anna Puma gets her arm burned off at the shoulder by the tank police and then objects to Leona characterizing her as a "mechanical love doll" based on the mechanical wreckage that's left.
  • In Toriko The Titular character loses his arm. So far, it has taken him over half a year (In Story) to regrow it, via some potentially lethal and very agonizing treatment.
  • In the Hellsing TV anime by Gonzo, Anderson got both of his arms blown off by Alucard. In the manga, only one of his arm was blown off.
  • Inuyasha: When Inu-Yasha fought his Aloof Big Brother brother for possession of their father's most powerful sword, he proved he had the better claim by cutting Sesshoumaru's arm off with it. Sesshoumaru's arm then becomes the Chekhov's Gun for some Character Development that doesn't come to fruition until 50+ volumes later.
  • Dragon Ball
    • In the Dragonball Z movie The History of Trunks, Future Gohan loses his left arm fighting the Androids.
    • Tenshinhan loses his left arm below the shoulder courtesy of Nappa.
    • Piccolo loses his arms 3 times in the series. But as he is a Namekan, he can regrow it anytime he wants.
  • One Piece has this by the buckets.
    • The most prominent example is Shanks losing his arm after saving a drowning Luffy from a sea creature.
    • There's also Zeff, although there are two different versions of this. In the anime, he rescues the young Sanji from drowning by cutting off his own foot, which had become entangled in pieces of the wrecked ships. In the manga, with the two now being ship-wrecked on a small island, he supposedly splits their remaining rations in half. However, it is later revealed he gave everything to Sanji, and instead ate his own leg to survive.
    • This is Buggy's Devil Fruit power; he can separate his limbs - and head - from his body, and they can act independently of each other.
  • Until Death Do Us Part: Mamoru's preferred method of disabling bad guys. Notable victims include Edge Turus, twice, and a bear.
  • Tenjho Tenge: A type 2 when Makiko sacrifices her right arm to save Souichiro, leaving her armless since her ex-husband had already cut off her left arm (and removed her left eye) in the backstory.
  • In Kyo Kara Maoh, Conrad loses an arm protecting Yuuri, and it's all their allies find of either of them when they arrive on the scene. At turns out, the arm is the key to unlocking one of four parts of Sealed Evil in a Can.
  • Naruto has a few examples: besides numerous self-inflicted ones Zaku got his right hand blown off and both arms severely damaged by using the air cannon in his arm while it was jammed with bugs (only in the manga; it was less severe in the anime), Deidara had one arm ripped off by Gaara's sand then the other Portal Cut off by Kamui (both were later replaced/repaired by Kakuzu), Jiraiya got his arm punched off by Asura Pain, and Tobi has lost at least three arms.
  • Type 3 in Princess Tutu: The Book Men chop the hands off anyone they find Rewriting Reality. After Drosselmeyer just kept on going without his hands, one wonders why they didn't switch to heads...
  • Kurogane from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle pulls a Type 1 to save Fai's life.
  • Ai no Kusabi: Iason loses his legs near the end in a fatal situation prompting the tragic ending. Guy also loses his left arm.
  • In Baccano!, Ladd Russo finds his left forearm stripped to the bone after a nasty run-in with the Rail Tracer.

Comic Books

  • Elf Quest's warrior troll king Guttlekraw likes to punish disobedient elf slaves "one finger, then one limb at a time." Case in point: Ekuar, who lost half a leg, one arm, and one finger of the remaining hand that way. He was the luckiest.
  • Aquaman's hand was eaten off by piranhas. Or, depending on the continuity, he sliced it off himself to get loose from a shackle and save his baby son.
  • Hitman has Hacken who has his compatriots cut off his hand after he's bitten by a zombie penguin. They later reveal that he was never in danger.
  • Spider-Man has Peter's old high school rival-turned-buddy Flash Thompson lose both his legs in Iraq.
  • The Walking Dead has Type 3. The Governor takes Rick's arm as punishment for refusing to fight in his gladiatorial arena
  • In All Fall Down, the speedster, Pronto, suffers this when he loses both legs in the first chapter.
  • This is integral to the backstory of Marvel villain Master Pandemonium. Originally a spoiled, rich actor named Martin Preston, a car crash one night after drinking heavily severed one of his arms. Dying and yelling for help, the demon Mephisto appeared and offered him a deal, which he accepted. Mephisto summoned four demons; one of them wrenched its own arm off and used it to replace the lost limb, whereas the other three repeated the trick with Preston's good limbs. Since then, as the villain Master Pandemonium, the four demons are Preston's servants while in Mephisto's employ, and he can detach any (or all) of his limbs, which causes them to turn into the demons who donated them. He is most often a foe of Ghost Rider.

