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ORIGINAL

Yami Yugi/Atem

  • From the first manga chapter: Remember (from flashbacks in the anime) that bully (Ushio) that Yugi stood up to and ended up making friends with Joey and Tristan? The one that showed up on 5D's? Well, Yami/Atem confronted Ushio that night, and challenged him to game. It involved a stack of cash on one's palm, and a knife. The aim was to get as much cash on the knife without stabbing into your hand. And you had to take at least one note. Ushio cheated, of course, when he realized he couldn't win. Yami/Atem cast an illusion on him that made him see money floating down... And when school came along the next day, everyone found Ushio playing with leaves and garbage, thinking they were money.
  • From The fourth chapter: An escaped convict, prisoner 777, came to Burger World and took Tea/Anzu hostage, and ordered some booze. Yami/Atem challenged him to a game for her freedom. Never mind he had the balls to challenge a dangerous convict with a gun. They sat on opposite ends of a table. The rules were that both players could pick any of all of their ten fingers (both hands), and once the game starts, they could only use that one finger. Note that 777 was holding a bottle of vodka in one hand, pouring into a glass, and a gun in the other. 777 opted to use his trigger finger. Yami/Atem got a lighter, lit 777's cigarette... And left the lighter on the back of 777's hand (The one that was pouring), while it was still lit and he was still pouring. And Yami/Atem reminded him that firing the gun would make the recoil knock the lighter off, and the Vodka was Russian, which was 80% alcohol. Yami/Atem got Tea away in time... As 777, in his panic, dropped his cigarette instead, and set himself on fire. This troper was gawking in shock as he thought, "did Yami just actually do that?!?" Yes, he did, and it was one of his finest crowning moments. That was one of the first times This troper had read the original manga, and with that above scene, my friend and I gave Yami/ Atem the nickname "Lighter Man".
  • During the Doma Arc, Yami Yugi/Atem was extremely pissed off about Weevil Underwood/Insector Haga tearing up a useless insect card and claiming it was the card that held Yugi's soul during a duel. To end the duel, Yami first used Breaker's special ability to destroy a barrier on the opponent's side and reduce Breaker's attack points. Then he employs a card that allowed him to continuously draw from his deck until he finds a magic card, and for every monster he drew, his Breaker could attack. After Weevil's/ Insector's lifepoints reached zero, Yami kept on drawing, using Breaker to strike Weevil/ Insector over and over again until Anzu/ Tea intervened. The whole scene could be seen here. The English version makes Yami seem as if he's purposefully being sadistic, unleashing his fury against Weevil. The original Japanese scene is a lot more violent, as Atem/Yami Yugi attacks several more times before Anzu intervenes; this can be seen here.
    • This troper understood the Pharaoh's feelings but saw Haga's actions in the light of his being just as strongly influenced by the Orichalcos as the Pharaoh himself was during his duel using it himself. The Pharaoh showed complete disrespect for his monsters, using them as cannon fodder, and putting Yuugi's life in danger. Haga's actions, though very cruel, weren't much worse. He made a terrible "joke" but never actually hurt anyone himself. This troper could only pity him as he was repeatedly, and excessively, run through by a berserk Pharaoh even after the duel was over. Even Anzu could see that it wasn't right. It wasn't "revenge" in equal measure, nor did it ultimately have a point. This troper has talked to quite a few others who see things this way.
    • While this troper herself agrees Yami went overboard, she wouldn't agree Weevil didn't deserve it. Weevil has always been nothing short of a bully and I doubt the Orichalcos had much of an influence on that. Not only was it a cruel trick, but at this point, Yami was broken and thus, emotionally vulnerable (I believe if he was stable at the time, he would've stopped).
      • Weevil/Haga wasn't the only one being "Controlled". Yami always seems to reflect the cards he's playing, and when he played Berserker Soul, well.
      • About the "A joke that didn't hurt anyone" remember that he tried to make Yami to lose his mind, to weaken him in the duel and steal his soul. And that unlike the Duelist Kingdom Tournament, or Battle City, where he was just another opponent, and losing to him only meant disqualification, this time he was a full villain, and he stole many souls before Yami took in.
      • He didn't physically hurt anyone, was what I meant. And Yami manipulated him psychologically a fair amount in their first duel on his own, basically giving him the Hannibal Lecture. Also Haga didn't steal any souls before facing Yami. He went immediately for the Pharaoh as soon as he became an Orichalcos follower. But that's neither here nor there. Haga still did something horrible.
    • Regardless of how you feel about that moment, in the Japanese version a Crowning Music of Awesome was playing during the whole thing, one that became very popular at Nico Nico Douga. Also, when Anzu finally snap the Pharaoh out of it, he looks at the next card he was about do draw and see...
  • In his duel against Strings who has a) a God Card that becomes more powerful the more cards he has in his hand and decreases one of the stats of an opponent's summoned monster by 2000 points right off the bat (and if said stat is 2000 or less, automatically destroys it instead), b) a permanent spell card that allows him to draw three cards every time a monster is summoned, c) a monster that can automatically be resummoned to the field when it's destroyed, d) a permanent trap card that makes said monster the first target of any attack, and e) a permanent spell card that removes the 6-card limit to his hand. Yugi simply uses a spell that 1) shifts control of the indestructible monster to his side of the field, which 2) causes the god to attack it, and 3) it respawns, which 4) triggers the "draw three cards" effect, and repeat from step 2 until he mills Strings (runs out of cards).
  • Nobody mentioned the duel with Noah? The final move that Yugi uses is like freakin GOLD. He gives both players the maximum amount for a hand and then begins be reviving the Blue Eyes that was sent to the graveyard while Kaiba was dueling. Then, he fuses them into the Blue Eyes Ultimate dragon, a monster far more powerful than anything that Noah has even come CLOSE to bringing out. He then blows his monster out of the water. Noah of course begins to gloat because he feels confident he can survive a few more turns against the Blue eyes, only for Yugi to activate DEFUSION. 8300 life points do not look so nice now that you have three individual dragons ready to direct attack.
    • What makes it even better is that Noah had been a Smug Snake the entire duel; acting as though he was a great duelist despite the fact he was using blatantly broken Deck and an even worse Deckmaster. Once Noah realizes he's doomed he begins panicking. Yami's words hit home; "You've been exposed as the frightened child you are." Break the Haughty at its finest.
  • The movie may have been a cash-in, but goddamn if the last blow against Anubis isn't awesome. Faced with a monster with 35000 ATK, Yami quickly deduces what kind of strategy Kaiba had planned to beat him with (using the God Cards), and uses his very last card to activate that strategy in his own favor, returning Obelisk, Slifer and Ra to his side of the field after they had been removed from play, before having them combine for infinite power, finally delivering the last blow. It's so magnificent, the area dome around them starts to crack open to reveal boiling lava around the duelists, before the arena erupts in an explosion.
  • In the Gaiden manga Yu-Gi-Oh! R, he's dueling against the possessed brother of the Big Bad, who has an "anti-god" monster that causes all non-god monsters to suffer having their stats halved, a special 1000-attack point boost that specifically works for god monsters (negating the "spells only work for one turn on gods" effect), and a trap card that prevents him from summoning a god monster of his own. He summons a fusion monster instead from his King's-Queen's-Jack's Knight combo, along with a trap to negate the anti-god's effect and decrease its attack power by 500 points; in turn, he uses a spell card to increase his fusion monster's attack power by 800 points, which puts him at 100 AP more than the anti-god. The duel is subsequently called off when his opponent is depossessed.
  • Despite the Tear Jerker that it represents, Atem's final line in the dubbed anime could count as this.

