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Ifurita: Demon Gods may be all-powerful, but we still need to watch our backs.

Ab-Zahal: Dammit, if only that human hadn't distracted me!

Ifurita: They have a marvelous capacity for that, don't they?

When a minor or comparatively weak character distracts or annoys the Big Bad momentarily, giving the other characters time to escape, prepare, or attack. May be used comedically to deflate an otherwise impressive villain. (Hard to be menacing when the Team Pet beans you in the head with a rock.) The most direct form of We Need a Distraction. Can provide The Load with an opportunity to redeem himself.

Compare Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?, Defiant to the End. If the person providing the distraction tries to make it last as long as possible to help his teammates, it's Holding the Floor. Not to be confused with Do Not Taunt Cthulhu. Sometimes literally involves Flipping the Bird.

See also Heroic Sacrifice.

Examples of Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? include:


Anime and Manga

  • Taichi from Digimon Adventure did this with a different purpose: since he had the Courage crest, he thought he could force Greymon to evolve one level more by pulling this... problem is, his plan backfired because it wasn't real courage, and the resulting SkullGreymon was evil!
    • Later on, he unintentionally pulled this off successfully against a powered-up Etemon, resulting in his Crest of Courage activating properly and causing Greymon to become his proper Perfect form, MetalGreymon.
  • Pretty much every major fight in Dragonball Z came to the minor heroes pinging the villains to defeat after the heroes did enough damage, minor characters being the Big Damn Heroes, or at one point, all the minor characters blasting Cell in the back over and over until a regular shot from Vegeta distracted him a moment, which was when Gohan put all of his strength into his one-handed Kamehameha, killing Cell.
    • Chibi Trunks even does it literally in the Broly movies.
    • When he wasn't mooning or pissing on him.
    • Krillin practically lives on this trope. Cutting off part of Frieza's tail is probably the ultimate example.
    • Yajirobe even gets in on it against Vegeta.
    • Heck, there's even a chapter title page where the characters literally flip off Cell.
      • And again in the series, where a reporter who was with Hercule flipped off Perfect Cell during the Cell Games.
    • Chichi even gets in on this. She walks right up to Majin Buu and slaps him in the face. It doesn't end well.
  • Opening quote is from the manga version of El-Hazard: The Magnificent World. Main character Makoto Mizuhara has set off an ancient missile defense system against super android Ab-Zahal. He finds deflecting these missiles funny... until Ifurita appears behind him and blows his head off.
  • In Saiyuki, the Team Pet distracts Kami-sama long enough for Gojyo to grab everyone and make a retreat.
  • In Naruto, when Hinata farging Hyuuga fights Pein to save Naruto in Chapter 437, declaring "I won't let you lay another finger on Naruto-kun!" And then...STAB. She survives.
    • Ebisu tries this against Pain's Jigokudo body, in order to buy time for Konohamaru to escape. Konohamaru, however, goes back to help him, and defeats that body with Rasengan, making his intervention a case of punching out Cthulhu.
      • Also, Naruto himself likes to greet the Kyuubi by demanding it surrender its chakra to him and calling it a "damn fox." Which is probably a little irritating to a superpowered being who can flatten a mountain by swinging one of its nine tails. However, this being is sealed inside Naruto and would have to die with him.
  • In Bleach, Ganju (a character who is not terribly important and whose only attacks are throwing fireworks and a sand spell that mostly just helps him run away) tries this against Byakuya, allowing Ichigo enough time to swoop in and save Rukia. Unfortunately, this doesn't quite work out and Ichigo ends up having to be rescued.
  • In One Piece, after Rob Lucci has Luffy exhausted and badly wounded on the ground, Usopp, the weakest member of the Straw Hats, reveals himself to Luffy and challenges Lucci, despite having easily lost to a CP9 member who was half as powerful. Lucci walks over to kill Usopp, but Luffy, his Heroic Resolve restored by Usopp's speech to him, gets up and finally manages to defeat Lucci. Earlier on, Aokiji wonders if Luffy (who is by no means weak, but doesn't yet compare to an Admiral's strength) decided to fight him alone because he thought he could win or because he wanted to prevent him from going after the rest of the crew.
    • Subverted when Arlong ignores his rubber band attack (but played straight when he scares Hacchan in place).
    • In the Skypiea Arc, Sanji kicks Ussop out of the way and takes a lighting attack from Enel. After which, he thanks him for the light for his cigarette.