Fairy Tales

  • In The Girl Without Hands, the father cuts off her hands at the Devil's instigation.
  • In Biancabella and the Snake, her hands are cut off and her eyes put out so they can be taken back as evidence that she was in fact murdered.
  • In The One-Handed Girl, the girl's brother cuts her hand off in the process of cutting down her pumpkin vine.

Fan Works

  • The main character, Char loses an arm in the Temporal Tower arc of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Silver Resistance.
  • In Winter War, Isane manages to wound the Barragan Fragment... but it turns out its blood has the same "age things to death" power as the whole thing, and some of that blood splattered on her hand and lower arm, necessitating an amputation to save her life.
  • Melanie meets this in Case of the Missing Technology, as her parts were being kept frozen as Monty was planning on resemble her as a Cyborg. The narrator helps to the doctors with the latter.
  • In the Harry Potter Alternate Universe Fic The Arithmancer, Cedric Diggory survives the resurrection of Voldemort at the end of fourth year, thanks to a spell Hermione taught him, but he is horribly injured, losing one arm and one leg. Fortunately he gets some very good magical prosthetics, but he can't cast with a prosthetic arm, so he needs to learn offhand casting -- from Hermione, who learned it the year before from Neville.

Films -- Animation

  • In Princess Mononoke the first indication we get of the demonic power of Prince Ashitaka's curse is when one of his arrows rips both arms off of a samurai.
  • How to Train Your Dragon has no blood, but Gobber has a pegleg and missing arm that he can change for different things like a hammer, a tankard, a fork, etc. Toothless the dragon counts after losing a tail rudder fin, and Hiccup loses a foot in the final battle.
  • Happens to Buzz Lightyear in the first Toy Story film while attempting to jump out of a window leading to outside Sid Phillips' house. The mutant toys eventually put his arm back on, however.

Films -- Live-Action

"I remember when I was with Special Forces... seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms."

  • Mad Max
    • Condolini's attempt to stop Jessie's fast moving car with a chain ended badly for him. Toecutter later claims retribution for Condolini's missing hand as partial justification for attacking her, though they're really just doing it For the Evulz.
    • Also implied at the end when Max handcuffs Johnny The Boy's ankle to a death-trapped car and leaves him a hacksaw with the admonition that while it would take at least 15 minutes to cut through the chain, he could probably saw through his ankle in five.
    • Toady's attempt to catch the razor boomerang in The Road Warrior ended badly for him as well.
  • The Machine Girl: Yakuza cut off schoolgirl's arm; she replaces it with a machine gun. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Boxing Helena: Mad Doctor cuts off a woman's legs so she can't run away, then cuts off her arms so she can't fight back. It's a love story.
  • In the 1942 film Kings Row, Drake McHugh (probably Ronald Reagan's most famous role) has both of his legs amputated needlessly by a sadistic doctor after an accident. When he wakes from anesthesia, he says the famous line: "Where's the rest of me?"
  • Daniel Jackson lost his leg to frostbite in Stargate: Continuum.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: vampire Amilyn (Paul Reubens) is on top of Pike's speeding van, reaching in through a hole punched in the roof—until a low branch sweeps him off and severs his arm. He is not pleased.

Amilyn: You ruined my jacket! (to minions) Kill him a lot!

