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(Operative stabs Mal) "Do you know what your sin is, Mal?"

"Aw, hell. I'm a fan of all seven. (pulls sword back out) But right now, I'm gonna have to go with WRATH!" (attacks)
—The Operative and Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity

A character has been stabbed with a knife or some other bladed weapon and left for dead. Then, however, instead of just kicking the bucket, he suddenly pulls the weapon out of his body and uses it to fight back, firmly establishing himself as a Determinator and/or Made of Iron.

Note that in Real Life, this is a very bad idea because the knife sticking in the wound slows down the bleeding considerably. Pulling it out runs a high risk of bleeding yourself to death within minutes. Additionally, touching the lodged blade can result in you surviving the stab wound only to finish the job yourself by cutting off something important inside.

Compare Catch and Return and Human Pincushion.

Examples of Lodged Blade Recycling include:

Anime & Manga

  • The regenerative immortal Rin does it in in episode three of Mnemosyne, after being vivisected to death, killing her torturer with the scalpel he accidentally dropped inside her stomach.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Last Order: After being run through by Sephiroth's sword and left dangling over a pit, a much younger Cloud somehow summons the strength to pull himself further onto the blade to regain his footing. Then uses it as a lever to fling Sephiroth across the room and into the wall! It should be noted that this is the Turk's recount of the event, since they didn't witness the actual battle; which has Cloud throw Sephiroth into the Mako pit itself rather than throwing him against the wall.
  • Shootfighter Tekken: actually played realistically with a fist-against-knife fight. Knife guy somehow ends up with the knife deep in his side, and proceeds to demonstrate his badassery by expulsing it using just his abdominal muscles. The other characters, including the Heir to the Dojo he's fighting, just stare at him (the viewer is led to think it's in fear or admiration, but...) like he's an idiot, because suddenly he starts spraying blood and faints very soon after.
  • Nanashi pulls Luo-Lang's broken sword from his arm for a final attack in Sword of the Stranger.

Comic Books

  • Kate Kane does it in the final volume of Fifty Two, pulling a sacrificial knife out of her own chest to throw it at Bruno Mannheim, who (almost) performed the sacrifice. Note that she does recognize it as a stupid idea that almost costs her her life, but does it anyway because her lover Renee's life is more important to her.
  • In the graphic novel Jonah Hex: No Way Back, Jonah stabs el Papagayo with the same knife Papagayo just stabbed him with: while its still stuck through his arm!
  • The Savage Dragon once did this in a Crossover with Hellboy. An undead pirate stabbed him in the back and he ended up with the blade stuck in him for almost an entire issue before he yanked it out in order to use it as a weapon against the animated brain of Adolf Hitler. Needless to say, it was one of the more memorable stories in the series.
  • The Suicide Squad has once wound up on Apokolips, and Count Vertigo is stabbed by Kanto (a minion of Darkseid who has kind of a Italian Renaissance Assassin thing going.) Some time later, Vertigo turns out to have been playing possum and stabs Kanto in the back with his own dagger. Darkseid approves of this. Note that Count Vertigo was a Death Seeker at that point in his history and wouldn't care about the potential lethal side effects of pulling out the knife.


  • In Knight and Day, June accidentally impales an assassin with a knife, followed by the assassin pulling it out of himself to attack June with.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, Barbosa does this with the knife Elizabeth used on him. Also doubles as The Reveal of the Black Pearl's curse. He then does this again at the end of the movie. This is The Reveal for the fact that Jack is now cursed.
  • In Terminator 2, the T-1000 takes a large metal pole and impales the T-800 through the back and leaves. A few minutes later, the T-800 reroutes its power to an auxillary battery pulls out the pole and goes after the T-1000.
  • In Strange Days this is used at the climax of the movie when Big Bad Max is hanging on to hero Lenny's tie to stop from falling off of a balcony. Lenny (who had previously been stabbed by Max) then pulls the knife out of his own back and cuts his necktie off, sending Max plummeting to his death.
  • In Ladyhawke, a character gets hit with a crossbow bolt, pulls it out, rides up to his opponent, and stabs him in the stomach with the bolt.
  • In House of Flying Daggers, near the end, Leo attempts to rape Mei and is punished by having a dagger embedded in his shoulder by the leader of La Résistance (who informs him that if he ever removes it he'll bleed to death). After murdering Mei he pulls it out as a last resort in his Duel to the Death with Jin leading to an Everybody Dies ending.
  • In the first Lord of the Rings film, Lurtz does this with Aragorn's dagger (throws it back at him).
  • Ironhide in Transformers: Dark of the Moon gets a barbed weapon (possibly a timed explosive) thrown into his shoulder during a Mexican Standoff against two Decepticons. He proceeded to pull it out and return the favor to the one who threw it at him, except through the head. He proceeded to slam the 'Con onto a car and punt him into a building, exploding soon after. "Class dismissed!"
  • Shoot Em Up has the hero Mr Smith use a scalpel he was stabbed with to fight back.
    • Although this doesn't really do the scene justice... After having all his fingers broken, his torturer decides that the next step is to cut out an eye. Smith waits until the knife is close before headbutting the guy and getting the scalpel lodges in his forehead. Since his hands are broken and he's unable to hold the knife, he stabs it through his hand to be able to use it to fight back. The film is full of this kind of craziness.
  • Malcolm Reynolds pulls[1] this during his fight with the Operative in Serenity.


  • Done by sheer accident in The Truth, when Mr. Pin knocks William back against his desk and William's arm is pierced by the newsman's spike. Aware only that his arm suddenly hurts a lot, William moves to shove the paid killer away from him, and the protruding tip of the spike cuts his attacker's throat.

Live Action TV

Video Games


 Tagon: Thank you. Now I have a knife.

Web Original

  • At the end of Ryan Vs. Dorkman 2, Dorkman is being cruelly stabbed by Ryan, but he manages to push Ryan back, pull out the lightsaber from his chest, and kill Ryan will a well-placed saber throw.


  1. Pardon the pun.
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