Then Enel's ship begins to malfunction because of Sanji's sabotage.

    • Recently, Luffy briefly holds off the assault of Hawkeye Mihawk, the world's greatest swordsman, by throwing Buggy, whose powers render him invulnerable to bladed weapons, at him.
    • Even more recently, Coby temporarily distracts everyone at Marineford to try and stop any more casualties by begging for everyone to cease fighting. This includes standing up to many incredibly powerful Marines, especially Akainu, the man who killed Ace and burned off half of Whitebeard's face. Fortunately, this distraction was long enough for Shanks to appear and successfully end the war.
  • In the 5th Kara no Kyoukai movie, Enjou Tomoe, despite being Muggle Weight, tells off the Big Bad. Shiki herself passive aggressively says that because he did, she's going kill said Big Bad now.
  • Ganta does this at the end of his second bout in the Carnival Corpse - Deadman Wonderland's version of the Thunderdome. He basically flipped off the blood-thirsty anonymous audience, the other watching Deadmen, and the Carnival's Promoter, Tamaki.
    • An incident so awesome, and so unlike him (for most of the series, up to this point, Ganta has been rather passive, fighting only to defend himself, and rarely even raising his voice, except to scream Oh Crap about the current situation), he actually questions whether or not he just broke character.
  • Manta in the last chapters of Shaman King. Piko-Piko hammer and all!
  • In Death Note, this is how L is introduced. He basically goes on television and tells Kira through his stand-in Lind L. Tailor where he can put his justice. Kira, of course, kills Tailor immediately, thinking that it's L. Then, L keeps on taunting him anyway!
  • Medaka Box: Zenkichi, despite being nearly subdued by Oudo's Compelling Voice (and seeing him do the same to Medaka), manages to resist enough to attack him due to seeing him trying to kiss her.
  • Soul Eater has Black*Star pulling a one man stand against Kishin Asura, madness incarnate, who at the time is easily the size of a house. He's obviously outclassed but doesn't let that slow him down as he proceeds to beat the crap out of the giant to keep him distracted while Death the Kid prepares a massive Wave Motion Gun attack.


Comic Books

  • In the superhero comic Empowered, the eponymous heroine in her Blessed with Suck Supersuit distracts a far more powerful villain, allowing the villain's previous opponent enough time to recover and animate the landscape.
    • To explain further, the guy previously fighting him is named Syndablokk, has a, well, cinder block for a head, and a little-known power which he describes as being like Aquaman... but with buildings.
  • This is Spider-Man's coping mechanism for the numerous cosmic-level threats he faces as a member of two Avengers teams and the Future Foundation.
  • John Constantine of Hellblazer does this during the "Dangerous Habits" story arc, literally.
  • Several demons and damned souls did this to Death, Despair, and Delirium in Death: At Death's Door.

 (a demon shoves Delirium to the ground)

Despair: Do not touch her. Leave our sister's home.

Demon: What are you going to do? Sit on us, Fatty?

  • Batman will do this on occasion--usually when he's part of an ensemble, usually for a good reason.
  • A villainous version can be found in All-Star Superman, where when Superman visits Lex Luthor in jail and offers him a chance at redemption, Lex chooses to spit in his face and give Supes a Death Glare.
    • Another unheroic (though not really villainous) example is the woman who, after Superman returns to Earth after dealing with the New Krypton event, slaps him and yells at him about how her husband died of a brain tumor and Superman should have been on Earth to perform heat vision brain surgery (which, incidentally, Superman has never demonstrated) instead of, oh, preventing interstellar war. Fortunately, the public doesn't buy her Wangst-fest. Unfortunately, Superman does.
  • The Joker has mocked numerous beings who could easily kill him, like Superman, Darkseid, and demons.
  • In one Superman miniseries, a gang of criminals are watching Superman fight Exo-Max, a bank robber in a suit of Powered Armor, and recording data from the fight (exactly how long it takes, what specific moves Supes uses, etc). When they start talking about their plan, Superman appears in front of the leader and starts passive-aggressively trying to talk them out of it. The leader pays him lip service, then takes a long drag from his cigarette and exhales smoke directly onto the big guy's kisser. Superman leaves without another word, but the crooks are dumbstruck. "Boss... did you just blow smoke in Superman's face?" Of course, this wasn't a distraction, but still.
  • When the Fantastic Four are "fighting" the Dreaming Celestial, a massive Eldritch Abomination which has control over Galactus's energy-consuming abilities and is about to destroy the entire universe and all of temporal continuity 30 years into the future with a black hole the size of a galaxy, Reed Richards hangs out of the side of his time sled and starts calling it names. Then lures it smack-dab into a Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? when he gets its attention. There's a reason entire alien races run screaming at the sound of Reed's name.


