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Cutting implements and cutting remarks, combined.
Two characters are fighting, probably with swords or fists. They're also engaged in Witty Banter or Volleying Insults or, perhaps, having a discussion on fighting technique, the meaning of life, what they had for lunch, or why new music is so awful. In comics (and comic-based cartoons), this is typically referred to as "quipping" and is standard operational procedure for most heroes. Except Bruce Wayne's Batman.
Common when the action sequences need some dialog. If done right, the dialog is more memorable than the action, and will probably be quoted incessantly. This is also a common trick of the Warrior Therapist. Luckily for them Talking Is a Free Action, so they're never short of breath or time (and can hear each other clearly over all the crashing and punching and loud gunshots).
If an insult's delivered just before the killing stroke, see Pre-Mortem One-Liner. If a few moments later, see Bond One-Liner. See My Grandma Can Do Better Than You and My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad for similar insults.
Anime & Manga
- The Duels in Revolutionary Girl Utena often contain some form of this; Utena's part, though, can be either participatory, or merely reactionary, depending on how invested she is at the moment... or how confused. (Utena, not the audience.) Theatrically, in a series where the difference between reality and reality-as-a-stage has blurred, the duels were depicted as cathartic. This is especially blatant in the final Nanami duel, as both participants know Nanami hasn't a shot in hell of winning from the start and just needs to HIT someone.
- In the Utena Live Action Role Play Still Places, the winner of a duel is partially determined by whose banter was more psychologically damaging to the opponent.
- Also, the Duels in Yu-Gi-Oh are frequently peppered with insults when the characters don't Contemplate Our Navels.
- The Abridged Series references the Monkey Island insult during Joey vs. Kaiba. One of Kaiba's put-downs goes on for nearly a minute.
- The Dirty Pair mention, in the Amerimanga version, taking a class in "Combat Quips." They may have been pulling Cory's leg, though.
- During his battle with Kyuzo in Samurai Seven, Kambe confides that he is in love... with Kyuzo's skill, that is. He also tries to convince Kyuzo to join the samurai.
- Dragon Ball Z uses this often, even more so in the dub.
- Also, interestingly, there is a one-shot fighting style Master Roshi uses called "The Mad Cow Technique" (an American Bowdlerization of the Drunken Fist technique he actually did use).
- Vegetto is the king of this, having the perfect blend of Vegeta's (now justified) arrogance, and Goku's sense of humor.
Buu: Are you ready?
Vegetto: That depends. If by that you mean "am I superior to you in every way?" then yes.
- One Piece
- Roronoa Zoro is the most prone to this. Nearly all of his battles have featured gratuitous Trash Talk on his part. While holding a sword in his mouth. His heart allows him to speak.
- Sanji is definitely no slouch either.
- When Luffy talks in a fight, you can be sure he's either telling the other guy to shut up, or fanboying over how cool the other guy's attacks are.
- Ranma One Half: Ranma does this so much when he fights that it's a battle tactic. Of course, he's not the only one who does so.
- The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer: Mikazuki picks up on this when he plays "catch" with Yuuhi.
- Spider-Man may not use a sword, but nevertheless, he's the master of the fighting quip. This is greatly amplified in the Ultimate Spider-Man incarnation, likely because he is a teenager, making him more of a wiseass and more terrified. How he is able to talk this much while performing superhuman acrobatics without taking so much as a breath is another mystery, though of course, Talking Is a Free Action.
- Word of God has it that he quips so much because he's horribly horribly scared and running off at the mouth keeps him distracted from that. Other writers suggest that he does it out of boredom: he perceives everything as moving slower and uses jokes and one-liners to kill time.
- It was wonderful when Spider-Man and Ronin (formerly Hawkeye) were members of The Avengers simultaneously. Spidey was a little taken aback that somebody was horning in on his quipping racket, but Clint basically says "tough, I like to quip, too."
- When the New Avengers went to Japan, Luke Cage, Hero for Hire is thrown over a balcony by ninjas. Being Nigh Invulnerable, he not only survives, he finds the bright side -- while he was running back up, Spidey "ran out of material."
- The extremely good game adaptation of Spider-Man 2 features a lot of this. Perhaps too much. The Ultimate Spider Man game has some excellent lines as well, both mid-fight and in cut scenes.
