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A character has something driven into the palm of his hand and right out the other side. Usually a knife, but may be a bullet.
This may be done for several reasons:
- To make us empathise with his pain, while injuring him in a way that allows him to carry on operating mostly unhindered.
- To demonstrate his machismo when he simply withdraws the object and carries on, or in some cases carries on without even bothering to do that.
- To demonstrate his extreme machismo when it was he who drove the object into his own palm in the first place.
- To imply some parallel with some guy who once suffered similar wounds.
Related to Fingore.
Examples of Impaled Palm include:
- When the Other Bakura challenges Yugi and friends to a Tabletop RPG where their souls are literally at stake and he's gleefully playing the role of Killer Game Master, the real Bakura manages to take back control of his hand and sabotage a roll that would have otherwise resulted in a Total Party Kill. Unfortunately for him, the Other Bakura prevents him from meddling further by impaling said hand on one of the game board's towers.
- In both the first anime and manga/second anime of Fullmetal Alchemist, Roy Mustang is stabbed through his palm, damaging the design on his gloves, and impeding him from using his powers. In the latter, he was also pinned in a Crucified Hero Shot and used as a human sacrifice, so it's probably deliberate symbolism.
- In the manga of Kare Kano, Arima impales his own palm after raping Yukino. Luckily, his dad is a doctor.
- In one episode of City Hunter, Ryo Saeba fires his gun through his own hand to slow the bullet so he can shoot the bad guy without harming an innocent bystander.
- In an episode of Durarara!!, Seiji stabs Shizuo through the hand with a pen. He concludes that he'd better buy some band-aids before pulling it out. Or superglue.
- And you actually forgot 'bout Bosskado doing the very same thing to Aoba?
- Naruto does this in a Shinji-esque "I musn't run away" deal. He is under the influence of a mind-altering Genjutsu at the time. Inflicting pain by stabbing himself allows him to break the illusion.
- This is not the first time Naruto has stabbed himself; at the beginning of the Zabuza arc, he is poisoned by a cut on his hand. Rather than compromise the mission, he stabs himself in the hand to bleed out the poison.
- A third time in the manga, Naruto let's himself get stabbed in the hand by Kabuto allowing him to hit Kabuto with the Rasengan.
- And again much later on, in Naruto's fight with Pein. This time both hands are pierced. I'm starting to sense a pattern.
- In the Arlong Arc of One Piece, Nami pretends to stab Usopp to give him the chance to escape from the arc's villains. In order to make it look more believable, she stabs herself through the hand instead.
- In the Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force manga, Cypha of Hückebein activates her powerful React mode by plunging a dagger into her left palm (so that it enters her wrist—ouch). However, thanks to her crazy Healing Factor, she doesn't even wince.
- In D.Gray-man, Miranda Lotto gets her hands nailed to a clock by the sadistic Road Kamelot.
- Later in the Manga, Apochryphos pins Tyki Mikk to the wall by his hands, then grows nails out of his hands which impale Tyki's palms
- During the infamous "Hundred Man Killer" fight in Berserk, Guts catches a crossbow bolt in his palm to prevent it from hitting him in a more vital area. He kills the archer, breaks the bolt and continues to fight one-handed.
- In Santuary, Hojo Akira must prove his resolve to join the Yakuza. He does this by stabbing his own hand through and through with a knife, without hesitation. He sweats a little bit from the effort, and thinks 'it hurts so much I could cry.' But Hoja's expression does not change throughout the ordeal. His mentor, Mr. Tokai, notes later that no-one else has ever shown him the guts Hoja demonstrated.
- In Maiden Rose after Berkut puts his hand beneath Taki's chin mid-fight and mocks him, Taki hurls Berkut across the cabin and pins his hand to the ground with his sword.
- In Rebuild of Evangelion, Shinji's hands are pierced by Sahaqiel's anthropomorphic thing. Later, he's seen wearing bandages on his hands. Given that it's Eva...
- Happens to Kurogane in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle as part of his Deus Angst Machina back story.
- Showcasing how mind-fucked all three characters involved are, the first team called Zero drives a nail into Soubi's palm in Loveless.
- In The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Asakura stabs Kyon in the chest through his hands.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- Preacher (Comic Book): Bad guy drives a knife all the way through her hand. Into a car dashboard. Tulip eventually gathers the strength to pull it off by herself (excruciating pain included) in order to get free and save her boyfriend.
- Bullseye gets a taste of his medicine and then some, when Daredevil pushes his hands into the path of a bullet. While fighting in a church. There is no symbolism or anything.