Fanfiction

 Tamaki: Yeah, um, up yours, buddy. If you're the devil, you can kiss my ass and tempt someone else.

Khorne: WHY WOULD I WANT TO KISS THAT AREA OF YOUR BODY?

  • In Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns, the Wise Prince dwarven noble Guile Hero protagonist goes through a near death experience and, thinking he'd going to die, tells the Archdmeon )who'd chose that time to psychically assault him) to go screw itself. Needless to say, many chapters after he doesn't die, bad things happen.
  • In one Death Note fanfic, Matt does this by trolling Kira.
  • During one fight in Ponies Make War, Rainbow Dash kicks Titan's avatar in the face. It doesn't hurt him much, but it does distract him long enough for Luna to run him through with her blade.
  • Zeno Blaze in Clash of the Elements does this quite literally to Joe Dark after he becomes a soul residing inside of Alex's body.


Film

  • Kia in Freddy vs. Jason, who distracted Freddy from the protagonists by taunting him openly. Unfortunately, it didn't work on Jason.
    • I think it's pretty clear that Freddy was more amused than annoyed as well. He just didn't want to miss the show.
  • Happens in Deep Rising. Finnegan destroys one of the monster's eyes with his shotgun, allowing him and Trillian time to escape.

 Finnegan: What are you looking at? <BAM!>

  • "We need a diversion. Something fast...and loud." In Dog Soldiers, Private 'Spoon' Witherspoon is without a doubt the loudest character in the film. Spoon's also probably the only character crazy enough to stand around in the woods shouting and waving a flare when the area is crawling with werewolves.

 "Come and get some if you think you're hard enough!"

 (Irene lifts her stump)

The Collector: Is that a yes?

Irene: No. That's me giving you the finger, asshole!


Literature

  • Inverted in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, where an army of 7000 soldiers and most of the Fellowship's surviving members are mustered for the sole purpose of Flipping Off Sauron, just so Frodo can get the Ring to Mount Doom.
    • In The Silmarillion, Melkor turns up at Feanor's house and asks if he'd like to come to Middle-Earth with him. Feanor is about to accept when Melkor implies he wants Feanor's Silmarils, and Feanor slams the door in his face.
  • In Eric Flint and David Freer's book Pyramid Scheme, our heroes find themselves trapped in the world of Greek mythology and caught up in a war against the gods of Olympus. At one point, Zeus, king of the Olympians, is about to start blasting people with thunderbolts. Henri Lenoir, visiting French botanist, proceeds to deliver a blistering salvo of insults in true Gallic fashion, distracting Zeus until the others can escape. Also a Heroic Sacrifice, because he gets killed.
    • Also a Crowning Moment of Awesome, because he did it while horribly sick And survived a god level lightning bolt long enough to flirt with a nurse back in the real world and enjoy a glass of fine wine.
  • In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Rachel (whose only power is to see through the Weirdness Censor that fools other normals) saves demigod Percy from Kronos, King of the Titans, an evil creature older than the gods, by hitting Kronos in the eye with a blue plastic hairbrush. Percy remarked that this earned her his permanent respect.
  • Kit did this in whale form in Young Wizards. Most other minor characters in the series have to do a Heroic Sacrifice to provide a distraction. All of the main characters in Book Of Night With Moon attempt or succeed in a Heroic Sacrifice just to delay the Big Bad, although most of them do get better later. Pitting preteen humans or housecats against the machinations of the eldest, fairest, and fallen means any form of victory is going to fall between this and Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?.
    • A more classic and slightly subverted version of this trope appears in A Wizard Abroad, when a bard-kitten pisses off the Big Bad by mocking it using elaborate verse. Unfortunately, it just makes the Lone Power angry.
    • In the related title Book Of Night With Moon, Urruah strides through a cat's mythological reenactment of Lucifer's fall and sharpens his claws on the impressive scenery about five feet away from the Lone Power in the form of a giant, godlike snake before striding back and remarking he should have sprayed it as well.
  • The Warcraft novelization trilogy War of the Ancients pulls this off, combining it with Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Brox actually managing to injure Sargeras. It was a small scratch, but when you realize how powerful we know Sargeras is, not to mention that little trick is what ultimately won the war, it's quite a feat.
  • Harry Dresden in The Dresden Files lives off this trope in every single book. Notable examples:

