Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!
"When a man strays from the right path, a kind man needs the courage to raise his fist and correct him."—Jamil Neate, Gundam X
Like Percussive Maintenance, but for people.
The Hero has just gone off the deep end under stress. Proving himself to be Not So Above It All, he grows increasingly hysterical, Jerkass, unresponsive or (w)angsty, at a time when his team needs his unaffected leadership the most. How do you fix the hero?
With the human-centered Percussive Maintenance, of course!
His Sidekick, Distaff Counterpart, right-hand man or woman, love interest (specially the ladies of the Tsundere or Broken Bird kind) or commander jolts him back to his senses with a sharp slap with either the front or the back of his hand, or just a straight-up punch to the face, and occasionally a retort for him to get his head out of his ass already (see entry title for the archetypal one). In anime, the phrase "Shikkari shiro!" is often heard. The shame-faced hero says something along the lines of "Thanks. I needed that." Alternately, "Not even my dad hits me!", but they still calm down.
Alternatively in a program wanting to limit the potential for imitation violence, a glass of cold water may be used to bring the subject back to their senses.
Might overlap with the Dope Slap. May also be used on a Hysterical Woman. Similar in spirit, but not so much in execution, to Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off. Compare with Quit Your Whining, in which it is verbal, but this trope can be used to "spicen" it up. If you need to lay a full-on beating to snap someone out of it, see Beat the Curse Out of Him.
The MythBusters tested a myth based on this trope and found that—at least when dealing with someone who's merely tired and frazzled rather than suffering from a more serious condition—a slap to the face does help the slapped person to focus on the task at hand and perform better. Apparently the idea is to invoke the 'fight or flight' response by temporarily boosting adrenaline and related hormones. Nevertheless, it should be applied with extreme caution, as smacking someone who's already suffering can easily do more harm than good.
- Anime and Manga
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- Gohan actually had to punch Goku in the cheek in an attempt to get Goku to snap out of being frozen in terror after Vegeta went Super Saiyan 3 in Goku's Wish: The Return of Broly. Subverted in that it doesn't quite work.
- In Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns, the Wise Prince protagonist applies a very strong backhand to Faren, the dwarven commoner, in order to snap him out of a serious case of shut-down brain that the latter ended up in after being shoved into his worst nightmare by the Sloth Demon. He follows it with a Cooldown Hug of epic proportions. Big Brother Mentor indeed.
"There is no blood on your hands!" (and he was speaking literally)
- In Relationships Series, Nanoha gets one from Vita as she becomes hysterical about the prospect of Yuuno dying on a mission, and Vita reminds her that Yuuno is determined to get back safely.
- In Fail to The King, Almaz is subjected to this trope twice: Once in Chapter one to snap him out of his three-day long Heroic BSOD, and again in a later chapter to prevent another from surfacing in the middle of an invasion. Both played largely for laughs, naturally - this is a Disgaea fic after all.
- In Naruto Veangance Revelaitons, Ronan does this to Sakura and his son Ekaj when they become hysterical with worry over his going off to be a Fake Defector for the Council. Considering his past behavior, it comes off as more abusive than most examples of the trope.
- In The Second Try, Asuka delivers this trope almost word for word to Shinji in chapter 2, thankfully without the slapping. It is possible that had this occurred before the Third Impact, she would have slapped him, but she was probably afraid to (given what happened during instrumentality, and the fact he's the only other person left on earth).
- Medley hits Rainbow Dash in the face to snap her out of her Heroic BSOD.
- Japanese wrestling legend (and new WWE Hall Of Fame inductee) Antonio Inoki is/was known for this... among other types of hitting.
- When Maria kept worrying over her tag team match with John Cena, he kissed her to shut her up.
- In WCW, when Torrie Wilson was Corpsing during Randy Savage's backstage rampage, he slapped her to break her out of it. Botchamania turned this into a meme:
X corpsing? SEND FOR THE MAN!
- In the Direct to Video Muppet Classic Theater, during the Rumpelstiltskin rendition, Piggy's father gets a little overboard trying to introduce himself and his daughter to the king.
Miller: She is Piggy, Miller's Daughter. And I am her father, Miller, Piggy's Father, your Majesty. No, wait I am not the majesty, You're the majesty, and this is my daughter, Piggy, and this is--
(Loyal Royal Advisor backhands him)
Miller: Thanks, I needed that.
- And it's done again at the end of the Intermission.
Gonzo: Intermission!? Wait a minute!! Why wasn't I told about this?! This is an outrage!! OOF!! Thanks, I needed that.
Rizzo: Don't mention it.
- Parodied in You'll Have Had Your Tea: The Doings Of Hamish And Dougal episode "Trapped!":
Hamish: Help! We're trapped between floors! Help!
Dougal: Hamish, you're getting hysterical.
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!
Hamish: Well, don't just stand their applauding, do something!
Dougal: All right!
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!
Dougal: Now, control yourself. Or next time it's the face.
- Fairly common among the Imperial Guard of Warhammer 40,000. When they're not being executed for cowardice, that is.
- Only War, naturally, has several variations of this. Ranging from the Sergeant's Sweeping Order "Snap Out of It!" (shouts at all subordinates within communication range and if does it right, Pinning or Fear effects on them end, so they may act normally from the next turn), and up to Summary Execution by the Commissar that motivates the rest. Plus several combat drugs.
- The Player's Handbook 3 for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition includes Skill Powers, such as "Snap Out of it", which is pretty much this trope.
A smack across the face brings your ally back to his or her senses.
- General George S. Patton once famously slapped a young soldier who seemed to be suffering from shell shock (it turned out later he had malaria). It almost ended his career, proving that this isn't a good idea to try for real.
- As a side note, the soldier Patton slapped later said, "He was probably pretty well worn out himself." Combat can do strange things to people. Patton's popularity saved him.
- It doesn't work if it is "shell shock" (PTSD) either. Anyone who's been in the Armed Forces can tell you that, combat experience or not. A person that far gone has usually spent themselves keeping a hold for as long as they have.
- This was parodied during the extensive Patton movie pastiche in The Simpsons episode "Bart the General". Bart does it, but Grampa scolds him:
Grampa: You can push them out of a plane, you can march them off a cliff, you can send them off to die on some God-forsaken rock, but for some reason you can't slap them.
- MythBusters tested this trope on their December 22, 2010 episode. Their result? Confirmed. While not up to control, all three testers did better in practical tests when frazzled and then slapped than when unslapped.
- At least when the subject isn't suffering from PTSD, as above.
- Depends, if the subject is already in a situation which can trigger a psychosis episode, it can actually snap them out of it. Largely due to the endorphins that get released from the sudden shock.
- This is because being slapped activates the flight- or fight-response. PTSD is this response having caused too much stress leading to a mental breakdown, so activating it could actually make it worse.
- In some sects of Zen Buddhism, a monk walks the room during meditation sessions with a light, flat stick. When a meditating monk loses his focus because he starts to get tired, he will lean forward to get a light slap between the shoulder blades with the stick, which triggers the reaction to make him fully awake again.
- At least when the subject isn't suffering from PTSD, as above.