- In Elf Quest, Shuna willingly subjects herself to this trope when Strongbow is falling to his death from a cliff. With nothing but bare stone for him to aim a cord-trailing arrow at, she extends her hand and allows him to shoot it through her palm, after which other elves can pull the archer to safety.
- In The Punisher MAX: In The Beginning, Frank Castle is being attacked by an Ax Crazy tank named Pittsy. Pittsy beats the Punisher's face into hamburger, then grabs a nastily large shard of broken glass and proceeds to stab him repeatedly with it. Crowning Moment of Awesome when Castle resolves the situation by catching the glass in his palm...then snapping off the larger part of it, picking up Pittsy and throwing him out a window.
- Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth has Batman impaling his hand on a piece of glass. The original script called for it to be merely scratched but the art depicted the glass going right through his hand.
- In Batman, Ra's Al Ghul came back from the dead after his body was destroyed. His first attempt was into the body of a martial artist action star, who had poisoned his own body to foil Ra's plans. Ra's took control of the body, but it was dying and numb of feeling. To demonstrate this, Ra's stabs his own hand, and continues to talk to his daughter Talia while his eye is visible staring out the clean, bloodless hole in his palm.
- Constable Angel in Hot Fuzz is stabbed in the palm by Santa Claus.
- Eric Draven in The Crow first demonstrates his regenerating powers by getting shot through the middle of the palm of his hand.
- Roy Batty in Blade Runner keeps himself alive for a few crucial moments longer by driving a nail into his own palm.
- Tom Hanks' character in Cast Away does this to himself, which leads to the creation of Wilson.
- In The Butterfly Effect, the main character does this to himself, to get stigmata-like scars on his hands as a little kid, as a part of a complex plan to get his religious present-day cellmate to believe him. (Time Travel is involved.)
- In Eraser, the heroes take cover from a shuriken bomb under the door of a tipped-over refrigerator. Holding it above their heads, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character gets one right through the center of his palm and yanks it straight off.
- Will Scarlet (Christian Slater) in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has his hand pierced by Robin's arrow.
- Elektra in the Daredevil movie with her own knife.
- And Bullseye again, seeing as this scene is derived from the Comic books example up top.
- The title character of The Pawnbroker does this to himself at the end of the movie.
- The heroine of the movie Nikita snaps and does this to a policeman with a pencil.
- She actually stabs it into the back of his hand, which paradoxically looks as though it would hurt more.
- From Dusk till Dawn: Quentin Tarantino's character gets a bullet through his palm. In one scene, he looks through it at his brother.
- Dolph Lundgren's character in Johnny Mnemonic does this to Jane, specifically because he has a Christ complex.
- Blood Simple: Abby nails someone's hand to a windowsill with a steak knife.
- The General: Martin Cahill believes one of his associates betrayed him, so he has someone nail his hands to a pool table.
- Used to great effect in remake of The Crazies. The victim even manages to kill his attacker, while the knife is * still* impaling his hand.
- In the film Starship Troopers, the main characters are in basic training, learning how to throw knives. One cadet asks Sergeant Zim why throwing knives is important in an age when pressing a button can unleash nuclear weapons with far more power. Zim orders him to lay his hand against a wall, and throws a knife through his palm, pinning it. He explains (while the cadet moans painfully in the background) that by disabling a hand, you can prevent that button from being pressed.
- In Hellraiser III Hell On Earth, Pinhead pulls two nails from his head and shoves them through the palms of his hands, deliberately mocking the resultant crucifixion imagery to freak out Joey.
- In Return of the Living Dead 3, Julie shoves a shard of glass into her hand to drown out the pain of her Horror Hunger.
- Solozzo did this to Luca Brasi in the movie version of The Godfather to prevent him reaching for his gun. This is, of course, pure Rule of Scary: in the book Solozzo simply held Brasi's arm.
- In the film Total Eclipse, which is based on the dysfunctional relationship between poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud stabs Verlaine's palm with a knife. Verlaine later returns the favor with a bullet.
- The titular protagonist of El Mariachi is shot through the hand by his lover's vengeful ex, preventing him from ever playing guitar again. El Mariachi responds by shooting the man through the chest.
- Happens in a fight in Young Guns 2, and Chavez y Chavez, Lou Diamond Phillips' character, gets stabbed in the hand with a knife. He then proceeds to knock the fuck out of the guy who stabbed him, one of the other young guns, and casually asks if the fight is over and offers the knife back. By pulling it out.
- Ripley does this to herself in Alien: Resurrection to demonstrate her inhuman nature.
- When a sudden eye grows out of protagonist's palm in The Gate, he promptly stabs it with a knife. Oh, and he's just a kid.