  • Quorra loses her left arm in Tron: Legacy. It's grown back later.
  • According to the film adaptation of Inspector Gadget, Doctor Claw actually got both his name and trademark claw after one of his hands was chopped off by a bowling ball.
  • Optimus Prime gets his right arm sliced off by Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
  • In the 2010 film version of True Grit, Mattie loses her left arm to a rattlesnake bite.
  • In RocknRolla, this is implied to have happened to The Russian. The phrase is spoken verbatim. Archy may have said it in a light, even joking tone, but considering what we just watched him do in the previous scene...
  • Braveheart: Hamish's father, Campbell the Elder, loses his left hand at the Battle of Stirling, so he spends the rest of the movie using a flail.


  • Captain Ahab in Moby Dick.
  • Honor Harrington's arm was shredded by flechettes
  • Captain Hook in Peter Pan
  • Pettigrew in Harry Potter cuts off his own hand to help resurrect Voldemort. Earlier, he had cut off a finger from that same hand to fake his death.
  • Jaime Lannister in A Song of Ice and Fire has his hand cut off by a rival at one point. It's rather worse than just the loss of a hand though, as he's a knight (and one of the best swordsmen around), and his sword hand was the one chopped off.
  • In the James Bond series of books Bond's CIA friend Felix Leiter had his arm & leg bitten off by a shark. Twice. (In the book but not the film of Live and Let Die, then in Licence to Kill for the first time on film and in its novelization for the second time in Literature, since the film novelizations kept the book continuity.)
  • The Tin Man from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was based off of the Civil War amputees Baum saw growing up.
  • Version One shows up in Alfred Bester's The Deceivers: mine workers who steal "novaseed" gems - a sort of universal catalyst - must then have their hand amputated to prevent the novaseed-triggered matter-to-energy reaction from slowly consuming their entire body. Novaseed gems are so valuable on the black market there is apparently no shortage of miners willing to trade a hand for economic security.
  • Hertzer Herrick in John Ringo's Council Wars series loses a hand in the climactic battle at the end of the first book. Of course, being Hertzer, it just serves to make him even more badass.
  • Older Than Print: In Beowulf, the title hero rips Grendel's arm off with his bare hands.
  • Inheritance Cycle: The high priest of Dras-Leona's evil Cult has given all four of his limbs as sacrifices to the gods.
  • Rand in The Wheel of Time loses a hand to one of the Forsaken. The casual manner in which he shrugs it off ("I guess I'll have to learn the sword again") is presented as further evidence of his degrading mental state.
  • Roland of The Dark Tower loses his right big toe and two fingers from his right hand. Not the most traumatic injury ever, but not without consequence either, since it was his "good" hand and considering what used to be his preferred method of combat. He remarks to himself that at least he masturbates left-handed.
  • In the X Wing Series, Ton Phanan lost an arm and half of his face during the assault on the second Death Star, having to get replacement parts. This prompted him to switch from the field of medicine to that of killing people as a pilot - problem was, he kept getting hurt, and since he was allergic to the best medicine around, this meant becoming more and more mechanical.
  • Splinter of the Minds Eye has Luke, fighting against Darth Vader, manage to cut off one of the Dark Lord's arms. Not perturbed by this, Vader picks up his lightsaber with his remaining hand and keeps fighting.
  • Max Barry's Machine Man has Dr. Charles Neumann first lose one leg at the thigh, then the other. Both losses are treated realistically. The worst of it is when he has to sever his own left arm at the shoulder as a Life or Limb Decision.
  • Early in Nine Gates, the second book of the Breaking the Wall trilogy, Righteous Drum loses an arm in an enemy attack. While it weakens him while he adjusts, all it really does is make him a Handicapped Badass.
  • In The Silmarillion, Maedhros asks his friend Fingon to cut his hand off in a Life or Limb Decision while he is captures. Later, Beren gets his hand bitten off by a werewolf, and ends up with the nickname "Beren One-Hand".
  • Jory's bad knee results in the loss of that leg in the final chapter of Blade Dancer.

