In the film Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Khan Noonien Singh notably remains conscious after the famous Vulcan nerve pinch. In the Star Trek canon, have any other humans been able to achieve this?


3 Answers 3


Yes: Gary Seven.

Mr. Seven and his cat ISIS arrive in the Enterprise transporter room

Spock nerve-pinches Mr. Seven from behind

Seven has turned around and struck Spock away from him

It is debatable whether or not he truly qualifies human however, as his ancestors were abducted from Earth over 6000 years ago and bred or engineered by aliens to have a superior physical body.

KIRK: Bones, check the prisoner you'll find in security confinement. I want a medical analysis fast. Is he or isn't he human?

Captain's log, supplemental. A man in a twentieth century business suit. What is he? Not even Spock's Vulcan neck pinch could stop him. Without our phasers, he would have over powered all five of us. I find it difficult to believe the mysterious Mister Seven can be human, and yet, suppose he is?

In a later scene:

MCCOY: Well, I must admit the sensor readings seem too good. Human readings, yes, but not a single physical flaw. Totally perfect body.

Memory Alpha claims he is the only human to have withstood the effects of the nerve-pinch (presumably Khan is counted as "human augment" rather than a human), so I doubt a better example will be found. The answer to the question "has any normal human withstood the nerve-pinch" is almost certainly no.

  • That was my bad in wording the original question poorly. I meant "remain conscious" as opposed to "remain alive." Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 21:40
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    The obvious followup question then is how do I protect myself from rogue Vulcans? Neckguards? lol :-| Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 22:06
  • @NicoleSharp Go to hot topic and buy a jacket with too many spikes on the shoulders. Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 22:15
  • That didn't work out very well for this guy though: cdn1us.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeekus/files/styles/main_wide/… Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 22:26
  • @NicoleSharp That collar isn't covering any of the relevant nerves. The pinch targets the trapezius if I'm not mistaken. Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 22:29

The secret service agent tailing McCoy in Star Trek III suffered no ill effects from McCoy's attempt at a nerve pinch:

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McCoy was weak and delirious, and this scene was played for laughs with the implication that McCoy was performing the nerve pinch improperly.

However, an earlier scene -- the conversation between Kirk and McCoy in Spock's quarters aboard Enterprise -- established that Spock's katra was able to use McCoy to convey things that McCoy wouldn't otherwise have known. It's at least possible, then, that McCoy "remembered" how to do a proper nerve pinch, and that the secret service agent had gear or combat conditioning to make him resistant.

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    @Bellatrix - I don't see that requirement in the OP's question or comments. Even so, I addressed how McCoy could have been performing the nerve pinch correctly. (We don't know that Spock performed the pinch correctly on Khan or Gary Seven, for that matter. He certainly knows how, but he may not have been able to get a good grip in those scenes.)
    – Gaultheria
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 0:31
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    Perhaps the agent had that nerve cluster relocated. Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 4:45
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    @EmsleyWyatt Yes that's the first thing one does as a government agent. Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 10:42
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    It is a good point though. I wonder if Section 31 could have developed a defense against the Vulcan nerve pinch? Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 14:48
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    Like Mal in the Serenity movie, resisting The Agent's equivalent of the Nerve Pinch by virtue of not having the nerve concerned (or maybe too much scar tissue around it). Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 18:40

What about Riker in TNG:Conspiracy. He resists for a good few seconds until Picard shoots the Vulcan, and then he's no worse for the wear.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. This is a good start, but you could make this a much better answer if you could include a screen-cap of it, a quote from the script, or a reference any other source.
    – DavidW
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 16:59
  • Even just one or two things from that list would be a great improvement! Commented May 13, 2019 at 17:44

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