- The Spider-Girl series actually had the title character realize this as a sort of automatic coping mechanism, especially when she came upon scenes that should have horrified her and left her shocked and speechless; if she just made a quick joke about the whole situation and thus help herself treat it less seriously, she could focus on the bad guy.
- In an early situation, while dodging a teleporting baddie's fire, the second-person narration points out that her dad would, according to legend, be throwing out jokes, but she knows she'd only be able to manage "a cracked voice and a few stuttering comments."
- Venom from Earth X isn't so good at it, perhaps because her father refuses to have anything to do with her crime fighting. Later, once they've reconciled, he begins training her at it.
- The 'regular' Spiderman occasionally comments on this too. In the eighties he suddenly realized that as the villains were killing people, he was wisecracking.
- When Mary Jane temporarily appeared dead a few years ago, Spider-Man beat down a group of small-time criminals without saying a word. The last of them fled in terror, realizing that something was seriously wrong.
- Subverted by the Spider-Man of 2099 -- In his civilian guise, Miguel O'Hara constantly spouts snide comments, but when he puts the mask on, he gets very quiet (at least early in his career...) The man is damn scary when he stops quipping.
- She Hulk, a fellow Lighter and Softer (of sorts) superheroine is also a frequent quipper. When Spidey appeared early on in her revived title, with her serving as his lawyer in a suit against J. Jonah Jameson, he even mentions that they enjoy quipping together. (This is also the source of the panel where Spidey claims JJJ hates him because "he's black".)
- Deadpool, being an Ax Crazy who knows he's in a comic book, has some truly... interesting... battle banter which often derails into stream-of-consciousness rambling about something completely unrelated (even as he handily beats the stuffing out of his opponent.)
- In fact, it's speculated by some characters that he does this on purpose to distract his opponents. Several characters, at least, have had lines like, "What are you talking about?" cut off by a blow to the face from Deadpool.
- Wonderfully lampshaded by Dr. Bong, during a battle between Deadpool and Wolverine, where, after Wolvie leaps through the air with a conspicuously large speech bubble attached, the good Doctor calmly explains: 'I have postulated that it may be a secondary mutant ability to make lengthy speeches while in mid-air.'
- Given that Spider-Man and Deadpool are the masters of this trope within the Marvel universe, it should come as no surprise that they utilize this to the fullest when they meet up in Amazing Spider-Man #611, which writer Joe Kelly describes as "a fight that very quickly degenerates into a 'your mother is' joke contest."
- On the villain side, The Joker is sort of the embodiment of this trope being twisted into something a little sinister. Whatever hero he meets or situation Batman finds him in, he's always got some quip to deliver as they square off for the fight... often centered around the people he's just slaughtered or, in some cases, people important to the hero he's killed in the past. He'll often even give running commentary on the beating he's being handed, sometimes as a lead-in to a Hannibal Lecture or a Not So Different.
- Done to extremes in Batman: Arkham Asylum, where courtesy of the public-address system Joker spends the entire frigging game making comments like this. Punching the Joker square in the jaw at the end of the game is one of the most satisfying moments ever.
- Lampshaded and Averted Trope by Sodam Yat in Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War when he's fighting Superman-Prime:
Sodam Yat: I don't trade quips, insults or banter. I'm Corps, not a comedian.
- Superman-Prime himself tries to do this... but he's not good at it.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
- Knives attacks Ramona and manages to score a shallow cut on her face:
Knives: I totally grazed you!
Ramona: How appropriate. You fight like a cow.
- Scott himself, however, sucks at battle quips:
Scott: Shut up, you... guy!
Wallace: Better comebacks, Scott!
- Sin City has this exchange between Wallace and Manute:
Manute: You're quick. I should've brought a fly swatter.
Wallace: You should've brought an army.
Films -- Animation
Miguel: You fight like my sister!
Tulio: Ah ha! I've fought your sister! That's a compliment!
- In Animalympics, when The Contessa confronts the crooked fencer Count Bordeaux:
Bordeaux: You'll never fence again, Contessa!
Contessa: You've never fenced before!
Films -- Live-Action
- The famous Inigo/Westley duel in The Princess Bride, where the two duelists discuss swordsmanship styles and dexterity as they fight, may be the most well-known example. Interestingly, though the fighting itself is pure Flynning, the various techniques they claim to be using (Bonetti's Defense, Capo Ferro, etc.) all include the names of real fencing masters.