 Harry to Lasciel the Temptress: And by any chance does all this knowledge and power and good advice come for only three easy installments of nineteen ninety-five plus shipping and handling? Or maybe it comes with a bonus set of knives tough enough to saw through a nail, yet can still cut tomatoes like 'this'.

Lasciel: You aren't nearly as funny as you think you are.

  Harry to Cowl: Touché, O dark master of evil bathrobes.

  Harry to Cowl (again): And again I do answer thee. Bite me.

    • And whilst charging into a pitched battle between the rival Faerie courts:

  I DON'T BELIEVE IN FAIRIES! [1]

    • In Changes, he starts mouthing off to one of the most powerful creatures on the planet, in its own lair, surrounded by its ravenous army.

 Murphy: Do you have to piss off everyone you meet?

Harry: If I didn't, he might feel left out.

    • Against a guy who is about to brutally beat Harry to death with a baseball bat.

 Harry: You're like, the fifth scariest person I've met today.

    • While in the domain of a god Harry almost stays quiet, then decides that he's insulted everything smaller, it'd be rude not to.
  • In The Salvation War: Armageddon, happens when Gordon Brown says "Sod off, Baldrick" in reply to The Message and Satan's message that humanity now belongs to him, then revealing that he has a cunning plan to deal with the situation.
    • And in a hilarious use of the trope, Michael the archangel intentionally does this to Yahweh when he delivers a heap of bad new to him. He doesn't insult Him directly, but he does do his bit of snarking... and he KNOWS what Yahweh's reaction would be to the news
  • I Don't Call That Much Of An Argument.
    • To explain, Discworld gods tend to take insults pretty personally. Unfortunately for them, they've never had to contend with a ceramic atheist.
  • In the Dragonlance last book, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, a member of the Kender race - which are chronically bored, are impulsive kleptomaniacs and considered little more than a pest by the other people of the world - managed to do this to Chaos the father of ALL the Gods, using lots of insults - Kenders are able to come up with insults against anything - to distract him while the other people in the battle attempt to make him bleed, for his blood is required to vanish him. In the end, he not only distracts Chaos efficiently, but, using his small knife, cuts him, and the blood coming from that cut is the one used to win the battle.
    • In the Dark Disciple trilogy, Atta (A dog) bites Chemosh (The god of Death) in the ankle.
      • That didn't just distract him -- another god Majere used Atta's teeth as the vessel of his wrath to let Chemosh know that he was not happy with Chemosh's recent actions.
  • IT by Stephen King evokes this when Eddie sprays his asthma inhaler on It. He does it twice, once when he's a kid and again a few decades later; it works because Eddie believes it will hurt It, and what really hurts It is belief. Unfortunately, it doesn't work so well the second time around when It bites his arm off, killing him.
  • The most recent Magic: The Gathering novel, Test of Metal, has the protagonist, Tezzeret, tells Nicol Bolas, the nigh omnipotent 25,000 year old Elder Dragon, that he's "stupid" and condescendingly tries to explain what the words 'thank you mean'. Bolas is not amused.
  • In The Elenium, Berit hurls an axe at the God Azash which makes the Elder God flinch, allowing Sparhawk to shove Bhelliom where Azash was emasculated.
  • In Life, The Universe and Everything after a flying party ship is attacked by Krikkit robots trying to steal the award for the most gratuitous use of the word "fuck" (It Makes Sense in Context) Arthur Dent and the others prepare to flee, but are delayed by Thor (yes, THAT Thor) who wants to keep Trillian with him. Arthur then asks him one question:
    • This works as intended, as Thor steps outside (read: steps off of the flying party and into thin air) and the others flee without fear of a long argument killing them.
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel has Billy The Kid threatening his master, Quetzalcoatl with an axe. Considering the potential consequences, that took balls.
  • Quick Ben may be the master of this. There is a very long list of Gods and Rulers he has pissed off during the course of his career.