  I am the son of King Ahknenkaden. My name is...Atem!

  • There's also when Yugi banished Kaiba's evil half to the Shadow Realm again, then, as a silhouette against a yellow background (incidentally, it's yellow because it's ON FIRE) with only the puzzle and the rainbow eye on his forehead, yelled at Pegasus, who was watching from a security camera, destroying Pegasus' wine glass.
  • Yugi summoning every monster he has to help take down Dark Marik and the Dragon of Ra qualifies.
  • In an early episode ("Give Up The Ghost"), when Yami is dueling the Mimic of Doom (who was formerly disguised as a fake Kaiba), he uses Monster Reborn to bring back a Blue Eyes, and increases its Attack with Mystical Elf. Right before he has his Blue Eyes attack Mimic's, he says, "Consider this a message from the real Seto Kaiba...YOU LOSE!!!" He then attacks, wins, and shatters Mimic's soul with Mind Crush.
  • This troper thinks that two moments in the Season 0 anime qualify. In the very first episode, he challenges the bully mentioned above, except the game is different. They're on a domed roof, and they have to climb up and down using a rope around their waists and looped around a roof feature as a makeshift pully. Ushio ends up getting mad when Yami wins, and climbs to the top where he then snaps the rope, sending Yami plummeting towards the ground 30-40 feet below. Ushio ends up getting his penalty game and also falling, and as the camera pans past the building to follow Ushio, we see Yami has stopped his fall by shoving the pointed tip Millennium Puzzle into the wall of a stone building and hanging from the puzzle with one hand in what has got to be a display of superhuman strength. A picture of the scene can be seen here. The second moment is when he is dealing with the fake prophet Kokurano in episode 13. They have to catch chloroform bottles that drop from the ceiling at random, and Kokurano tries tripping Yami so he will miss. Yami does trip, but he makes a long, low horizontal leap to try and catch the bottle, but he's just a little too short with his reach. So what does he do? He takes the Millennium Puzzle from his neck and throws it at the bottle, catching the bottle with the strap and embedding the puzzle tip into the wall. Maybe it's a good thing he prefers games over fighting.
  • Him taking on the full brunt of Dartz' attack-- not a card game attack, a real magic attack-- in episode 183. Fuck yes.

