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Similar to the Finger Muzzle, this is a more direct and easier way of shutting someone up. If Bob is being kidnapped, the best way to prevent him from crying out is by grabbing him and covering his mouth. Not only that, but Alice could easily do it if she just wanted him to stop talking for some reason.

This gesture can be both threatening or playful, depending on the context. Rescuers may sometimes use this if they have to sneak up on a friend from behind and don't want them alerting nearby foes by yelling in surprise.

Compare with Finger Muzzle, Bound and Gagged, "Shut Up" Kiss, Standard Female Grab Area, and Finger on Lips.

Examples of Putting a Hand Over His Mouth include:

Anime and Manga

  • Jessie does this to James several times in the Pokémon episode "Holy Matrimony!"
  • Played for laughs during the Griffith rescue in Berserk, where the usually Spoiled Sweet Charlotte has a quite uncharacteristic temper tantrum at the thought of not going with the now-exiled Band of the Hawk in order to stay with Griffith. To shut her up Casca, Guts, Judeau and her maid Anna all put their hands over Charlotte's mouth.
  • In Fruits Basket, when Kagura almost lets slip to Tohru about Kyo's true form, Kyo covers her mouth with his hand.
  • Very briefly in episode 12 of Yu-Gi-Oh! when Mai is grabbed and dragged away by PaniK, though we do get some muffled squeaks out of her.
  • Pictured above: Used in the Bleach anime, when Nnoitora does this to Orihime as he forces her to watch how Ichigo is sevrely beaten up by his subordinate Tesla. This is a downgrade from the manga, where he put his fingers inside Orihime's mouth to choke her and blatantly ripped off a then-popular kink from Japanese porn.
  • Subverted in GoLion, where Ryou briefly places his fist over Amue's mouth (but doesn't punch her) to silence her when she's panicking. The scene stays in Lion Voltron, so Sven and Romelle also get to subvert this.

Comic Books

  • Happened to Lois Lane quite a bit in the Golden Age Superman comics.
  • Batman will occasionally surprise his enemies from behind this way.


  • In Disney's version of Peter Pan, Wendy is silenced this way twice, once by Peter and once by a pirate.
  • Pocahontas hushes Nakoma this way when John Smith approaches.
  • Happens to Littlefoot in the first Land Before Time sequel when he is captured.
  • Flora shushes the other fairies this way in Sleeping Beauty. A goon also does this to Phillip for a second.
  • A monkey does this to Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Baloo briefly does the same thing in the sequel
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, Basil does this to Dawson, as does Ratigan to Olivia--before she bites it.
  • Mulan briefly silences Mushu this way during his "dishonor" rant.
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor does this to Hugo when he tries to spit on a mime.
  • In Tarzan, a villain gags Jane this way, causing her to bite him.
  • Nani does this to Lilo near the beginning, and shortly after wraps her entire arm around her mouth as well. Lilo licks her.
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally's disembodied hand does this to Santa Claus when she's rescuing him.
  • "I have some questions for you and you are not leaving this city until they are answered."
  • In Epic, Nod briefly does this to Mary Katherine to prevent her waking one of Mandrake's bats
  • Happens to Lucy Pevensie in all three Narnia films
  • This is how Tris from Divergent is first ambushed when three other contestants attempt to murder her; fortunately, her trainer and crush, Four, comes to her rescue.
  • An incident in The Boxtrolls when Archibald Snatcher takes Winnie hostage and continues to hold her this way for the majority of the climax.
  • Very briefly pulled on Missie in Love's Unending Legacy.
  • In The 5th Wave, Evan does this to Cassie to prevent her alerting a nearby hunter and a passing airship.
  • In Running Wild, Brooke Nevin has this happen to her when spying on a poacher after following him into an alley.
  • Lois Lane is abducted this way by Lex Luthor's cronies in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, though it can only be viewed in the extended cut.


  • In the first book of The Wheel of Time series, Rand's father uses the friendly variation of this to keep him from crying out when they're being hunted by trollocs. Rand nearly breaks his arm in his panic to get free.
  • Watson puts his hand over Karen's mouth in The Baby Sitters Club to stop her very loud panicking when the woman next door shows up at his and Elizabeth's outdoor wedding. Karen tries to bite his hand in response. (Karen is convinced the woman next door is a real witch.)

Live-Action TV

  • Happens a few times on iCarly. Most notably, Carly licks Sam's hand at one point, exclaiming that it tastes like peanuts and dirt.
  • Occurs plenty of times in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Bridget, played by Sarah Michelle Cellar, who plays the titular character in the show mentioned above, gets one from Henry in the sixth episode of Ringer.
  • The eleventh episode of Heroes, "Fallout", Claire gets grabbed by the Haitian, who was sent to erase her memories but ultimately decides not to.
  • Some brief ones in Game of Thrones, most notably on the Stark children and Missandei.
  • Some instances in Malcolm in the Middle, though usually for comedy; two on Malcolm and a few on Dewie.


  • Quite a few instances of this in Adventures in Odyssey, particularly with Connie. Though this may range from her being kidnapped or being silenced so as not to alert anyone nearby.

Western Animation

  • Often happens to April and Irma on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987.
  • Happens frequently on Inspector Gadget to Penny.
  • The spies on Totally Spies frequently do this to each other.
  • Happens at least a few times in Liberty's Kids: James pulls this twice on Sarah to prevent her alerting any nearby enemies; she pulls this tactic on him once to stop him mocking the buying of St. Lawrence and at one point does this to Henri while catching him eavesdropping on the British army.
  • Occurs in an episode of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, "Uncontrollable," when Rhodey does this to Pepper so as to prevent her crying out when the Hulk passes by. She allows it after that, when he asks "Can I take my hand off your mouth now?" and she shakes her head in fear.
  • This happens to the teens of DreamWorks Dragons once in a while, mostly when it comes to make them stop talking or to prevent alerting any nearby enemies. One time was when both Astrid and Heather were caught and brought in to locked with the other riders.
  • Happens at least twice in Silverwing; the first was when Throbb ambushed Marina to prevent her alerting Shade, who was caught by Goth seconds later; the second was when the two young bats are captured by rats.
  • Three instances in Redwall, two involving Cornflower being abducted, first involved Farlo in episode 9 of Season 1 where he very VERY briefly does this to her as he kidnaps her for Cluny, the second time being done by Cluny the Scourge in episode 13 of Season 1 during the ending conflict. A third instance occurs with Martin the Warrior's girlfriend, Rose, when their party are captured by cannibalistic lizards in episode 7 of Season 3 very VERY briefly.
  • An episode of Tangled: The Series, "The Alchemist Returns", when Varian jumps on Rapunzel from behind and VERY briefly does this.
  • In an episode of Rugrats, Angelica does this to silence Chuckie when he tries to convince Tommy not to throw Didi's necklace in the garbage. It doesn't work, since Tommy decides not to do it no matter how upset he is that his mother took away his stuffed lion (she had it washed after Tommy tried to clean it with mustard instead of soap).