Live Action TV

  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy taunts the mayor about stabbing Faith to lure him into the library which is packed with explosives.

  Buffy: Hey! You remember this? I took it from Faith. Stuck it in her gut. Just slid in her like she was butter. You want to get it back from me... Dick?

  • When facing certain death from the Daleks in Doctor Who episode "The Parting of the Ways", Captain Jack simply retorts "I kind of figured."
    • Rory Williams tells the Cybermen "Don't give me those blank looks!"
  • In Babylon 5, while it didn't accomplish anything but make Vir out to be awesome (and set the stage for a little karmic justice later on), he does give Mr. Morden (and by extension the Shadows) a 50-story tall middle finger telling him what he wants.
    • For those who've never seen the series...

 Morden: What do you want, Vir?

Vir: I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike, as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave, like this. *demonstrates* Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?

    • Made more awesome in later the series when Vir's wish actually becomes true and he waves at decapitated Morden
    • Also how Ivanova managed to convince the Walkers of Sigma 957 to join the fight against the Shadows. They apparently had issues with the Vorlons.

 Ivanova: The Vorlons said you wouldn't be up for this; in fact the last time the Shadows came, they said they did all the work for you. Come to think of it, we've got the Vorlons. We really don't need much more help, do we? I mean the Vorlons are pretty much perfect, aren't they?

Walkers: (Angry sounding talk about the Vorlons.)

Ivanova: We'll let you know when it's over, so you can come out of hiding.

Walkers: When it is time, come to this place. Call our name. We will be here.

    • Garibaldi deliberately tries to do this in the process of an assassination plot on the Vorlon ambassador.
    • Later, in "Interludes and Examinations", Sheridan is trying to convince Kosh to get the Vorlons (themselves Sufficiently Advanced Aliens) to intervene against the shadows. Kosh doesn't want to get involved, so Sheridan starts flipping him off. Kosh responds by telekinetically pushing him around, but Sheridan persists.

 Sheridan: You said you wanted to teach me to fight legends! Well, you're a legend, too, and I am not going away until you agree!

Kosh: Incorrect. (Shoves Sheridan by TK.) Leave. Now.

Sheridan: No.

Kosh: Disobedient!

Sheridan: Up yours! (Kosh slaps him, draws blood.) So the real Kosh shows his colors at last, huh? Are you angry now? Angry enough to kill me?

(Sheridan continues flipping off Kosh. Finally, Kosh suspends him against a wall.)

Sheridan: Go ahead. Maybe one more death…will help balance out the books. Go on. Get it over with. Save us both the trouble later.

    • Then, in "Into the Fire", Sheridan has drawn the Shadows into an area the Vorlons are about to attack. As soon as they see each other, they ignore the Army of Light also on site, so Sheridan decides to "get their attention"…by detonating three nukes in their midst. Lyta Alexander, psychically probing them at the time, reports on their reaction to Sheridan's "wake-up call": "Captain...they're pissed."
  • Deadliest Catch:

 The Bering Sea: Sends three tons of freezing spray across the deck of one of the ships.

Deckhand: Is that all you've got?

Narrator: It's never wise to taunt the Bering Sea.

The Bering Sea: Waits a few seconds before sending a larger wave to try to wash the entire deck crew off the ship.

