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Two characters are in a heated argument. Inevitably, they'll get into a fight. One character throws a punch that spins the other character's entire body around in a circle (usually making the punched character stare right into the camera for a moment, with a flabbergasted look on their face). Usually the punch floors the second character in one hit, though it is rarely a knockout punch.

This is often the consequence of a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! punch.

Examples of Punch, Spin, Gape include:

Anime Edit

Film Edit

  • This is George McFly's ultimate revenge against Biff Tannen in Back to The Future.
    • Marty does it to Buford Tannen in the third movie.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, a version of this happens with slaps instead of punches, and is a Running Gag of Jack Sparrow's.
  • Phil Connors does this to Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day. In the DVD commentary, the director claims that all he had planned was a punch followed by a stunned/surprised reaction from Ryerson; actor Stephen Tobolowski (who played Ryerson) decided to turn it into a full-on, stare-in-the-camera spin-and-fall after the punch.
  • Something of this sort happens in the movie Sabrina (both the original and the remake with Harrison Ford) where Linus Larrabee punches his brother David after he badmouths the girl. Of course, this is all a Batman Gambit to make Linus express his true feelings, so the reaction is less shock and more "I Knew It!!"
  • A gunshot instead of a punch, but this happens to Frank in Once Upon a Time in the West.
  • It's brief but in Sin City, one of Marv's first punches to an advancing cop involves this.

Literature Edit

Live Action Television Edit

  • Dr. Cox on Scrubs executes one on Dr. Kelso at one point.
    • One episode of Scrubs had a running gag where Turk and Carla had a way of faking one of these (one person pulls their punch, the other turns their head and claps to make a slapping sound, a trick used in theater).
  • Having this happen is a Running Gag on My Name Is Earl.
  • Used in Police Squad!. Memorable because of the dialogue between the KOed boxer and his manager.

Theater Edit

  • Truth in Television: This is a standard way to fake a punch, and has been used for probably hundreds of years in theatre.

Video Games Edit

  • The Soldier does this to a Spy in Team Fortress 2's "Meet the Soldier" video with a shovel.
  • A gameplay mechanic in Soul Calibur and later Street Fighter games.
  • Some fighters in Punch Out Wii, such as Disco Kid.
  • If you play Resident Evil 5 as Chris and manage to pull 5-strike combo on Wesker, the combo will end with this. And if you don't run away immediately after, Wesker retaliates with Kick Spin Gape (as he does also after dodging your bullets).

Webcomics Edit

Western Animation Edit