 The Pharaoh: Alright, come on! All your anger and hatred, aim it at me! All the people's darkness in the world, let it rest on my shoulders!

  • Destroying Golden Castle of Stromberg by reducing his own deck to one card, so when the Castle requires him to discard half his deck, he can't, so it destroys itself.

Yugi Mutou/ Yugi Moto

  • During the very final episode when he thoroughly whups Yami Yugi during the final duel using a deck based mostly on toy monsters to decide whether or not he goes on to the afterlife. The fact that he falls to his knees in tears afterwards at having to defeat his best friend -and basically kill him doesn't dampen the awesomeness one bit.
  • All the more awesome since when Yugi "whups Yami" in that fight, Yami has all three Egyptian God Cards on the field... and Yugi dismantles them in a single move.
  • The real CMOA involving Yugi defeating the 3 Egyptian God Cards wasn't quite destroying them with their own power in a single turn, but spending a whole episode repelling them. Atem was proud of him destroying the most powerful creatures in Duel Monsters.
  • I still say that Yugi staying to complete the Millennium Puzzle (which took him eight years the first time) in the middle of a burning building that was collapsing all around him, (and refusing to let go of the puzzle and leave it even while practically unconscious) because he wouldn't leave his other self behind was pretty awesome.
  • If you think that was awesome in the anime you should read the original Manga version - in which the same scene takes place in the Black Crown gaming shop. Yugi has begged his friends to get out while they still can and leave him to complete the puzzle. Physically there is absolutely nothing stopping him from getting up and leaving in either version, but he stays so he can see the Other Yugi "one last time". It's also awesome for Jounouchi in that he stays right there outside of the door waiting until the last possible moment, giving Yugi as long a time as possible to complete his task.
  • An anime only moment for Yugi and Joey: The finals of the Duelist Kingdom tournament.
  • Yugi's best move in the last duel was when he used a spell card to seal away Monster Reborn, despite knowing how useful it was to him. It paid off fairly soon afterward, when Yami tried to summon Osiris, but the card prevented him from reviving Osiris and left him defenseless against the powered-up Silent Magician. Not only did Yugi predict what Yami would do (probably based on his using a spell card to fill their hands), but he also made a clear point that the dead cannot remain in the world of the living; as Ishizu put it, "Yugi's trump card was also his way of saying goodbye...
  • Am I the only one who thinks that Yugi verbally bitchslapping Malik through a Brainwashed and Crazy Jounouchi in episode 78 qualifies as this? More impressive yet was that afterwards he stopped Jounouchi's final attack in mid fire, reassured Jounouchi that it was all okay - they were never really fighting with one another and that the duel was over, and then let the 1500 point attack loose on himself anyway, so that he'll lose the death match, and Jounouchi can live.
  • Let's face it, the very first time Yugi transformed in the anime was just plain wow. This also doubles as a CMoA for 4Kids, because let's be honest: For all the crap they catch, rightfully or otherwise, this is one thing where they actually trumped the original. See for yourself.
  • Even though it was a filler arc, Doma had this moment early on when Yugi, having just received Timaeus in a dream, uses the card Eye of Timaeus on the Great Leviathan and defeats it before it could suck up anymore Duel Monster souls, thus freeing them.