  • Played fairly straight in the Season 5 finale of Supernatural, in which Castiel interrupts what would be the final confrontation between Lucifer and Michael by yelling out "Hey! Assbutt!" and throwing a molotov cocktail filled with holy oil at Michael, causing him to disintegrate. This doesn't kill Michael and is only meant to give Dean some alone time with the Devil.
    • Depending on your point of view, this could be seen as either a Crowning Moment of Awesome or a Crowning Moment of Funny, or perhaps even both. Dean himself even seems to forget the severity of the situation for a moment when the absurdity of Castiel's wording hits him.
    • Unfortunately, Lucifer (the actual Cthulhu of this incident) does not have such a lighthearted reaction to this, and even almost quotes the name of this trope before blowing Castiel up in a bloody mess. "Castiel... Did you just molotov my brother... with holy fire?"
    • Most of the interactions the Winchesters have with demi-gods, higher ranked demons and archangels comes to this, including Dean telling a room of gods "We can either take on the Devil together, or you lame-ass bitches can eat me. Literally."
    • Castiel had another one of these earlier in the season, when he trapped the much more powerful Archangel Raphael in a ring of holy fire to interrogate him. Afterwards, as Cas prepares to leave him there, Raphael threatens to hunt him down and kill him. Cas' response?

 "Maybe one day. But tonight, you're my little bitch."

    • Likewise, Gabriel gets one of these in "Hammer of the Gods" after Lucifer rips his way through a horde of pagan gods and has him on the ropes ( even if it doesn't end well).

  Lucifer, you are my brother and I love you, but you are a great big bag of dicks.

 Oprah: Just one note?

Christoph: I'll give you a note: A.

    • Bravo, Cristoph Waltz, for doing what I have dreamed of for many years.
  • And how does Commander Sisko greet the omnipotent, god-like, so-far-beyond-human-ken-one-can't-comprehend Q when they meet for the first time? By knocking him on his ass, to Q's utter astonishment.
  • Over in Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Skin of Evil" saw the crew out to rescue Troi and a crewman from a crashed shuttle and encountering Armus. He takes the shuttle crew hostage, while repeatedly harassing and threatening the landing party - including killing Tasha Yar just to demonstrate its power. When the crew discovers that they can beam the shuttle crew to safety if Armus is sufficiently distracted, Picard himself beams down to confront him - engaging in a debate and purposefully angering him.

 Picard: You say you are true evil? Shall I tell you what true evil is? It is to submit to you. It is when we surrender our freedom, our dignity, instead of defying you.

Armus: I will kill you and those in there.

Picard: But you will still be in this place. Forever, alone, immortal. That's your real fear, never to die; never again to be united with those who left you here. I'm not taking you anywhere.


Video Games

  • In Tales of Phantasia, Chester holds back the Big Bad so that Cless and Mint escape from the past.
  • Sonic Unleashed has this in the form of a Mazuri kid beaning Eggman with a rock when he demands the Temple of Gaia's whereabouts. While the kid couldn't have known about what happened next at the time, it kept Eggman's attention on the people rather than Sonic, who was hurtling in at high velocity to take down the Egg Fighters standing between Eggman and the locals.
  • The Big Bad of Wild Arms XF was less then impressed when the heroes killed it. After all, As Long as There Is Evil it will still live! ...so they kill it again. It revives, and wonders what the heck they're doing. So they kill it again... and again. And they're just going to keep doing it. It's so in shock at this that the person it's possessing takes control long enough permanently destroy both of them in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • This is a rotating job among the party members in any given Shadow Hearts game. Probably the best is when Covenent's Anastasia interrupts Orobas to ask what he plans to do once he manages to Take Over the World. He has no answer.
    • Another awesome one is from Yuri to Neo Astaroth. What does Yuri say to the Eldritch Abomination that regained its full power and is about to destroy Japan?

 Yuri: I wish you'd shove it. You know where.

Neo Astaroth:......

  • Shadow does this in Final Fantasy VI, when he starts moving the Warring Triad statues out of their perfect triangle arrangement. Naturally, Kefka is pretty pissed, since this dispels his magic invulnerability and his plans to blast the heroes to hell, so he then fights Shadow, who apparently escapes from the fight unscathed. And if you wait for him on the way out, he'll get on your airship and survive flipping off Kefka.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Auron does this a couple of times to Hades, despite that he had offered to give him a second chance at life.

 Hades: Don't you know who you're dealing with?! I am the lord of the dead!

Auron: No wonder no one wants to die.

 Harbinger: Shepard, you have become an annoyance.