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights, the Mel Brooks parody of Robin Hood stories, featured Cary Elwes pretty much reprising his role as Westley... complete with similar quipping swordplay. His archenemy the Sheriff of Rottingham attempts this and fails...every time.
- The swashbuckling films of Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (and Jr.) were rife with this trope.
- The 1937 Prisoner of Zenda includes a particularly delicious example between Fairbanks Jr. (as a villain) and Ronald Colman. And of course any film in which Flynn crosses swords with Basil Rathbone is bound to feature outstanding examples of the trope.
- The title heroes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films indulge in this with Michaelangelo and Donatello being the prime offenders.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl features a short exchange of witty banter between Jack Sparrow and Will Turner, and the series only builds on the banter from there. Indeed, at many points in the trilogy one can discern who has the advantage in a fight by paying attention to who gets the better lines.
- The three lightsaber duels in the original Star Wars trilogy use this, with A New Hope having the most and Return of the Jedi having the least. The prequels are pretty devoid of it though.
- Galaxy Quest's (mostly) fake fight in the airlock consists of trading insults ("Raving egomaniac!" "scene-stealing hack!") and (mostly) fake punches ("You used to pull your punches") while maneuvering into position to grab a blunt object
- The beginning of the third Librarian movie, Curse of the Judas Chalice, has an excellent example of this, with Flynn and the villain du jour dueling on stairs while critiquing each other's technique.
- In Woody Allen's feature-length Gag Dub, Whats Up Tiger Lily, the hero shouts nonsensical insults such as, "Russian dog! Spanish fly!" at his opponents.
- Plenty of this happens in martial arts spoof Tongan Ninja, most notably when Action Fighter quips: "You fight like a baby... a dead baby!"
- In Kuffs during a standoff with some bad guys:
Bad guy: (paraphrased) There's more of us than them! Let's get them! (he is promptly shot by Kuffs' partner)
Kuffs: Well, now we know that he [the bad guy] can add, and he [indicates his partner] can subtract..."
- The duel between Mina and Dorian Grey in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is Better on DVD because A) the version in the deleted scenes lasts longer and B) the double entendres are hilarious.
- In Tamora Pierce's Alanna books, Alanna notices that her opponents tend to get more nervous when she remains eerily silent throughout. However, during a friendly match between Alanna and Kel in Trickster's Choice (which is about Alanna's daughter), they do taunt each other.
- In Piers Anthony's book Crewel Lye, the protagonist notes that some physically weak fighters with sharp tongues do well.
- Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files, it makes sense, since his creator is a self-proclaimed Spider-Man fan. He has managed to quip about following the Tao of Peter Parker while being interrogated by a Big Bad. Which makes a bit of sense since you don't need technology to read comic books.
- Several characters from Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers, the most serious offender being Porthos. He quipped so much that it was actually part of his combat technique. In the first sword fight from the book the duel between d'Artagnan and all three of the musketeers, that got interrupted by the cardinal's guards, Porthos gets stuck fighting two adversaries at once and he finishes first because he keeps tormenting them with questions about the time, what they thought of this and that social event at court, corrections about their fighting styles etc. He of course is not the only offender, all of the characters engaging in this behavior from time to time.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe has a form of this called Dun Möch, waging psychological warfare on their opponents through taunts and insults while using the Force to manipulate their enemies' emotions. Almost entirely a Sith technique, although there has been the occasional Jedi who made use of it for more benign reasons.
- A Song of Ice and Fire
- Ser Rodrik criticizes the people he's teaching swordplay in this manner. Specifically he tells one that he fights like a porcupine (presumably stabbing out a sword aimlessly to try and keep an opponent away) and another that he fights like a goose, letting himself be hit and hitting back harder, ignoring the fact that with real swords the first blow would have killed him.
- The climactic duel between Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper of Dorne and Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides features a possible subversion of this trope, in that the former does talk a lot, but it mostly consists of repeating the same thing over and over in an attempt to infuriate his opponent and get him to confess his crimes. The latter gets worked up enough to shout at him to shut up a few times, but doesn't actually reply coherently until the end, where he provides one of the entries on the Quotes page for Complete Monster.
