Created By: torru369 on November 12, 2012 Last Edited By: torru369 on June 4, 2013

Blow them away with the heavy firepower

Sometimes the tide can be turned through heavy weapons use

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The heroes fight tooth and nail against incredible odds and terrible foes. Just when things are about to go bad as victory seems assured for evil, a new force appears and shows them what can be done and made with real power and the day is saved.

A subtrope of Reality Ensues, showing what happens when enemies of the story are shown how stoppable they are through brute force. Often takes the form of The Cavalry, Gunship Rescue and Big Damn Heroes.



The 2007 version of The Mist had a notable use of this at the end.

Friday the 13th had the military try to do this in the Final Chapter. Turns out Jasons survival isn't merely physical.
  • Jason X also took a shot at this. Then Jason got himself some real power too.

Resident Evil movies both live action and cgi like the games they are based on showed the monsters going down to extreme firepower in the end.

Live Action:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this a few times in spite of the setting. Memorably the Big Bad of season 3 was killed when it was lured to enough explosives to level a building.


Resident Evil allows the reversal of the usual power dynamic upon getting new weapons. Especially when aquiring the 11th-Hour Superpower weapons.

Western Animation:

Parodied on Robot Chicken. When a werewolf says hes unkillable by anything other than a silver bullet, the guy brings out a mini gun and mulches him. Turns out it was a tabletop game and the DM is arguing hes still alive.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • November 12, 2012
    Name's too long.
  • November 12, 2012
    And a Stock Phrase, in violation of No New Stock Phrases.
  • November 13, 2012
    I don't think something becomes a stock phrase just because there's a verb in it.

    No New Stock Phrases is already subject to ridiculous scope creep, we don't need to make it worse.
  • November 14, 2012
    I can't remember ever hearing or reading the title in my life, so I don't think it's a Stock Phrase.

    It also doesn't sound like a line of dialogue, the other half of No New Stock Phrases.
  • November 14, 2012
    Well, anyway, it's not very clear.
  • November 14, 2012
    Evil example: Order 66 from Star Wars. So far, the Jedi Knights demonstrated they have little to fear from blasters. Turns out they are not so immune to massed blaster and artillery fire from their former comrades the clones.
  • November 14, 2012
    No, I'm pretty sure it's not a Stock Phrase, but I don't get that title at all. So in all these cases we're stopping the fight and dragging the enemy to a warehouse full of "real" or powerful weapons, and then the enemy shudders in awe of them? That's how my understanding of this unfolded all the way through the laconic.
  • November 14, 2012
    Agreed the laconic and description need a lot of polishing, right now it's not real clear what this is exactly.

    It seems to be luring the enemy into a booby trap (maybe) or something like that.
  • November 15, 2012
    I agree that the name and Laconic should be improved.
  • November 17, 2012
    Redid the Laconic and name. Also thought of a new example. In the Full Metal Panic novels a number of androids are destroyed easily by the Arbalests CWS weapons.
  • November 17, 2012
    Video Games
    • Invoked in the Mass Effect 3 Co Op Multiplayer with the Cobra Missile Launcher. The only heavy weapon available in multiplayer, a well placed shot from it can kill multiple boss-level enemies in a single stroke, instantly turning a dire situation into a manageable one. The game outright recommends this with a Loading Screen hint.
    • A timely tactical nuke is a tide-turner in World In Conflict multiplayer matches, as it is both guaranteed to destroy all enemy units in the blast radius and resets their control over command points (unlike other bomb types). Pretty much the only thing that can counter it is a reciprocal nuke.
  • November 17, 2012
    ^^Well done, this is much clearer. Title needs to be snappier, but we can refine it now.

    Table Turning Overwhelming Onslaught

    Overturning Onslaught (More elegant, but I'm not sure if it's clear.)

    Obliterating The Jaws Of Defeat

    You'll need to define the limits properly. More Dakka already covers "any time extreme firepower is used on an enemy." This should probably be limited to when it specifically snatches victory from the jaws of defeat or otherwise causes a big reversal of fortune.

    Also, explain how The Mist qualifies. The army comes through with flame throwers, but its too late for the protagonists.

    EDIT: Hmm, actually, probably a subversion, since if they'd been a few minutes earlier it would have been a straight example.
  • November 18, 2012
    How about the classic Colonial Marine Corps' motto from Aliens:

    Peace Through Superiour Firepower.

    Although this trope wouldn't fit for Aliens.
  • November 19, 2012
  • December 25, 2012
    In Soldier, after encountering more resistance than anticipated from a Ragtag Bunch Of Misfits (and the eponymous soldier), the Captain suggests just nuking the whole planet from orbit. The Colonel vetoes this however, because he wants the glory that using his new genetically enhanced soldiers will bring. Then at the end, the Colonel decides to use a planet destroying bomb.
  • December 25, 2012
    The Boys: the X Men analogue is soundly defeated by a mass attack by soldiers wielding, among others, flamethrowers.
  • December 25, 2012
    Order 66 is a bad example; it worked not so much due to the firepower involved but the sheer surprise factor--the Jedi weren't expecting to be backstabbed. The Battle of Geonosis at the end of Attack Of The Clones plays it straight, with droids mowing down invading Jedi left and right until the clones arrive.

  • June 2, 2013
    I may take this over and try to remodel it as a more general Missing Supertrope to Big Damn Heroes, Gunship Rescue and some others.

    Torru369, speak now or forever hold your peace.
  • June 2, 2013
    Bill Bailey described this as Tom Clancy's formula: "Good vs. evil, evil seems to have the upper hand, but good wins through massively superior firepower." (I have no idea if this is true, but it might make a good quote)
  • June 2, 2013
    ... how is this different than More Dakka?
  • June 2, 2013
    More Dakka is just bullet spam. The current name doesn't help clarity-wise, though.
  • June 4, 2013
    How about Big Gun Obliteration as the trope name?