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Sometimes it's the only way to deal with a writer.

This trope describes damage or painful actions done to the ears:

  • Someone's ear is cut clean off
  • Someone's ear is otherwise sliced
  • Someone's ear is pulled, yanked, or twisted
  • Someone's ear is bitten
  • Something sharp is stuck into someone's ear
  • Something like a virus/creature forces itself into someone's ear
  • Someone's ear is bitten off or eaten

Compare Eye Scream, for similar nasty things happening to a character's eyes, or Fingore and Agony of the Feet, when the targets are the fingers and toes.

See also Shell-Shock Silence, and its aversion Steel Ear Drums.


Anime & Manga

  • In Peacemaker Kurogane, Yoshida cuts Tetsunosuke's ear during their battle. It's later shown bandaged.
  • A running gag in Pokémon was that Misty would yank on Brock's ear whenever he hit on a girl, which was often. When she made a reappearance in Hoenn and went through the routine again, Max quickly picked up on it.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: After Kenshin disables Enishi's sense of balance with a supersonic attack, Enishi decides to reduce the effect by pulling out his own eardrum. Ouch.
  • Eyeshield 21: Yamabushi does this to Ikkyu when he's being tactless.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi does this to Mikuru, though it was more like foreplay than injury.
  • After her husband dies in Uzumaki, Shuichi's mother develops a phobia of spirals, because she always sees her husband in them. When she finds out that there's a spiral in the ear (the cochlea), she drives a pair of scissors through her ears to get them out.
  • At the very beginning of Arashi no Yoru ni, a wolf actually gets his ear bitten off by an angry mother sheep while protecting her lamb from him and the rest of his pack before they finally kill the mother sheep, who before her death tells said lamb, Mei, to run away for his own safety.
  • Siegfried from Saint Seiya applies this to himself to not fall victim to Sorrento's Magic Music.
    • In the first episode, Seiya actually did this to Cassios, cutting off his left ear during their first fight.
  • In the Fairy Tail manga, Erigor use his wind powers to slice Kageyama's ears when the latter made a mistake.
  • In To Aru Majutsu no Index we have battle nuns who, in order to counter Index's spell, sticks pens into their ears to break their eardrums.
  • Blade of the Immortal seems to like this. Giichi got one of his ears cut off by Sousuke, and Kagehisa who gets his ear sliced by Habaki.
  • In Gamaran, Zenmaru manages to chop Sasuke's ear along with some flesh around it.
  • In The Voynich Hotel, the Cold-Blooded Torture that Kuzuki goes through when the higher-ranking Yakuza that he stole money from catch up with him includes him having one of his ears amputated. Plus one of his eyes. And several of his fingers. And some of his teeth. After massacring the Yakuza for all of this, Kuzuki's Violently Protective Girlfriend Helena reattaches near all of his missing parts (save for the eye).

Comic Books

  • Scandal Savage bites off an enemy's ear in battle; when the enemy cries out for its return, Scandal nonchalantly replies, "Sorry, I've swallowed it."
  • During the Reads arc of Cerebus the Aardvark, Cerebus gets his right ear mostly cut off during a swordfight.


  • Mr Blonde cuts off the captive policeman's ear with a razor in Reservoir Dogs.
  • In the film Ever After, Rodmilla grabs Danielle hard by the ear and throws her into a chair when angry with her.
  • In Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, the mind-control parasites enter Chekov's and Terrell's heads through their ears.
  • Ghostbusters. As the heroes are looking at the ghost in the library and wondering what to do:

 Peter Venkman: Could you come over here and talk with me for a second, please? [grabs Ray Stantz by the ear and pulls him over]

  • In Cabin Fever, Fenster, a Hillbilly Henchman, dies when a screwdriver is jammed in his ear.
  • Happens to one of the officers in Face Off who was shot in the ear in a gun battle and later shown to be surgically replaced.
  • In Blue Velvet, the plot is set off by the protagonist finding a severed ear.
  • The Big Red One (deleted scene). The Goums (French native cavalry) cut off the ears of the German soldiers they've killed and swop them for American cigarettes. The Sarge tells him men to stop this trade because the Goums are cutting ears off dead American soldiers as well.
  • Subverted in Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, but only because the unsuspecting father stops listening at the grate and turns away before the evil faeries can shove a sharpened piece of wire into his ear.
  • In the movie Last Man Standing, one of the two crime bosses, Strozzi, does this to his girlfriend, Lucy Kolinski, after he learns of her affair with the protagonist.
  • In Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Carlos gets a giant cotton swab shoved into his ear, and then has to wear a killer hearing aid.
  • Walter in The Big Lebowski bites off a nihilist's ear and spits it high in the air.
  • One of the villains in Slashers is killed by being stabbed in the ear with a wooden stake.


  • Peter does this to a Roman soldier in The Bible when they try to take Jesus away. Jesus heals the guy.
  • Animorphs: The Yeerks enter your head via the ear canal, secreting a painkiller so it doesn't hurt.
  • In one of the Harry Potter books, Snape does this to George. The required "I lost an ear" humor happens the moment the victim awakes.
  • In the book Savage Sam, the sequel to Old Yeller, little Arliss bites off the ear of an Indian who kidnapped him. And swallows it (accidentally).

  "You reckon I'm part Injun now?"

  • In one of the Wayside School books, one of the kids tells a story of a hippie who got his ear cut off by a barber.
  • In A Night in the Lonesome October, Snuff practically rips the vicar's ear off after he abuses Graymalkin.
    • Snuff himself has scars on one ear from a past encounter with (implied) a voodoo-animated zombie.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: When Vargo Hoat tries to rape Brienne, she bites off his ear. The wound becomes infected and drives him mad.
  • In the Stephen King novella The Body (source material for the film Stand by Me), Teddy Duchamp has nasty scars where his abusive father held his ears to a burning stove.