- Happens a few times in Redwall, particularly with the hares, who seem to include more friendly-sounding snark the more serious the fight is, often even offering tips on fighting to their opponents. Dippler and Fenno also get in a bit;
"I'm gonna slay you just like I did Logalog!"
"You can't kill me the way you killed Logalog. I'm facin' you, Fenno. You stabbed Logalog in the back!"
- Snape, ever the teacher, corrects Harry's technique and lectures him on his mistakes while they duel near the end of Harry Potter.
- Most of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer crew get a shot at it.
- Spoofed with the Buffybot, when Willow tries to make it as much like Buffy as possible but messes up the "quipping" feature, resulting in the likes of "That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!"
- And lampshaded in the first Season 3 episode that showed the rest of the crew trying to get on with the slayage without her. Willow, after a really bad one :
Willow: Well, w-w-well, the Slayer always says a pun, or-or a witty play on words, and, I think it throws the vampires off! And, and it makes them frightened, because I'm wisecracking. Okay, I didn't really have a chance to work on that one, but you try it every time!
Buffy: If I were at full slayer strength, I'd be punning right now.
- Kurenai Otoya from Kamen Rider Kiva tends to quip a lot when fighting as IXA.
- A lot of characters in the Power Rangers franchise like to chat while they fight, but the undefeated masters of this has to be the Ninja Storm Rangers who sometimes layer jokes and quips so thick it's like Spider-Man times six.
- Kaamelott's weaponmaster does not hesitate to insult the king while sparring with him. Arthur is usually not amused, doesn't really see the point though the weaponmaster does try and get him to throw insults around. He finally gets his way... only for Arthur to say something which he finds really, really offensive.
- Star Trek Enterprise: In "In a Mirror, Darkly", Hoshi and T'Pol exchange banter during a knife/fist fight.
Hoshi: I was hoping you'd put up a fight.
T'Pol: I'm surprised you're not exhausted from all the beds you've jumped into recently.
Hoshi: Commander Tucker told me I should give you a few pointers in that area.
Merv Hughes: You can't fucking bat.
Robin Smith: (after smashing Hughes' next delivery to the boundary) Hey, Merv, we make a great pair. I can't fucking bat and you can't fucking bowl.
- This one from a county game:
Greg Thomas: (after Viv Richards completely missed his delivery) It's red, round and weighs about 5 ounces.
Viv Richards: (after hitting Greg's next delivery out of the ground) Greg, you know what it looks like. Go ahead and find it!
- Seventh Sea is made of this trope, the description of the game world is "Where a cutting remark is as sharp as any blade." The game has a Repartee system that includes taunts (making a flourish and then forcing an opponent to make an equally impressive flourish) and intimidation (depriving opponents of dice), to the point that some swordsman schools are built around it. For example, one gives the player an extra action each turn that can only be used to taunt his foe.
- Dungeons and Dragons
- In the 4th edition, the Bard class is a master of this trope. And since their puns and insults are actually magical attacks, it is possible for a Bard to insult someone to death. Not so Spoony Bard now, eh?
- This is very likely derived from some prestige classes in some third edition settings (like the musketeer class in D20 Past) who gain the ability to automatically confirm critical hits if their player can come up with a witty, relevant and previously unused remark (or a cheap pun, you know whatever) to go with the attack. Like stabbing a vampire and saying "Looks like the stakes were too high." (We're ignoring the fact that vampires cannot be critically hit.) See the The Order of the Stick reference below.
- 3.5 edition had the Jester class, which was like the Bard but more focused on taunting the enemy into submission with insulting jokes than inspiring allies with heroic songs.
- In GURPS, there is an advantage called Rapier Wit, which enables its user to stun an opponent with a well-chosen remark. And it is a free action.
- Mutants and Masterminds has the Taunt Feat, which allows a character to use their Bluff Skill to lower an opponent's defenses.
- The True20 system adds an ability to the Bluff skill called Conversational Paralysis, in which you say something so flat-out ridiculous that your opponent can do nothing but spend their next turn marveling at how wrong you are.
- Vampire: The Requiem has a bloodline called the Spina who can gain combat advantages against opponents they've engaged in dialogue. At their power's highest level they can injure opponents just by insulting them.
- Deadlands allows three social actions to hinder opponents in combat: staredowns (i.e. give 'em the old steel eyed glare and get them pecker heads quaking in their boots), bluffing to keep them off balance, and mocking them into doing something stupid.