Seto Kaiba

  • The actual dictionary definition of this trope, ego bigger than god and fate, every word spoken more badass than most of the cast, winning a fight against Chuck Norris, Darth Vader and Saurfang together by just saying fired and throwing thin cardboard at them. To cut it short every single thing Seto Kaiba ever does in the anime could be listed here.
  • First, his battle with Gozaburo, which ends with disassembling the elder Kaiba's seemingly indestructible Exodia Necros, then destroying it with his Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Next, while fleeing Gozaburo's collapsing undersea building, with everyone else running towards their transport (a large blimp with a big KaibaCorp logo on it), it looks as though Mokuba wouldn't make it. Seto gets his brother onto the blimp by grabbing the back of his belt and heaving him at the gangplank of the blimp, bowling over Tristan and Duke in the process. And then he jumps over their heads into the blimp. And is the only one to stay on his feet when the thing starts shaking in the explosions.
    • To increase the badassery of this scene, destroying Exodia with his Blue-Eyes was pretty much a Take That to Exodia when he lost a game for the first time ever in episode 1, despite having all 3 Blue-Eyes on the field. If that doesn't say awesome, I don't know what does.
      • The "Check mate, Gozaburo" line that he says at the end of the duel made it pretty badass as well.
        • And remember, until he played Kaiba, Gozaburo was an undefeated chess champion, and Kaiba beat him and forced Gozaburo to adopt him and his brother. The whole point of Gozaburo challenging Kaiba was to beat Kaiba at his own game as Kaiba did to him, and Gozaburo knew Exodia was the monster that gave Kaiba his first defeat and used it for that exact reason. So that line is itself a "Take That" to Gozaburo.
  • How about his duel against Ishizu? "Screw Destiny! I make my own fate!" He did it.
  • Um, Kaiba disarms guns. With cards. Remember that scene on Duelist Kingdom where he jams Kemo's gun with a card, subdues him with jujitsu, and forces him to lead him inside Pegasus' castle? Well, that scene is nothing compared to the scene in the manga that it was based off of. In the manga, he's flying to Duelist Kingdom by helicopter, but realizes that the pilot (who's on Pegasus' payroll) is flying around in circles. When the pilot pulls out a gun, Kaiba not only jams it and twists it out of the guy's hand, but then points the gun at him, and forces both the pilot and the co-pilot to jump out of the copter into the sea at gunpoint (don't worry; he knows how to fly a copter).
    • For bonus points, the card he uses to jam the gun is a monster that can be considered a "goddess of luck."
    • And then after arriving, getting his deck back, and heading to Pegasus's castle, and then demanding to see Pegasus, he's greeted by a very polite guard who assures him that Pegasus will see him eventually, and that there's a room in the annex for him, if he would be so kind as to allow the armed guards to escort him. So what's his status when we check back on him in a volume? He's got that same guard on the floor with his head between the lids of his briefcase, he's got his gun out, and he's making demands, threatening to snap the guard's neck with the briefcase if they aren't met. Then we see how he got there. As soon as the guard told him about his room, he brained him with the briefcase, pulled his gun on him, and intimidated the other guards into backing off from their Mexican Standoff. Then he got the guard to carry his luggage into his room and be his hostage.
  • His summoning of Obelisk the Tormentor for the first time, the entire scene of full of awesome, from the Ominous Latin Chanting letting the audience know things just got serious, Obelisk destroying the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon with a single punch, to the Duel Robot overloading and exploding from the power surge.
    • Also serves as a CMoA for 4Kids, proving that they can do a very good job on a dub when they put the effort in. Compared to the English scene the original Japanese scene is surprisingly unimpressive.
  • Kaiba jumps out of his Blue Eyes White Dragon Jet. While wearing a jet pack. Which then falls off upon landing, suggesting that either it's really durable or Kaiba has more than one jet pack.
  • His duel against Siegfried, which, filler or not, was probably his finest dueling moment in the series. It is so awesome that it needs to be watched several times to be believed and it best described in steps. To begin with, Kaiba has 950 life points, and Siegfried 3600. Due to various effects, all three of Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragons and an Emerald Dragon have been removed from the game. There is a global spell card in effect that states that a player can gain 500 life points for every spell card he declares he will cast that turn following the draw phase, though if he fails, he suffers 1000 damage per card instead. Kaiba has no cards in hand, and he makes his draw...
    • Seeing his one card, he declares he will cast four spell cards this turn. His life points rise to 2950 (950 + 2000).
    • He casts Treasure of Slashing Life (1), letting him draw an additional five cards this turn. Normally, he would have to discard his hand over the next five turns, but that won't be necessary here.
    • He plays Soul Emancipation (2), a magic card that forces both players to select up to five cards in their graveyards and remove them from the game. Kaiba selects the Chaos Emperor Dragon to be removed.
    • Kaiba plays Spell Reclaim (3). By sacrificing two spell cards in his hand, he can retrieve one spell card from the graveyard. He selects Dimensional Fusion.
    • Kaiba pays 2000 life points to cast Dimensional Fusion (4), which special summons all monsters on his side which have been removed from the game, which include three Blue-Eyes White Dragons, Emerald Dragon, and Chaos Emperor Dragon!
  • But Wait!! Theeeeeeere's More!!
    • On Siegfried's side is Valkyrie Brunhilde, a monster which gains 300 attack points for every dragon-type monster on the field, and, if overcome in battle, can sacrifice 1000 of its defense points to remain on the field. At this point, it has 3300 attack points; more than any of Kaiba's dragons.
    • Kaiba attacks with Emerald Dragon, which is far weaker than Siegfried's Valkyrie. Emerald Dragon is destroyed and Kaiba is left with 50 life points. With one less dragon on the field, Valkryie Brunhilde's attack is reduced to 3000.
    • Kaiba attacks with Chaos Emperor Dragon. Both it and Valkyrie have the same attack points, so Chaos Emperor Dragon is destroyed. The Valkyrie gives up 1000 defense points and is left alive. However, it's attack is reduced by another 300 points because a dragon has left the field, leaving it with 2700.
    • Kaiba attacks with Blue-Eyes #1. Blue-Eyes has more power than Valkyrie and deals 300 life damage to Siegfried, bringing him down to 3300. Valkyrie again gives up 1000 defense points to remain on the field, leaving it with none.
    • Kaiba attacks with Blue-Eyes #2. Blue-Eyes deals another 300 life damage to Siegfried, bringing him to 3000. With no defense points remaining to sacrifice, Valkyrie is destroyed.
    • Finally, Kaiba attacks with Blue-Eyes #3. Siegfried has no monsters left and is attacked directly, bringing his life points to zero exactly.
  • And in the dub version of his summoning of Chaos Emperor Dragon, which started the whole thing, includes this exchange:

 Siegfried: You need to give up 1,000 of your Life Points first, and you can't afford that now!

Kaiba: There's nothing I can't afford!

    • The dub also caps the end of the duel off nicely.

 Siegfried: This isn't over, Kaiba!

Kaiba: Face it, your Life Points are at 0. That's about as over as it gets.

    • Don't forget:

 Kaiba: AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Aah, I'm funny...

  • The scene where Kaiba is cornered before jumping out of the window in the Duelist Kingdom arc is awesome in the original. He deflects a bullet with his briefcase. Kaiba Seto is hardcore, no doubt about it.

Yami Marik

  • His summoning of the Winged Dragon of Ra to his side of the field... after it had been summoned by his opponent. Turns out you have to have a connection to Ancient Egypt to control an Egyptian God Card. Shame.

 Marik: Great Beast of the Sky, please hear my cry!

Transform thyself from orb of light and bring me victory in this fight!

Unlock thy powers from deep within so that, together, we may win!

Appear in this Shadow Game as I call your name...

Winged Dragon of Ra!

  • Somehow, he still manages to look cool while one side of his face is randomly twisting and distorting.
  • This troper counts it as a CMOA for the animators. Marik is supposed to be completely crazy after Yami Marik takes him over. Yet, when the situation calls for it, they make him look calm and collected, with a calculating smile on his face.
  • After defeating Mai, pulling a knife on Joey.
    • That goes double for the Abridged series, in which he pulls out a lightsaber instead.
      • "You really have no clue what you're ****ing with here, do you?"
  • The Anime-only scene in the duel against Jounouchi where Gearfried's attack is stopped inches from his face and he just starts laughing.

Katsuya Jounouchi/ Joey Wheeler

  • His duel against Bandit Keith in the semi-finals of the Duelist Kingdom. It makes the duel against Yugi added into the anime a Wall Banger, as Jou himself says in the manga that he feels "he's reached his peak" with the duel against Keith and that he shouldn't attempt to top that awesomeness right now.
  • In another case of Cheaters Never Prosper, his duel against Haga/Weevil. The look on Weevil's face as he lost the duel and his place in the tournament with it? Priceless. Especially since Jou used Weevil's own magical can of bug spray against him.
  • What about his battle with Malik/ Marik in the semifinals of Battle City? He would've won too if he had just a few more seconds to call out his monster's attack before passing out of complete exhaustion. Hell, even Seto Kaiba had to reevaluate his opinion of him - and Kaiba despises Joey Wheeler!
  • And then there's the aftermath of Battle City, where he picks a fight/duel with Seto Kaiba after he insults poor Mokuba during his Freak-Out after losing to Yugi. He still loses, but the utter brass balls he displayed when doing so is worth noting. The best part? He uses a combo to summon a Blue Eyes to his side of the field! Kaiba pretty much SNAPS at that point, as he damn well should.
  • Don't forget about his non-duel crowning moments in the first seven volumes of the manga, namely beating up a guy in an alleyway with both of them having knives in their mouths with the help of a can of soda. Not to mention hanging those four yo-yo wielding thugs by their pinkies using nothing but Yugi's millennium puzzle and a conveniently placed hook. It should be noted in the fight with the knifes, the thug had his knife be a fake with a retractable blade, but Jounouchi tells him to take it out anyway, while still keeping the very real knife in his mouth. Serious balls man, serious balls. And it get's better -- Joey demands that the other guy pull the knife out of his opponents mouth. His reasoning behind handing the thug a serious advantage? it allows him to punch the guy in his face without killing him.
    • You, good sir, missed one. During the duel against Pegasus, Yugi has passed out and Yami is trying to keep Pegasus from seeing the card he just drew with his Millennium Eye. Suddenly, images of his friend appear and give the usual spiel about Friendship, ending with Joey's image telling Pegasus to stay out of Yugi's head; and Pegasus reels back like he's just been punched in the stomach. Let's face it, mind powers really shouldn't be used against Joey Wheeler.
  • Half the beatings he gives in the manga qualify as CMOAs. How about knocking out a former Green Beret commander with a SINGLE KICK in the Death-T arc? The beating Jonouchi gave to Bandit Keith in the manga was a damn cool moment.
  • From the Death-T arc, his battle against The Chopman. Tricking him into setting himself on fire is the height of Badass.
  • In episode 87 of the series, after Yugi has basically set himself up to die in a duel so Jounouchi can live (they're both attached to an anchor which will drag the loser of the match down into the ocean, and Yugi's let himself lose leaving Jounouchi with the key to escape. Jounochi makes a flying leap across the platform - doesn't get there in time, so both of them are dragged down. Not to be deterred, Jounouchi unlocks Yugi's restraints using his key while underwater and lets himself sink. Screw Malik, that whole match was basically a CMOA and a CMOH battle back and forth with Yugi and Jou.
    • How awesome is this scene, which also included the first CMOA for Shizuka below? So awesome that Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series played it straight. Heck, if anything, it made it even more awesome by setting it to "Total Eclipse of the Heart."
  • In the manga version of the warehouse duel in which Yugi completed the Millennium Puzzle while the building was burning down around him. After Yugi has basically begged his friends to get out alive and leave him to complete the puzzle, Jounouchi accepts his request calmly, and then stands steadfast outside of the blazing door, giving Yugi until the last possible second he needs, without so much as flinching at the flames. His dialogue sounds nothing if not awesome.