Live Action TV

  • One Amanda Show skit featured a boy's ear accidentally being cut off while he was getting his hair cut. The barber then puts it into a barrel full of the ears of past customers that were accidentally cut off.
  • Firefly: In the episode "War Stories," Adelai Niska cuts off Mal's ear after Zoe rescues Wash, because the ransom she paid was "too much for just one man."
  • In Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, Cally bites off part of an attempted rapist's ear.
  • Hyde's first outing in Jekyll results in the prolonged beating of a man who'd humiliated Jackman earlier that day — biting off one of ears as a finishing move. For added horror, Jackman wakes up the next morning to find the severed ear in his pocket.
  • The saga of Moe's ear in Brotherhood. Granted, he really had it coming.
  • In Friends, Phoebe stops a Cat Fight between Rachel and Monica by grabbing them by their ears.
  • In Castle, Detective Beckett has a tendency to yank Castle's ear when he irritates her by listening in on conversations, getting close to her, and generally annoying her. Which is often.
  • In Wild Boys, 'Mad Dog' Morgan claimed he got his nickname because he once bit a man's ear off in a fight. later in the episode, he actually does a bite a man's ear off, indicating that this may be a regular thing for him.
  • In ther first series of Luther, Alice Morgan does this to Luther's wife, Zoe
  • In an episode of Boy Meets World featuring Cory traveling back in time to the fifties, Shawn is the Fonzie archetype whose mischief gets him dragged to the principal's office by his ear. He even lampshades it by calling it "the ear thing."


  • This was one of the injuries sustained by the protagonist of Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue" during the big fight with his father.


  • In Hamlet, the ghost of Hamlet's father, the late king. tells Hamlet that his brother Claudius, Hamlet's uncle and the present king, usurped the throne by pouring poison in his ear while he was asleep. Doesn't make much sense from a medical perspective, but it allows Hamlet to say things like "the ear of Denmark is much abus'd".


  • The friendly demon Buwaro in Slightly Damned is introduced with a bite taken out of one of his ears. Eventually, a flashback explains how he got it--his foster sister bit him, blaming him for the apparent death of their parental figure.
  • In the last panel of this Ears for Elves page, Elon grabs and pulls Myari's ear quite hard because he's angry at her/worried about her, and has finally found where she was hiding.

Western Animation

  • The 150th episode of Family Guy has a scene with Brian trying to pierce Stewie's ear, and getting the pin lodged inside his ear canal and getting it stuck.
    • Another episode had Stewie show his parents he was missing an ear because he was walking home with a bag full of burgers and "a lot of hungry deer were walking around this time of the night". A deer bit off his ear and Stewie mentions he was able to pull the ear out of the deer's mouth and put it into a cup with some ice he got at a 7-Eleven.
    • Yet another episode had Brian cut off his own ear under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Eddie Valiant repeatedly grabbed Roger Rabbit by his long ears and swung him around.
  • Raven yanked on Cyborg's ear in Teen Titans once.
  • Part of Zuko's scar in Avatar: The Last Airbender is that his ear is half burnt-off and shriveled.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Guess Who's Coming To Criticize Dinner" after Homer insults a chef's cooking he attacks Homer with a meat cleaver, Homer thinks all his strikes missed only to discover he has a chunk cut off one of his ears.
  • In the Beavis and Butthead episode "Pierced" the duo destroy each other's ears with a drill in an attempt to get them pierced.

Real Life

  • Mick Foley had lost part of his ear during a wrestling match with Vader. The ropes were wound too tight already, so when Vader tied Foley up in the ropes and his ear was part of that? You can figure out the rest.
  • John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in 1973. His grandfather, the then world's richest man, American multi-billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, refused to pay his grandson's $3 million ransom until one of the boy's ears was cut off and sent to a newspaper.
  • Probably the only universally known fact about Vincent van Gogh was that he cut off an ear.
    • Which is kind of ironic, given he didn't. It was only the lobe, and it probably wasn't him that did the cutting.
  • A common punishment for runaway slaves in the Antebellum South was to have an ear chopped off.
  • At least once in your life someone will yard on your ear. don't fight down the impulse to hit back; they deserve it.
    • ...Yard? Could someone please clarify that term?
  • The Sound and the Fury - the infamous 1997 rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, which ended in Tyson's disqualification after twice biting Holyfield's ears, with the second time tearing off the upper part of it.
  • The War of Jenkins' Ear, the Anglo-Spanish and naval part of the War of the Austrian Succession, gets its rather odd name from a very odd bit of history indeed. In 1731, Robert Jenkins was captain of the British merchantman Rebecca when Spanish coast guards intercepted and boarded it, suspecting that Jenkins was a Privateer for Britain (British privateers had been plaguing Spanish traffic for some time at this point), and despite not finding any evidence of piracy, the Spanish cut off Jenkins' left ear as a kind of message to Britain. This incident didn't amount to much at the time, but when tensions between Great Britain and Spain began to increase in the late 1730s, Jenkins came out with his story once again, presenting the shrivelled ear to a committee of Parliament as evidence of Spain's misdeeds. This, with a few other similar affairs, led to the British declaration of war in 1739, and one of the most amusing casi belli of all time.
  • The punishment for counterfeiting money in Colonial America was to have your ears cropped - that is, have the fleshy bits around the "shell" sliced away (You also got branded on the temple). Ouch.