Live-Action TV

  • The X-Files has a village of Russian work camp escapees where they amputated everyone's left forearm to remove alien tracking devices implanted by the Government Conspiracy. Mulder managed to get away unscathed; Krychek wasn't quite so lucky.
    • Also, in one episode, Mulder got tortured by chopping off his arms and legs as well, one at the time. Turn's out that he was in a Lotus Eater Machine all the time.
  • Roots: The front half of Kunta Kinte's foot was chopped off with an axe to prevent him from running away (again). He had been given the choice of that or being castrated.
  • Monty Python
    • Discussed, but not depicted, in the lifeboat sketch, in which a group of starving sailors start out discussing cannibalism and end up horse trading about which limbs they're willing to sacrifice in order to feed each other, and culminating in a series of intermittent vignettes about how there is hardly any cannibalism in the Royal Navy, really... well, there is some, but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be, honest.
    • In another sketch, Eric Idle is a soldier in Africa whose leg was bitten off by a tiger. He's completely unfazed by it and asks the doctor when he can expect it to grow back again.
  • Used in the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy to underscore the importance of keeping all receipts when traveling.
  • Farscape
    • A very disturbing type three is done with one of Pilot's arms by several members of Moya's crew in an early episode. He recovers.
    • In a later episode, another Pilot is missing three arms. It turns out the maddened crew of his ship are eating them, repeatedly, as they regenerate.
    • The season 4 character Sikozu has the ability to reattach appendages. At various times she loses fingers, a hand, and on one occasion An Arm and a Leg.
  • Dexter gives us the Ice Truck Killer dispersing Tony Tucci around the city, limb segment by limb segment. Tucci survives, but needs a new left leg and right hand.
    • In the books, Dr. Danco takes Doakes's hands, feet and tongue, as well as Debbie's boyfriend's arm and leg.
  • Dollhouse gives us a Type 3 (sort of) with the Japanese security specialist in the Attic, whose worst fear is being seated in a traditional restaurant eating red meat. Without having to cross, bend or fold his legs. "I have to enjoy myself."
  • In old Saturday Night Live sketches, this happend to Mr. Bill all the time, since Mr. Bill was made of clay.
  • In Justified, Limehouse chops off Quarles' left arm in the season finale. He ends up bleeding on the floor of Limehouse's butcher shop, but not before giving away a secret.
  • In Blackadder II, when Blackadder impersonates the imprisoned Lord Farrow (whom he's never seen), he guesses wrong about how much of his limb the one-armed Farrow is missing. When Farrow's wife notices the discrepancy, he ad-libs a story that uses this trope, about how he'd lost the remaining portion of his arm in a fight with another prisoner.
  • In Neighbours, Paul Robinson loses a leg after taking a massive header into a ravine.
  • Several episodes of M*A*S*H (television) dealt with patients who had lost limbs in battle.


  • In the Vocaloid song "Fear Garden," Rin cuts of people's arms to use as flowers in her garden.
  • In Eric Bogle's song "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", a young Australian soldier loses his legs in World War I:

And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity.

Myths & Legends

  • The MacAllister family crest includes a severed hand holding a dirk. The story behind it was that one of the Mac Allisters was in a boat race out to a sand dune and back, with the first to touch shore winning. Upon realizing he was not going to beat his opponent, he cut off his hand, put his dirk with family crest in it for identity, and then threw it onto the beach for the win.
  • The Irish god Nuada did something similar to the MacAllister above—the first to touch Irish soil would be the one who ruled, so in order to defeat his rival he cut off his own hand and threw it onto the beach. (Problem was, a maimed man cannot rule, so he had to wait until another god built him a silver hand.)
  • At the bend of the river Scheldt, legend tells of a giant who demanded toll from everyone who wanted to sail past his fortress. If they couldn't or didn't want to pay the toll, the giant (Sus Antigoon) cut off their hand as punishment. Silvius Brabo, a Roman soldier, sought to bring an end to Antigoon's cruelty and defeated him. After this defeat Brabo cut off Antigoon's own hand and threw it into the Scheldt. Supposedly this is where the city of Antwerp, Belgium got its name from. "Hand" & "Werpen" (to throw).
  • The Norse god Tyr had his hand bitten off by Fenrir.

