One thing has always bothered me about Spider-Man. Most people, I think, are aware that Spider-Man's wrist-mounted web shooters are activated with a small lever that he presses with his middle two fingers.

web shooter

However, attaching an activator to your palm seems like a pretty terrible idea if you then plan on using your hands for things. Has he ever triggered his webbing accidentally, or have any villains ever exploited this feature?


3 Answers 3


In The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) issue #2 we see that the web shooters have a safety catch to prevent accidentally firing them.

The Amazing Spider-Man issue #2

We also see that his shooters require a very specific pattern to activate making it hard to trigger accidentally or by someone else.

enter image description here

We do actually see Spider-Man accidentally shoot his webs in the 2002 film Spider-Man — but here the webs are genetic and not from shooters.


If I recall correctly, activation requires a specific amount of pressure to prevent accidental firing. i.e. you need to tap the button twice.

Comic explaining how the web shooters work

And yes villains have crushed, melted, damaged etc. his mechanical web shooters plenty of times. This question has the answer

And Deadpool stole Spidey's webshooter

The only example of a web shooter accidentally going off, is in Spider-Man 2099 when someone squeezed Miguel's wrist and his organic web shooter covered the floor with web fluid. And he kept thinking, "Please don't look down!"

  • I look at that picture, and see him basically touching the palm of his hand with the tip of his middle finger with the three other fingers straight. A normal human hand isn't wired to do that. And you can forget doing it twice in quick succession.
    – Arthur
    Nov 2, 2018 at 14:56
  • 1
    @Arthur I can do it with my 3rd finger but not the middle one... I guess he can do it cos of Spidey-finger-muscles!
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 2, 2018 at 14:58
  • IIRC, it has also been established that the trigger requires more than human strength, although he gave an adjusted set to MJ at one point for self-defense.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 2, 2018 at 15:59
  • 1
    you just must have short stubby fingers @Arthur! ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 2, 2018 at 16:00
  • 1
    @Arthur: You can do it with training (same with your pinky, which is even harder). Find a guitar player and they can most likely do it. Nov 2, 2018 at 17:52

...or have any villains ever exploited this feature?

I haven't had much luck looking it up, but I remember reading one Spiderman comic in the 70's where a super-strong opponent of his grabbed his wrists and squeezed, smashing the web shooters.

He could of course go home and repair them, but it put that feature of his skillset off-limits for the rest of that particular fight.

  • 6
    I'm not sure how this answers the question, did the web shooters fire whilst he was breaking them?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 2, 2018 at 14:51
  • @TheLethalCarrot - Ah, thank you! I'd meant to quote the part of the question I was answering, and forgot. Its in there now.
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 2, 2018 at 14:54
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    To be honest I'm still unsure as to how this answers that part of the question. That's asking, from my reading of it, "have any villains ever pressed the firing mechanism to Spider-Man's loss?" whereas you appear to be answering "Have any villains ever done anything to Spider-Man's web shooters?"
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 2, 2018 at 14:56
  • @TheLethalCarrot - Destroying the firing mechanism to Spider-Man's loss appears to be the exact kind of thing that is asking about. The question is fundamentally about the odd mechanical wrist-to-palm setup of the shooters, and that part is asking if anyone's ever specifically targeted that.
    – T.E.D.
    Nov 2, 2018 at 15:03
  • 10
    There's a difference between firing them to his loss, destroying the firing mechanism and destroying the whole device. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 2, 2018 at 15:06

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