    • Not just the Reapers, though they certainly out-Cthulhu anything else in the series. Shepard has essentially made a career out of flipping off every Cthulhu s/he comes across, which is often followed up by punching them out.
  • One way to tackle the large Undead Ogre in Dragon Age Origins's Return to Ostagar DLC is to have the Warden distract it, while the rest of the team tackles the very squishy Darkspawn necromancer keeping it (un)alive. It doesn't get you a badass killing animation, but it can be done with a massively underpowered party.
    • Dragon Age also lends itself to MMO-like tactics in most places, most notably with Flemeth. Since she never moves away from her starting position and her tactics are set up so that she will melee characters rather than spitting fireballs if it is possible, the easiest way to kill her is to take Wynne, either Sten or Alistair, Leliana, and a mage or archer rogue Warden along, have the warrior flip Flemeth off, have Wynne heal and buff the warrior, and have Leliana and the Warden spam Flemeth with ranged attacks.
    • Early in Dragon Age II, Hawke has repeated opportunities to be an incredible smartass toward Flemeth, confirmed in the previous game to be a Humanoid Abomination at the very least, and confirmed in this game to be capable of circumventing her own death. Flemeth actually seems to like Hawke better when Hawke mouths off at her.
  • Dwarf Fortress: It's probably wrong to use Hell itself, from which the insatiable demon hordes issue forth to ravage the world, as a garbage disposal, but if so, I don't want to be right.

 (Warning: TV Tropes (Wiki) takes no responsibility for any fun which may ensue from attempts to replicate this. Proceed at your own your dwarves' risk.)

  • Done twice in Warcraft III against Archimonde, Jaina give him short insult, and Thrall hits him with lightning before teleporting away.
  • At the end of Golden Sun: The Lost Age, in the cutscene prior to the final boss fight, Jenna outright sasses The Wise One, a sentient Philosopher's Stone with enough power to redirect a volcanic eruption and which has just been referred to as "more like a god" by another character.
    • In the sequel, one of your goals is to get a feather from the Mountain Roc that is worshipped by the people of Morgal. You do this by bitchslapping it in the wattle. Twice. Sveta, a citizen of Morgal (actually the Badass Princess of Morgal) lampshades disapprovingly that "one does not just pluck the feathers of divinity".
  • In Assassin's Creed II, Ezio tells Rodrigo Borgia "Go fuck yourself".
  • At the end of Paper Mario, after Bowser beefs himself up with the power of Kammy's machine and the Star Rod's invincibility, Twink flies straight at him and bonks him in the back of the head, making him look around in confusion long enough for Mario to get his Eleventh-Hour Superpower.
  • In part of the backstory in Rift, Asha Catari dies, and Regulos informs her that he intends to make her his avatar upon Telara. She tells him to get bent...and then, she comes Back From the Dead.


Web Comics

  • In the ending of Crash & Bass, Frank (a Harmless Villain) distracts X with a carrot juice buster, allowing Bass to turn the fight around.
  • Bob and George, starting with this strip
  • In the now-defunct webcomic Life of Riley, Dan manages to shoot Jezebel (yes, THAT Jezebel) with a paintball gun, then challenges her to a paintbrawl for the fate of the world.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Kat punches Muut (a personification of death) when she leans that Muut forced Annie to escort her own mother to the afterlife. This case was almost a Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?, but it's a little more of a What the Hell, Hero? seeing as the punch didn't do anything and Muut seems to otherwise be a decent guy.
    • A straighter example is the SPANKIES!! Basically, Annie spanked the trickster god Coyote for looking up her skirt. Coyote actually thought it was pretty hilarious, Ysengrin...not so much.
  • Homestuck: Spades Slick, now short an arm and an eye, finally reaches the home of The Felt's leader, a Nigh Invulnerable Reality Warper who's as old as the planet he lives on... and whacks him over the head with a horse-hitcher. Repeatedly.
    • Later on, Aradia's ancestor, the Handmaid, literally flips off Doc Scratch. On both hands. After whacking him with a chair.
  • Nanase of El Goonish Shive uses her Doppleganger Spin ability to distract the Omega Goo so she can talk to Ellen starting here.
  • An ironic one in Grim Tales when you see who's flipping off who, but it definitely counts.