Macbeth: Of all men else I have avoided thee: but get thee back; my soul is too much charged with blood of thine already.
Macduff: I have no words: My voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain than terms can give thee out!
- Cyrano De Bergerac, in Rostand's 1897 play, while fighting a duel, made up an insulting poem about how he was going to kill his opponent during the last line. He did.
Hark, how the steel rings musical!
Mark how my point floats, light as the foam,
Ready to drive you back to the wall,
Then, as I end the refrain, thrust home!
- The trope name is taken from the above Monkey Island quotation; in that game, the results of sword fights are based entirely on insults, with lots of Flynning between barbs. As the game's sword fighting instructor put it, sword fighting is a lot like making love: It doesn't really matter what you do, but what you say.
- In later games things get more... interesting... In the third game the fights all take place at sea, so all insults and comebacks have to rhyme. By the fourth, everything is based around insulting: Insult Darts, Insult Mudwrestling, Insult Arm Wrestling, and the Big Bad is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who goes around performing hostile property takeovers by challenging everyone into playing insult games with him. Naturally, he wins every time because no-one can make heads or tails of his Australian insult vocabulary. The latter half of the game even centers on finding the Ultimate Insult and using it to power up a monkey-shaped Humongous Mecha.
- Also in later games, the line "You fight like a cow" itself reappears as a Running Gag. Generally the player has the option to respond "Oh yeah? Well you fight like a cow!" or something similar when he feels he's been insulted, and is usually told either that his material is stale or he's using the line out of context.
- It's also a Running Gag in the original game -- it appears as a dialogue option (used completely out of context) in a couple of situations, one of which gets him the response "You never did know when to use that one."
- It also turns up in non-LucasFilm games, such as A Tale of Two Kingdoms, where you can use insult sword fighting against Rashakk the Goblin Warlord. Turns out he's better at it, though.
- There's a Shout-Out to it after the tutorial battle in Jade Empire, where you can tell a fellow student he fights like a cow.
- It should be noted that the insults were written by none other than Orson Scott Card!
- In Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush tries using it on Morgan LeFlay. She responds by cutting off your hand.
- It comes back with a particularly dark twist in Chapter 4. After Guybrush is killed, LeChuck tells Elaine she waves her sword around like a dairy farmer, and Elaine replies with the no-longer-funny "How appropriate... you fight like a Pox-infected undead cow."
- Also comes back with a twist in Chapter 5. In the Crossroads, Guybrush tries to cheer up Morgan LeFlay's spirit and ends up getting in a fight with the ghost of an overzealous sword fighter. So you have to simultaneously complement Morgan and insult your opponent.
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
- ALL Spideys have nice quips during battles and while traveling, making the game a perfect way to show the differences between Spideys. Amazing Spidey has the best lines, full Deadpan Snarker mode on. Ultimate Spidey has a Motor Mouth that won't shut up, combined with lame puns and bad jokes that are still endearing. Noir Spidey may not talk a lot, as he's almost always on stealth mode, but he has nice Bond One Liners all the way. 2099 Spidey jokes more often than not (unlike his comic book counterpart), but he still has good quips during serious fights.
- Deadpool is one of the funniest characters on the whole game, completely crazy and talking all the way. However, he just. won't. SHUT. UP. Most players would like to keep playing the level to hear all of Pool's jokes, or break his mouth to STOP HIM TO TALK AGAIN.
- Wing Commander lets you insult enemy pilots using your fighter's communications system. This is actually an important tactic -- insult them enough, and they attack you instead of whatever you're protecting.
- The Elder Scrolls
- The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion use this, especially Oblivion, where one of those sentences is 'you move like a pregnant cow'. Of course, most people "fought mudcrabs tougher than you!"
- "This is the part where you fall down and BLEED to death!" Not as scary when being said by a mentally unstable but otherwise defenseless wood elf, oddly enough. Especially if you know and can cast the spell "Enemies Explode."
- And for extra fun, species specific insults!
- Knights of the Old Republic 2 has the last duel with Sion, which is punctuated by short conversations in which you try to weaken his resolve.
- Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 gives all creatures and characters with human vocal capabilities a few one-liners they spout off at random during combat, so two characters will do this in a duel if it lasts long enough.
