Turn the Other Fist

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"Somebody oughta belt you in the mouth, but I won't. I won't. The hell I won't!"
George Washington McLintock

The enemy is taunting you. He's making fun of your parentage and the size of your manhood. Nevertheless, you start walking away from the confrontation. Maybe you're severely outnumbered or maybe you just want to be the better man. After all, Jesus said, "Turn the other cheek." But Jesus didn't have his girlfriend watching and wondering whether sex with you was a mistake or not. Suddenly you turn the other fist and strike, taking your enemy totally off guard.

Turning the other fist is sure to surprise your enemy and give you an edge in a uneven fight. It's one of the few dirty tricks a Hero can pull off because that moment of turning away seems to involve a deep moral conflict, even when it doesn't.

Examples of Turn the Other Fist include:


  • The Trope Maker is John Wayne in McLintock!
  • Parodied in Leprechaun 4: In Space.
  • In My Cousin Vinny, on the third encounter with the Big Pool Player who owes Marisa Tomei $200, Vinny is distracted and in a hurry, and waves the guy off as he, the Alabaman, taunts the New Yorker with the $200. Waves him off, waves him away, tackle. Vinny gets back up $200 richer, hardly breaking his stride.
  • In Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker seems to turn away from the Emperor's taunting, but suddenly swings back to force grab his saber and take a slash at the old fart. Darth Vader blocks him.
  • Toy Story:

Buzz Lightyear: I just want you to know that, even though you tried to terminate me, revenge is not an idea we promote on my planet.
Woody: Oh, well, that's good.
Buzz: But we're not on my planet, are we?

Live Action TV

  • In the 2009 remake of V, Tyler Evans turns away from some anti-Visitor protesters before swinging around to punch one in the face in order to impress Visitor Lisa, his love interest.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series' famous episode "The Trouble With Tribbles" features one by good ol' Scotty when a Klingon is insulting the Enterprise.

Web Comics

  • In Nip and Tuck, Tuck gets in a Turn the Other Foot KICK here.... with some rather painful consequences.