A grab is the action of grabbing and holding an opponent. Regular grabs are performed by pressing Z, R+A, or L+A (GameCube or Classic Controllers), the - button (Wii Remote without Nunchuk) A+B (Wii Remote, with or without nunchuk), or Z+A, D-Pad down+A, or D-Pad left (Wii Remote+Nunchuk). Once grabbed, a character can be pummeled with the attack or grab buttons and thrown by tilting the stick in one of the four standard directions. A grabbed character will automatically escape after a certain amount of time depending on their damage; characters at higher damage percentages will be held longer. Damage inflicted upon the grabbed character will increase grab time, and any button input by the grabbed character will decrease grab time.
Interrupting grabs in Super Smash Bros. causes the character that performed the grab to make his or her "ow!" noise. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, if a character grabbing another character is interrupted (that is, hit by an attack), the grabbed character will be sent flying horizontally.
In Brawl, it is not possible to grab an opponent that is standing behind the grabber, even if the grab makes contact with a part of the target's body that extends in front of them. In the previous two games grabs will connect regardless of the opponent's position.
Some special attacks are specialized grabs. These are:
- Bowser's Koopa Klaw in Melee (can grab in the air or at close range on the ground, can only throw forwards or backwards. No invincibility frames)
- Bowser's Flying Slam in Brawl (can grab and sacrificial KO opponents)
- Yoshi's Egg Lay (traps opponent in an egg, opponent takes half damage until they escape)
- Kirby and King Dedede's Inhale (traps opponent in Kirby or Dedede, opponent can wriggle to affect movement. King Dedede's is noticeably more powerful.)
- Captain Falcon's and Ganondorf's up special moves (grabs opponent in air and propels them away, can be done repeatedly if it connects the first time)
- Ganondorf's Flame Choke in Brawl (grabs opponent and slams them into the ground)
- Wario's Chomp (bites opponent several times, then spits them out).
- Lucario's Force Palm (grabs and throws forwards after about a second, cannot grab in air or at long range)
- Diddy Kong's Monkey Flip (latches onto an opponent, can either pummel to release or let go)
- Mewtwo's Confusion at close range (grabs the opponent, spins them around, and drops them)
Some grabs also function as a recovery technique when used in midair. By pressing the grab button in midair, certain characters will extend a long-range grappling item. When used on the ground, these grabs have the longest range, but they have a lot of ending lag if the grab does not connect. In Melee, if the grab connects with a wall, the character will hang from that wall and can press a button to be pulled up to where the end of the grab connected, allowing for second and third jumps to recover (known as wall-grapple). In Brawl, they will be shot to the nearest edge, making them tether recoveries. These include:
- Link, Toon Link and Young Link's Hookshot (and Link's Clawshot in Brawl)
- Samus' Grapple Beam
- Lucas's Rope Snake
In addition, there are several other ranged grabs, although they cannot be used as tether recoveries:
- Yoshi's tongue (the only character with a ranged grab without a tether recovery)
- Olimar's Pikmin, which dash forward and do the grabbing and throwing for him (one special is already a tether recovery)
- Zero Suit Samus's Plasma Whip. (two of her specials are already tether recoveries)
- Ivysaur's vines (also one special is already a tether recovery)
 Pivot grabs
A pivot grab is performed by dashing in a direction, then pushing the control stick in the opposite direction while inputting a grab. The resulting grab usually has longer range than a character's standing grab, and may be useful in varying one's approach.
 Initial grab range in Melee
Melee grab ranges by character according to Mew2King's webpage.
- Young Link
- Ice Climbers
- Mr. Game & Watch
- Captain Falcon
- Mario / Dr. Mario
 Initial grab range in Brawl
Initial grab range in Brawl.
Tether grabs (Grabs disjointed from the character)
1. Olimar's Blue Pikmin 10.1
2. Olimar's White Pikmin 10.0
3. Zero Suit Samus, Olimar's Red Pikmin 9.75
5. Olimar's Yellow Pikmin 9.6
6. Samus: 9.2-9.4
7. Link: 8.25
8. Olimar's Purple Pikmin: 7.5
9. Lucas: 7.25
10. Toon Link: 7
11. Yoshi: 6.75
12. Ivysaur: 6.1
- Note: None of these characters' grabs were longer than the tether-grabbers although King Dedede came very close to surpassing Ivysaur.
13. King Dedede: 6
14. Charizard: 5.5
15. Zelda: 5.3
16. Donkey Kong: 5.1
17. Squirtle: 5
18. Marth, Diddy Kong , Snake: 4.75
21. Kirby, R.O.B.. 4.5
23. Peach, Fox, Falco, Ness 4.25
27. Wario: 4.1
28. Bowser, Pit, Meta Knight, Jigglypuff, Ike, Sonic: 4
34. Pikachu, Sheik: 3.9
36. Lucario: 3.75
37. Wolf, Ice Climbers, Mario, Luigi, Mr. Game & Watch: 3.5
42. Captain Falcon 3.25
43. Ganondorf: 2.75
 Grab frame data in Brawl
This is the first frame on which the grabs hit for the whole cast. 
|Character||Standing grab||Dash grab||Pivot grab|
|Zero Suit Samus||16||16||16|
|Mr. Game & Watch||6||9||10|
 Grabs in the original Super Smash Bros.
While the physics of grabbing remain much the same between Melee and Brawl, they were heavily altered between SSB and Melee. In SSB, a grab always lasts the same amount of time. Once the time is up, a forward throw automatically takes place. Grabs cannot be escaped unless someone is hit hard enough, and only two throws (forward and back) exist in SSB. Pummeling does not exist; pressing any button results in a forward throw. The strength of throws in general is significantly higher than in the two sequels, dealing damage comparable to air attacks and often KO'ing around 100%.
- In SSB and Melee, characters cannot be grabbed by their lower legs or lower arms (in general); the grab bubbles must make contact with a more substantial part of their body. This behaviour does not appear to exist in Brawl.
Attacks in the Super Smash Bros. series
|Standard ground attacks||Neutral attack · Dash attack|
|Tilt attacks||Forward tilt · Up tilt · Down tilt|
|Smash attacks||Forward smash · Up smash · Down smash|
|Aerial attacks||Neutral aerial · Forward aerial · Back aerial · Up aerial · Down aerial · Grab aerial · Glide attack|
|Throws||Grab · Pummel · Forward throw · Back throw · Up throw · Down throw|
|Get-up attacks||Floor attack · Edge attack|
|Special moves||Neutral special move · Side special move · Up special move · Down special move · Final Smash|