- In X-Men First Class, Magneto does this to a Nazi in a bar in Argentina.
- Among the more disturbing images in Ingmar Bergman's Persona is a hand being nailed to something.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Fighting creatures in the Redwall series suffer from this a lot, frequently instead of having a weapon go through more vital areas because the author wants to keep them around or make them suffer. A common variation is having their paws pinned to objects by arrows going clear through.
- In the classic Chinese novel Three Kingdoms, a captain of a besieged city is hurling taunts along with his troops down at Sun Ce's army, leaning on a wooden beam with one hand and making rude gestures with the other. Recently recruited Taishi Ci turns to Sun Ce and says 'Watch this.' before taking his bow and firing a shot that pins the captain's hand to the beam from fifty yards away.
- Two examples from Stephen King:
- In Thinner, the main character is shot through the hand by a gypsy girl with a slingshot. The resultant hole is later drained into a pie in order to pass on his curse.
- In The Dark Half, Thad stabs himself through the hand with a pencil while possessed by the spirit of his own dead pseudonym.
- In Feet of Clay, Carrot deliberately sticks his hand in the path of a villain's silver-tipped crossbow bolt to shield Angua, a werewolf for whom even a superficial wound would've been toxic.
- Also used in The Truth, when William's hand gets impaled by The Spike during the struggle with Mr. Pin. This backfires on Pin when William frantically smacks at his attacker, and "spikes" him in the neck!
- In the fourth Dresden Files novel, Harry gets a letter opener driven through his hand by the Winter Queen. Here it definitely demonstrates the stabber's badassery, not the victim's.
- Jack Shandy does this to himself, twice in 'On Stranger Tides' as part of the voodoo magic needed to take Blackbeard down. He essentially wields a sword with a spike in the hilt that goes through his hand, because it needs to be touching his blood to cancel out the bad mojo that Blackbeard is using.
- In Neverwhere, Vandemar does this to himself after being unimpressed by Croup's knife-throwing act (in which Croup didn't even hit one of his own fingers). Being a supernatural whatever-the-hell-he-is, he feels no pain and doesn't bleed.
- In one episode of Angel, Holtz does this to a new recruit as a test of loyalty.
- Angel also saved somebody from being killed by an arrow by catching it through his palm in "War Zone".
- In an episode of Mash, Colonel Blake gets a syringe through the palm courtesy of an uncooperative patient.
- Happens to Ducky in NCIS. He's a little miffed as a doctor but since he specializes in forensics, he says he will be fine.
- In Rizzoli & Isles Rizzoli bears the scars from being stabbed through both her palms by a serial killer.
- Played for laughs in Scrubs : Dr. Cox' brother-in-law is introduced after he's nailed a piece of wood to his hand with a nail gun. He doesn't seem to care too much about it (because he's been shot full of painkillers). JD, however, immediately faints.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus - A housewife (Terry Jones) shows that tv viewers are indeed idiots by a few demonstrations, one of which involves nailing her own hand to the side of a van and getting dragged away.
- At the tail end of one Stargate SG-1 episode, Col. O'Neill interrupts Heru'ur's attempted Hand Blast by throwing a combat knife through said villain's hand.
- Jesus is often depicted this way, although the actual method of crucifixion almost certainly would've involved nails through the wrists rather than palms.
- Or both.
Video Games[edit | hide]
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- On Futurama, Fry nails his hand to a sign. A "No employee accidents in x days" sign.
- In one of the first episodes of the Uncancelled Beavis and Butthead, Beavis accidentally screws a screw into his hand when trying to screw it into the butt of one of Stewart's action figures. Then Butthead tries to unscrew it, but ends up screwing it into Beavis' OTHER hand. After the screw is removed (and Beavis overdoses on painkiller pills) he's mistaken by a cult for the reincarnation of their leader - and he's Cornholio, to boot!
- Despite all known imagery of the Crucifix, likely averted in actual crucifixions. Driving the nails through the palms into the wood would achieve little, as the weight of the person would cause them to tear free. Therefore, the nails would be driven between the bones of the forearm near the wrist.
- Or people would be tied with rope around the wrists.
- Unless the feet were nailed the right way to support the weight of the body.
- The feet are not supposed to support the body, the whole point of crucifixion is that the person hangs by their arms, making it so they cant breath easily, and eventually suffocate. also, their legs are nailed to the side of the cross.
- One of the many versions of Pick a Card Penn & Teller did had a blindfolded Penn ready to stab a card on the table while Teller spreads them out and shuffles them around. Naturally, he stabs down before Teller's finished, driving the blade right through Teller's hand—and impaling the Three of Clubs on the blade.