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File:Bane1 299.jpg

Apply directly above the forehead.

A classic villain pose. To show that he has defeated the hero, the villain lifts him over his head.

As a pose, this has lots of benefits: It's visually compelling, it shows off the villain's strength, and it's a shocking way for the villain to brag about beating the hero, showcasing the hero's vulnerability. Think of it as shadow-Pieta Plagiarism-- instead of a loved one gently cradling a fallen hero, an enemy is holding his conquest up for the world to see. The followup action is usually to drop or throw him back to earth, perhaps with some force. Ouch.

This is also the standard position for preparing to toss a guy off something, which is done by both heroes and villains.

A step above the Neck Lift in terms of villainous posturing. Compare Load-Bearing Hero and people lifting other things over their heads as a show of Super Strength.

Examples of Hoist Hero Over Head include:


Comic Books


 Every Male Chauvinist Pig in the world will Tremble...when he sees the Hulk hurled to his Death - by a Woman!



  • Gunnar does this to Yang in The Expendables, in an attempt to impale him.
  • Done in the prison movie Brute Force (1947) during the climactic prison riot.
  • Hero/villain reversed: Darth Vader does this to the Emperor in the climax of Return of the Jedi (shot from a different angle).
  • A Mook does this to Jay in Men in Black II.


  • In the first Hawk & Fisher novel, legendary warrior Adam Stalker holds a werewolf over his head in this fashion, as this is the only way he can safely restrain the snarling, clawing monster long enough for others to fetch a silver weapon.

Professional Wrestling

  • The Gorilla/Military Press. For bonus points, bend at the elbows for a few reps, just to show how badass you are/how helpless they are. Followed by either a drop(on their face!) or transitioning to some other move. Like here(26s mark). Sometimes done to one's own partner, shortly before throwing their mass onto several opponents at once.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Darkseid does this to Superman in the last episode of Justice League Unlimited. He then brings Supes's back down on his knee, Batman-and-Bane style; it doesn't break his back, but it hurts like hell.

  "Super or otherwise, you're merely a man. And a God."

    • The last episode of Superman: The Animated Series had an inversion where Superman did this to Darkseid while standing on top of a ruined building, then tossed Darkseid to the ground below.
  • Sideshow Bob's brother Cecil does this with Bart in the Simpsons episode "Brother From Another Series", planning to throw him to his death from a dam. Bob swings to the rescue and catches Bart.