 Jou: Yugi... I'll stay with you on the edge of the River Styx... but I won't let you cross over. If you get too close, I'll drag you back, even if I have to hit you!!

  • All of his duel against Valon, especially his summonings and uses of: Rocket Hermos Cannon, Aura Armor, Lord of the Red, and Big Bang Dragon Blow.
    • Also, when he wins the duel and punches Valon across the field.
  • When the Orichalcos-using Mai throws a card at him like a shuriken, and he catches it without breaking stride, instead of being his usual clumsy, idiotic self.
  • You know, I don't think much can really top dying and coming back to life through sheer force of will. The fact that he doesn't really bring it up again says a lot about how nonchalant he is about life and death by that point. On a related note, the way he calmly talks to Mai after losing his duel - and his soul - is both a CMOA AND a CMOH.
  • Defeating Espa Roba by making Jinzo attack one of the duelists at random, basically leaving the game up to a coin flip, took titanic balls.
  • I think the Joey Vs Odion duel contained some CMOA for Joey - from managing to summon all of the rare monsters he had won over the course of the tournament so far, to being the first person to work out that Odion wasn't really Marik, to managing to drag himself back to his feet after being blasted from above by Ra, Joey was pretty awesome in that duel.
  • Becoming the first person to survive Siegfried's Ride of the Valkyries One-Hit Kill combo.

Shizuka Kawai/ Serenity Wheeler

  • The Ill Girl's Crowning Moment of Awesome comes right after the duel between Yugi and the Brainwashed and Crazy Jounouchi, when she snatches the key for Jounouchi's bindings and fearlessly jumps into the water to rescue her brother before he drowns.
    • Hell, just plucking up the nerve to take those bandages off and find out whether or not she was permanently blind was awesome in itself.
  • And during the Noa arc, when with some guidance from Otogi, Shizuka finally gets over her Heroic BSOD following Honda's disappearance and manages to turn the tables on her and Otogi's rival, summoning Saint Joan and pwning the enemy.

Anzu Mazaki/ Tea Gardner

  • Anzu is a non-Duelist and the most hated character in the series (due to shipping reasons), but her sheer determination to duel against the much more experienced Mai so she can get the star chips for Yugi no matter what takes huge balls, er, boobs.
  • In this Troper's opinion, Anzu's tendency for telling off people more powerful than she is-- including several who could do her serious harm, if not outright kill her-- makes for a several CMOAs.
  • In the manga, it's her directions that get the group through Kaiba's falling blocks of death. An ability she learned from dance classes.
  • This Troper was actually impressed with her dueling skills during the Noah Arc, this was the most serious duel she ever went through in the anime because she would have lost her body to Krump if she had failed. Good scene, good duel.
  • You have to respect Anzu for calling Seto Kaiba out after he threatened to commit suicide if Yami beat him in the duel atop Pegasus castle; a scene which resulted in a huge bit of moral dissonance for Yami and a Heroic BSOD for Yugi. In spite of the fact that she doesn't fully understand the reasons for Kaiba's actions, this troper feels a certain degree of respect for her in that scene, standing there and basically calling him out on the way he's been acting the whole series. She might ram the Friendship speech down our ears obsessively, but you can bet she'll put her money where her mouth is.

 Tea: He spared you! Kaiba, he showed you compassion, which is more than you deserve!

Kaiba: He lost the game.

Tea: The game?! Yugi may have lost one lousy Duel Monsters game, but at least he hasn't lost his heart! Not like you - you've spent so much time with your machines, you've forgotten what being human is about! Yugi has a heart, Kaiba. Yugi has us. And what about you, Seto Kaiba? What do you have at the end of the day? Tell me. Tell me!