Newspaper Comics

  • Becky from Funky Winkerbean lost her left arm in a drunk driving accident, caused by Wally Winkerbean... her future husband.
  • In Doonesbury, B.D. lost his leg in Iraq.

Tabletop Games

  • In both 3.5 and 4th editions of Dungeons & Dragons artificers that become reforged remove one of their limbs and replaces it with an artificial one.
  • Often done voluntarily in Cyberpunk 2013/2020 in order to replace it with metal.
  • In Pathfinder, followers of Zon-Kuthon consider this an honor.

Video Games

  • Metal Gear Solid: Ocelot (type 3 the first time he loses an arm, 1 the second), Liquid (type 3, post-death), Gray Fox (type 3), Raiden (several occasions, type 1)... in 4, even the Metal Gears themselves lose limbs.
  • In the second chapter of Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush loses his left hand in a swordfight.
  • Dead Space
    • The game is literally begging you to cut off the necromorphs' limbs to effectively deal with them.
    • An audio log found in the second half of the game documents a (former) survivor's efforts to remove his own limbs before committing suicide so his remains couldn't be turned into an effective necromorph.
  • Partway through Fear Effect, Glas gets his arm cut off. He gets it back in the true ending.
  • At the start of Shadow Hearts, Yuri has his arm cut off by a Wind Shear demon. He grabs it with his remaining hand, crushes its head with his fingers, and reattaches his arm.
  • Gene from God Hand had his right arm cut off by Felix when he tried to save Olivia. Olivia repaid him by putting the titular limb on the stump. Later, Azel tears the left God Hand off of himself in a panic as he is being consumed by Angra.
  • The Engineer of Team Fortress 2 is implies to have done Type 1 to himself at some point. Having cut off his right hand (a hand replaced by his sole yellow glove) in order to use The Gunslinger.
  • One character from Clive Barker's Jericho is missing an arm. For context, said character sacrificed his arm in exchange for the ability to control a fire demon. He can regain the use of his arm anytime by ending the deal, but doing so would leave him in great pain since his arm is heavily burnt and the demon is the only thing keeping him from feeling pain.
  • Bao-Dur from Knights of the Old Republic has a mechanical left arm due to wounds he received at Malachor V. Because the game is set 4000 years before the Skywalkers it restricts him from wearing Jedi robes.
  • In Ratchet: Deadlocked, Al is hit with a blaster shot and has several parts replaced by cybernetics. The blaster only hit Al in the butt, yet he winds up with cybernetics in many random and seemingly unrelated places, leading some fans to suspect Al is just a little too into robots. Perhaps he had an "interface port" installed for Helga...
  • Sydney in Vagrant Story sacrificed his arms to the gods and got nifty metal ones to replace them. A fact that somehow escaped Rozencrantz, much to his detriment.
  • Shinobu in No More Heroes has her hand sliced off by Travis after the fight (type 3).
  • Hopes to BlazBlue that Ragna doesn't lose a limb in every installment of the main series; he's currently lost one arm to type 3 and his other to type 2 to save Noel.
  • During the Etherstorm saga from Adventure Quest Worlds, Galanoth, Dragonslayer extraordinaire, goes up against Desoloth, quite possibly the most powerful dragon in existence, and tries to take him down. Unfortunately, Desoloth bites off Galanoth's arm, and is only saved from death by his friend Warlic summoning up all his magical power to restore him. Unfortunately, he cannot bring back Galanoth's arm, so he has to get a new one, which he obtains from X'Dir who had sought to use it as a bargaining chip to try to get Galanoth to join Desoloth during the Etherstorm War, only to meet with the Dragonslayer's full-on wrath.