Web Original

  • Whateley Universe example: Phase, fighting a demon from a hell dimension, has lost. She's beaten to a bloody pulp, dying, and about to suffer a literal Fate Worse Than Death. She stalls by being a Deadpan Snarker and gets the thing monologuing long enough for the cavalry to show up. And the cavalry only show up with the right stuff because Phase already figured out what she was facing before she called for help.
  • How It Should Have Ended's take on Lord of the Rings has several of the characters doing this to the eye of Sauron while Frodo air-drops the ring into the fire, instead of trekking a long way and having several more people die than neccesary. The plan works (Gollum dies, too), and the characters ride away into the sunset laughing.


Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons Movie, Cletus is enlisted to distract the giant, Big Brother-esque head of the EPA, so the rest of the town can climb to safety. Unfortunately, Homer foils this plan in his usual way.
  • In the finale of Justice League, Batman repeatedly distracts Darkseid by tackling him and throwing (explosive) batarangs at him. While utterly harmless, he's distracting enough to give Superman some recovery time.

 Ichthulhu: Speak to me, child of Thanagar.

Hawkgirl: Nothing to say! I have a gesture for you, but my hands are tied.

      • She hates this god so much, it leads to the next step in god defiling tropes. With help from GRUUUUNNNDYYYY.
      • Grundy crush squidface!
    • Earlier, in Superman: The Animated Series, Dan Turpin seems to love taunting Darkseid. He gets an Omega Beam for his trouble. No more Dan Turpin.
      • Superman, champion of Earth, was held before Turpin and the rest of Metropolis bruised, battered, and bleeding at the time. Turpin's attack on Darkseid and the defiance of the crowd constituted the whole human race's Crowning Moment of Awesome in the series.
  • Bumblebee actually manages to use this as a weapon in itself against the Decepticon Blitzwing, who is five times his height and twenty times his firepower--and also has trouble staying in his jet mode when he gets really annoyed. Even if he's very high up at the time.
  • Peter Pan and The Pirates has an ice god appear in the the hideout and berate Peter for tresspassing in his domain. How does Peter respond? "you're trespassing in my house and getting snow everywhere."
  • Freakazoid uses Cosgrove to distract Cthulhu Expy Vorn the Unspeakable long enough for him to grab a bunch of weights and drop them on Vorn's foot.
  • Megamind has the titular character do this in an attempt to have the villain punch him into a stone wall where he could get behind the invisible car and retrieve the depowering gun.
  • In an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, The Ghostbusters lure Cthulhu towards a rollercoaster where he is struck by lightning and destroyed. That's right, the Ghostbusters beat Cthulhu.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 episode "Fathers and Sons", Splinter tells the tale of how the Turtles got their first masks. It involves them Flipping Off a Bone Demon, who had a magic doodad that made it invisible to everyone else. Keep in mind, they're like 6 at the time, and this guy has been terrifying them for the last couple of days. Their throwing rocks at it let Splinter and The Ancient One win the day. Pity they had to get Laser-Guided Amnesia about it, though.
  • In the 1986 Transformers movie, the Dinobots flip off Unicron in various ways, with Grimlock literally kicking him in the ass. While ineffective, they survive to brag about it.

  Grimlock: Me Grimlock kick butt!


Real Life

  • The US' attempt at censoring pirate sites, the PROTECT IP Bill, had some ill-advised wording that would allow the government to censor any site remotely related to online pirating in their eyes without a formal investigation. Since this could potentially extend to imageboards (such as 4Chan) where such pirates are known to lurk and coordinate, Anonymous was not amused, suffice it to say.
  • My high school teacher related the story of World War II General Anthony McAuliffe, whose troops were given a surrender ultimatum at the Battle of the Bulge. His one-word response: NUTS!
  • Most of Churchill's famous 1940's speeches. When your air-force is outnumbered 4:1, your army has had to leave most of its heavy equipment on the other side of the Channel, and the wolf-packs are tightening the noose, broadcasting what is basically "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!" so the whole world can hear, certainly beats holding a town when you know you are winning the war anyway.

Notes

  1. This being a Shout-Out to the line from Peter Pan "...and every time a child says, 'I don't believe in fairies',there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead."
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