    • She makes a good point, too -- Kaiba does prefer spending time working on his holographic emitters and working than he does with other people. His little brother Mokuba is pretty much the only character who can stand him.

Hiroto Honda/ Tristan Taylor

  • Honda also has some nice CMOA's in the anime , such as when he takes on three Ghouls, who were technically only after Shizuka, all by himself while the others escaped. He wins.
  • There was also the time he jumped from the top of the castle to distract the monster that was chasing Shizuka in the Virtual World arc.
  • Death T, where he beats two trained soldiers (A former sniper and assassin!) in a shoot-out, getting off a nice Bond One-Liner at the finish.
  • When he tosses Mokuba's body at Yami Bakura to distract him, then closes the gap and punches him out. Then he chucks the Millenium Ring into the woods.

Mokuba Kaiba

  • Mokuba has a surprising CMOA near the end of Season 3. While dueling Yugi, Kaiba makes an impassioned speech about how he plans to forget about his past and leave his old life behind once he wins, which bugs Mokuba because younger Kaiba was a lot nicer than the current one. After Kaiba loses to Yugi, Yugi gives him a speech about how he's so full of hatred of his stepfather, his past, and Yugi himself, that he'll never be able to move on as a person until he gets over them. Kaiba ignores him and leaves, set to board the ride home and destroy the Duel Tower anyway, the implication being he's not going to tell Yugi and the gang and is thus basically leaving them to die. Mokuba, Kaiba's little brother who is pretty much the only cast member who can stand Kaiba, finally snaps and shouts "I think Yugi's right!", and cries that he preferred their days in the orphanage because at least his brother wasn't so angry and bitter back then. Mokuba's words convince Kaiba to swallow his pride at long last and help Yugi beat Marik. When Mokuba, the guy who spends most the series singing his brother's praises, calls him out on being a jerk, you definitely know Kaiba has crossed a line.
  • Three Words: Epic Mokuba Maneuver

Mai Kujaku/ Mai Valentine

  • Though Mai gets a lot of flak for never winning an onscreen duel, she gets some decent moments, the biggest of which would be using a special ability of one of her monsters to steal Yami Marik's friggin' GOD CARD right out of his deck. Granted, using it backfired on her, but only because of the Deus Ex Machina of requiring a player to recite a passage in ancient Egyptian (which only Marik and Yami Yugi and Kaiba knew) to summon it. If not for that, Mai would have blasted Marik's evil little butt back to his little tomb.
    • If she hadn't tried to use it at all, she actually would have most likely won. She was basically kicking Marik's butt until she tried to summon Ra.
  • Mai's method of cheating. Yes, cheating. Think about it. She didn't rely on some cheap and vaguely explained X-ray contact lenses like Rare Hunter did. She soaked her cards in perfume. And then was able to memorize them to know what card she was about to draw. Let that sink in for a second. She can identify a minimum of 40 different scents.
    • It's not even cheating, either.. It was her method of psyching out her opponents, causing them to fumble around because they think she can read their thoughts and see their moves in advance.
    • Actually it is cheating. She has an unfair advantage because she can tell what she'll draw before she does. Most likely the only reason she didn't get disqualified for doing it is because Pegasus simply doesn't care. (Notice, during the finals he didn't disqualify Bandit Keith either, despite knowing for a fact that Keith was manipulating his draws.)

Ryou Bakura

  • Remember Bakura's noble attempt at a Heroic Sacrifice during his first appearance in the Duel Monsters anime? The manga's equivalent of that scene was even more awesome. During Volume 7 chapter 56 of the manga, while playing the Monster World RPG, Yugi and his friends are on the verge of losing against Dark Bakura thanks to his brainwashed dice ("Mind Dice"). After a fatal hit from Zorc, the party is assumed dead by Dark Bakura. His confidence is quickly shattered when he discovers that they all have one hit point left on his computer. Right after this, some strange force takes control of his left hand and types the following message on Dark Bakura's computer: "I am Ryou Bakura. I won't let you kill my friends. I'll fight too." revealing that the real Bakura had been fumbling his dice rolls all along. That's just plain awesome. Especially after you take into account that Ryou has been tormented by his alterego for the longest time, having his previous handful of friends being put into a coma and having their souls trapped in miniature figures. He certainly gave Dark Bakura a sweet taste of Karma.
    • Unfortunately, this is the last awesome thing Bakura will ever do in the manga. After he gets integrated into the main group, his most notable moments consist of doing things that make fangirls go Squee and being The Woobie. In the anime, he gets Demoted to Extra.