Visual Novels

Web Comics

  • Dominic Deegan had one of his legs blown off when Raf Malish's soul exploded and he was caught in the blast radius.
  • Nihi'liir in Drowtales lost her arm due to a psychic attack and got a golem replacement.
  • Missing arms are a recurring motif in Homestuck, along with wounds to the eye.
  • Paradigm Shift: A werewolf attacking in a frenzy is shown ripping the arm from a terrified vagrant—one of several attacks mostly shown by their human-jigsaw aftermath. The author has studied anatomy with care, and it shows.
  • Girl Genius
    • Oggie summarily amputates Dimo's left arm to save him from a bioweapon infection. Unlike most examples of version one, Dimo is actually grateful for the intervention.
    • Later, Captain Vole casually tears the arm off an assassin to counter his Dead-Man Switch.
  • A particular squicky example of Type 3 appears in Flipside: when Bloody Mary chews Maytag's hand off, Maytag's primary complaint was she wasn't awake to experience it. Maytag then kindly allows Mary to eat the rest of her arm as well, because Mary needs the food and that's just the sort of girl Maytag is. Anything for a new thrill!
  • Angels 2200: On her very first day in captivity one of Hammer's captors cuts off her hand in revenge for the death of her son.
  • Karate Bears rewrite goldilocks to their advantage.
  • In No Rest for The Wicked, Claire's father cut her hands off at the Devil's orders.

Web Original

  • Does it surprise anybody that even this trope has its own genre of internet pornography? Didn't think so. It's often depicted as an extreme (and permanent) form of bondage.
  • Homestar Runner: "Sever your leg, please. It's your greatest day!"
  • MSF High: Fable lost her left arm while summoning a large creature of the void to save her coven.

Western Animation

  • Justice League: In the episode "The Enemy Below", Aquaman cuts off his hand to save his son.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: It's implied that Zachary Foxx's bionics had to be installed due to injuries he received in the pilot episode. He takes a couple of direct blaster hits to his left side.
  • Futurama
  • The Simpsons
    • Homer Simpson does this to most of his limbs in one Halloween Episode.
    • As with Herman the weapons store owner, who apparantly lost one of his arms after "his teacher told him not to stick his arm out the school bus window."
  • ThunderCats (2011) manages to pull this off despite an affinity for Bloodless Carnage.
    • "Ramlak Rising" gives us a type 3 in the peg-legged Fishman Captain Koinelius Tunar, who lost his leg (and an eye) to the titular Ramlak, a Sand Sea monster who destroyed his people's homeland.
    • "Between Brothers" has a type 2 when Panthro, in an effort to defeat his Arch Enemy Grune, restrains him on the threshold of a collapsing magical portal, fully expecting to die with him when it closes. Instead, Panthro suffers an instantly-cauterizing Portal Cut, losing both arms mid-bicep.
  • Qilby in Wakfu lost his left arm when Phaeris the dragon bit it off when he helped end Qilby's world-wrecking rampage in the past.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: A non-violent but still scary variation of Type 2 in 'Pixelator'. The titular tries to forcefully put others in photos via a headset. Ladybug is able to dodge him but he does get her arm. It's not bloody but it's rendered non-corporeal. It's gets even worse when Ladybug tries dodging him again but he gets her foot next, she's left trying to save Jagged hopping on one foot. Thankfully, she and Chat Noir stop him and Ladybug's limbs turn back to normal.

Real Life

  • Aron Ralston is a well-known recent Real Life type 1 example; his arm became trapped under a boulder while hiking, and he wound up cutting it off when it became clear that his choice was between self-amputation and death by dehydration. The film 127 Hours made about his trial.
  • Body integrity identity disorder (BIID) is a psychological condition (oddly found nearly entirely in men) where the sufferer feels that the only way for them to be comfortable with their own body is to have a limb removed. Standard hospital practice is to transfer anyone who requests a healthy limb be removed into psychotherapy. Unfortunately, more than a few such people have died of complications after having a Back-Alley Doctor take their limbs off...
    • Recent research has raised the possibility that some cases of BIID may be caused by a lack of mirror neurons in the brain, in those cases psychological assistance won't do any good. Ironically it was research into ways to help people cope with amputation trauma that first uncovered this possibility.
  • Surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost one of her arms in a shark attack. She too had a movie made about her life, Soul Surfer.
  • This was standard punishment for slaves who failed to meet the rubber quota in colonial Congo.