- Morte, of Planescape: Torment, actually has a special ability directed related to his ability to cuss someone out. If they fail their save, they are enraged and attempt to attack him in melee. So, fired at a D&D style spell caster... Even better the save to resist actually becomes harder the higher the target's intelligence score, presumably on the basis that dumb characters won't understand most of the taunts.
- The "Provoke" ability in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance works similarly--use it successfully on an enemy, and they'll only be able to use the "move" and "attack" commands, with the former primarily serving to bring them close enough for the latter. However, they also get a bonus to attack damage.
- The Pkunk in Star Control II insult their enemies to make ammunition. Yes. Really. You actually have to do this in-game.
- "Baby! Jerk! Stupid! Dummy! Fool!"
- Also, in order to get either Tanaka or his brother Katana to join you, you must, despite how you are supposed to keep a cool head with almost every other sentient race in the game, insult him constantly, retreat, rinse, and repeat, until he realizes that you are not a Ur-Quan Dreadnought. Or as the Melnorme put it, try to talk to them on their own level.
- Near the end of Sly 3, you insult-duel a wizened old pirate to convince him that you're someone else.
- Kingdom of Loathing has Insult Beer Pong, a Shout-Out to Monkey Island. In order to win, you need to buy The Big Book of Pirate Insults and use it against pirates, and each time they embarrass you with a witty comeback, it's added to the list of retorts you can use during Insult Beer Pong. "You fight like a cow" is one of the default insults that don't work.
- The not particularly... anything starship flight sim Darkstar One featured an actual button for you to taunt your enemies. Of course, this was taking your concentration away from shooting them, meaning it was best reserved for when you were coated in turrets.
- If any Fighting Game uses the concept of having the characters briefly have particular conversations with one another before the battle at all there is a strong chance that this will happen at least once.
- Paper Mario featured The Master saying that Mario "fights like a plumber." In case you forgot, Mario is a plumber.
- The Mortal Kombat series has Shao Khan, who insults you (or laughs) often during a match (usually after knocking you down). In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, when you could finally play as him, these moves were still there, as taunts.
- Wet has a load of Cluster F Bombs amongst some genuinely funny barbs.
- Batman: Arkham Asylum: Mooks frequently says things like "You fight like a girl" and you "fight like a old man", thankfully a punch can interrupt them.
- Prototype has Captain Cross being all chatty while Mercer remains relatively silent soon after the duel begins. Depending on the player's performance against Cross, the Badass Normal will spout the appropriate lines.
- In Nethack, imps will often have lines such as "I first mistook thee for a statue, when I regarded thy head of stone," immediately following their hit messages.
- In one episode of Red vs. Blue Caboose uses some bizarre ones, such as "Your toast is burnt and no amount of scraping will remove the black parts!" and "Your brain is a mountain of lies!" This while using what was assuredly a form of autohypnosis to turn himself into a killing machine. Sarge was quite impressed.
- One segment in This Spartan Life (A Halo 2-3 machinima series) is called Body Count and is a debate staged in a Halo competitive match where the combat flow is based on who is winning the arguments.
- The Order of the Stick
- Elan takes a prestige class called the "Dashing Swordsman", effectively this trope in a nutshell. It can teach you to "harness your natural charm to turn you into a real bonafide, wisecracking, swashbuckling, damsel-saving action hero!" In fact, the quipping is shown to be an absolutely necessary part of the class's abilities. When Elan fights so many enemies that he winds up reusing a pun, his attacks suddenly cease to do any amount of real damage. Elan also discovers the hard way that if his target is too stupid to understand the quip, it doesn't count. An effective counter to his style is best delivered with an effective counter to his puns.
- On the other side, Xykon isn't too bad either -- he makes puns and jokes and mocks his foes as he completely demolishes them.
- Roy also plays this pretty straight sometimes, especially when he fights Miko for the last time. "Treasure Type O", anyone?
- Also somehow reversed by Vaarsuvius putting a bunch of goblins to sleep via his/her pre-fight speech.
- Antihero for Hire
- Dominic Deegan's father is a master of this kind of thing -- the family is famed for their horrible puns.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Ninjas seem to be subject to this, too.
- In George the Dragon we get to see a very fishy version of this trope. This banter goes on for several pages.
- Used by Darths and Droids, complete with Monkey Island-referencing and linking to this trope in The Rant.
- Cheshire Crossing
"You fight like ducks!"