Yami Bakura

  • Yami Bakura's series-long Gambit Roulette.
  • His non-chalantly stabbing himself in the arm with a knife. And he laughed. Creepy, yet awesome.
  • The duel at the graveyard. Hell, the whole episode was a big CMOA for him.
  • Laughing in the face of death, more than once.
  • If Thief Bakura qualifies, his battle against all High Priests at once definitely counts.
    • His horseriding stunts deserve mention as well.
  • After his good counterpart's Moment of Awesome as stated somewhere above, Yami Bakura proceeds to impale his left hand through one of the sharp towers on the RPG board and then laughs. He seems to have a creepy trend of stabbing himself and making it look awesome.
  • In the manga, his (rather obvious) fake Heel Face Turn. Watching him help Yami Yugi outsmart the Paradox Brothers during the Duelist Kingdom saga and helping Yugi defeat Ryuuji Otogi (Duke Devlin) in Dungeon Dice Monsters by outright telling Otogi that fate denies him was pretty damn awesome. All of this was part of his Gambit Roulette.
  • Might be more of a CMOA for the anime directors, but there's an anime only part where Yami Bakura repossesses Ryou by chasing him into a church and basically telling him that he owns his ass. The scene is one of the most stylised and awesome-looking in the series, and it really highlights just how creepy Yami Bakura is.

Other

  • Can't forget the Ancient Egyptians! Mahaado, in a sheer moment of utter coolness, sacrifices himself to beat Bakura's thieving little rear. Of course, being the archenemy, Bakura escapes via deus ex machina, but we have to applaud Mahaado's unflinching loyalty.
    • Also important in that this is how Mahad becomes the Dark Magician. Not to mention that unlike the Kisara -> Blue Eyes duel monster reincarnation that Kaiba wields, the Dark Magician used by Yugi is true to its old spirit.
  • Mana gets one with her development from someone who couldn't even see spirits, to summoning the Dark Magician Girl to save Mahaado and fight alongside him
  • The Priest Seto is possessed by his father, and it looks like Akhenaden's about to use him and the Blue-Eyes White Dragon to kill Atem. What does Kisara do? She takes control of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon and then enters Priest Seto's soul room to destroy Akhenaden for good. Power of Love, Baby!
  • When Raphael brings out Guardian Eatos and raises her ATK up to 10000.
    • Raphael beating Yugi. Fairly.
  • Pegasus giving the Penalty Game to Bandit Keith in the manga. While Keith is threatening him with a knife, he raises his hand at his bodyguard that there is no need to draw his weapon. Then he calmly explains to him he must be punished for cheating. Then he tells Keith to get ready, and deals the Penalty Game to him. Pegasus' bodyguard is somewhat shocked at the sight, but Pegasus walks on without flinching one bit.
    • For all its Macekreing, the dub does add an incredibly Badass (and simultaneously hilarious) line to that scene:
    • Keith gives him until the count of three. Pegaus goes "Okay, one, two, three" then drops him through an emergency trap door. Do not screw with Maximillion Pegasus.
    • His duel against Chronos and Napoleon in GX is also awesome. He takes advantage of their situation, telling them that the player with more Life Points remaining will get the better position at his company, causing the two to fight against each other instead. He outsmarts them both and no one realizes it, allowing him to win the duel easily.
  • Arkana/Pandora using actual magician's tricks to make sure that he had his Dark magician on the first hand.
  • While the final battle against Zork has several, special mention has to go to Shimon (the ancient egyptian counterpart to Yugi's Grandfather) summoning fricken' EXODIA to battle Zork.
  • Bakura Ryou gets one every time he manages to one-up his Super-Powered Evil Side, most notably in the early manga chapters/Season 0.
  • Rafael at the end of his second Duel with the Pharoah. His big bad boss monster, Guardian Deathscythe, has been destroyed. But he's still in the game. What does he do? He activates Soul Charge, a Magic Card which allows him to revive his monsters from the Graveyard, but in exchange, forces him to pay 500 Life Points for each one. He resurrects all of his Guardians, but in the process is forced to pay more Life Points than he has left. So let's summarize: he could have just forfeit the game, but instead he chose to essentially forfeit while apologizing to his monsters for throwing them aside to power up Deathscythe. And the best part? After this, the Orichalcos tries to take his soul, but it can't because Rafael has no darkness in his heart. Plain. Freaking. Awesome.
  • Personally I thought it was pretty awesome how Odion, upon regaining consciousness after going into a coma for a while managed to drag his injured self all the way up to the top of the tower where Yami Marik and Yami Yugi were duelling to show his unwavering support for Good Marik.
    • His entire duel with Joey. Considering so many opponents have cheated him, including all his Battle City opponents except for Mako, Odion gives Joey his toughest duel yet, but flying in the face of both Joey's past opponents and the Rare Hunter organization as a whole, he does it completely fairly. Not only is it an awesome duel but it helps establish Odion as a Noble Demon Anti-Villain even without the flashbacks through it all.
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