- Spacetrawler, every single time Growp and Emily fight.
Growp: And your death can only be art if the kill is made by the master skill of a hand as poetic as mine.
Emily: Your flesh hand must be the poetic one... [rips Growp's cyborg hand out of its socket] the bionic one's better at long division.
- In Seekers, Errol trash talks this way during the duels.
- One Piece Grand Line 3 Point 5 handles the first Luffy vs. Buggy fight like this, referencing Monkey Island in the process.
- Inverted in the web series Doomsday Arcade, where the main character is fighting Nefarious, who quips, "You fight like a dairy farmer," to which Lund responds:
Lund: How appropriate. You fight like a yogurt.
- The theme of the Britanick episode "OLS" -- it's an infomercial for a company that provides witty one-liners on the fly.
- Almost the trademark of Chaka in the Whateley Universe. She even uses it as a very effective distraction during "Parents' Day" when a team of mutant superpowered ninjas attacks.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man proves it is possible to quip that much in real-time! Well, maybe not as much as Ultimate Spidey...
- Subverted in the specific episode "Group Therapy." When black-suited Spidey handily defeats the Six, he doesn't speak, prompting Dr. Octopus to comment that this time the hero is actually serious about what he's doing. However, Peter wakes up the next morning with no memory of the fight--the suit had used his body after he fell asleep. Thus proving that Spidey really does only shut up when he's unconscious.
- There was one episode of Spider-Man where he loses his powers, tries to show up and deal with the bad guys, fails badly, and the bad guys conclude "This must be a fake -- he didn't try to insult us."
- Lampshaded earlier in the series when Dr. Octopus, fed up with the one liners, asks Spider-Man if it is really necessary to quip as much as he does during the fight.
Dr. Octopus: Do you ever shut up?!
Spider-Man: Sorry, no. My fans expect a certain amount of quippage in every battle.
Tombstone: Come down here and fight like a man!
Spider-Man: I don't suppose I could convince you to come up here and fight like a spider?
- Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond develops a tendency to taunt his opponents, differing from the normally stoic Batman. Bruce doesn't seem to mind though. He absolutely masters this against the Joker, realizing that while Bruce refusing to laugh might be partially effective, the one thing the Clown King can't stand is being heckled.
- Pretty ludicrously done in the eighth script draft for the South Park movie. The Doctor from the Hospital scene runs in with an M-16. A Canadian steps in front of him; the doctor shoots and blows the Canadian's head clean off.
Dr. Gauche: Hey, pal, don't lose your head.
(suddenly, the ticket guy's chest rips open. He falls dead, and standing behind him is a Canadian with a double-barreled shotgun)
Canadian Soldier: I'm glad you got that off your chest.
(Tom, the Rhinoplasty surgeon, leaps in and stabs the Canadian through the head with his bayonet.)
Tom: I guess he got the point.
(a Canadian rushes in and machine-guns Tom full of holes)
Canadian Soldier 2: Plastics are a cheap and efficient insulator for electrical applications.
- Danny Phantom
- Lampshaded when, during the episode "Beauty Marked," Danny actually runs out of quips while fighting a medieval executioner ghost.
Danny: Come on, Guys, cut me some slack! (pause) Hey! Another axe pun!
- They do intentionally bad quips a lot in this show. From "Shades of Grey," after the ghost dog bursts into the school cafeteria:
Danny: Who let the dogs in? (Sam stares) See, the song is "Who Let The Dogs Out," but I said "Who Let the Dogs In." (Sam continues to stare) I'll be right back.
Sam: Bring some new jokes!
- Spoofed in Sev Trek: Puss in Boots when Captain Pinchard is fighting his Evil Twin.
Evil Pinchard: You fight like a girl!
Good Pinchard: Oh yeah? Well you look like a... never mind.
- In one episode of Teen Titans Raven briefly fights Jinx during which Jinx says "you fight like a boy."
- In the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers episode "Mindnet", Shane Gooseman and Ryker Kilbane are fighting for Her Majesty's amusement, and Killbane is getting more and more frustrated the longer he fights.
Kilbane: You're finished! Stand still!
Shane: Fighting you is like standing still.
- In one episode of Street Fighter, Fei Long insults the crap out of Ken who replies "And you... You're a loser!"
Well, you fight like a blade of grass!