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->''"Knife fight! You're gonna fight for your life!\\
Knife fight! You're gonna [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment fight with]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a knife!]]\\
Knife fight! A really really really ''sharp'' knife!\\
[[KnifeNut I'm a crazy (crazy) son of a bitch,]]\\
I'm gonna cut you (cut you) swish swish\\
In a knife fight!"''
-->-- "Knife Fight," by '''Music/LemonDemon'''

Everyone likes a SwordFight, and for good reason. It's flashy! It's suspenseful! It's BadAss! It allows the hero to prove himself not just some guy designated to defeat the villain, but who can clash with him one-on-one and come out on top (or at least hold their own).

Problem is, not all stories take place in locales where a sword would be considered an appropriate weapon to have along, regardless of what the hero might [[HeroesPreferSwords prefer.]] This might be simply because the story takes place in TheFuture, where no one uses swords anymore (even {{Laser Blade}}s). It might also be because the protagonist is some manner of soldier, mercenary, scruffy rogue, or other manner of AntiHero who is [[WeaponOfChoice thematically forbidden]] from using such extravagant weapons. Enter the knife--simple and useful enough that humans will almost certainly be carrying it around no matter where or when they are, yet dangerous and shiny and sharp enough that they can serve as a substitute for the SwordFight in a pinch. Knives also have the advantage that you don't have to necessarily be a knife fighter to carry one around, meaning that any character is a candidate for pulling one out. All the drama with none of the camp!

Because knives are so small in comparison to swords (meaning that typical sword-fighting tropes can't really be used effectively with them), they tend to go a bit different from sword fights. While they can involve a lot of dodging and parrying in a sort of knife-based {{Flynning}}, most tend to be short and brutal. With knife fights, the emphasis is usually on the grit factor, with characters grunting and actively trying to go for the killing blow with every attack. Your typical Hollywood knife fight will always devolve into one character trying to stab another, with the other character grabbing the attacker's hands and trying to push them away. Unlike your typical sword fight, you can expect to see ''a lot'' of blood during a knife fight.

Common variations involve the fighters being tied to each other by the wrists (cuts down on bicycling) and both fighters being blindfolded (one participant will turn out to be a skilled blindfighter.)

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!! Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!'', Firo has to duel Maiza before he can be accepted into the Martillo family (technically a duel, with a martial on hand who states if either of them go for the neck or torso he'll shoot them). Firo wins by slashing Maiza's arm,[[spoiler: but of course, it heals]].
* ''[[Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex GitS:SAC]]'' features an unusual one--between [[spoiler:Pazu and someone with a body identical to his own, complete with mannerisms.]]
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' has a ''magical'' knife fight.
* The obscure anime ''DogSoldier'' has one... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR0NTMVjEcY sort of.]]
* There was also a knife fight... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj7UKXKwd4k sort of]]... during ''{{Macross}}'''s low-budget days.
* ''KaraNoKyoukai'' had a quite awesome one in the seventh movie between Ryougi and [[spoiler: Shirazumi Lio]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VPDTQViU3c Take a look.]]
* ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'' features two between cyborg Triela and the BadassNormal assassin Pinocchio.
* ''Anime/PsychoPass'' has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDQBDdEyufs a short but intense one]] in its final episode, between a [[http://www.knife-depot.com/knife-information-104.html clip-point folding knife]] and a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_razor straight razor.]]
* ''Manga/{{Jormungand}}'' has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qywGZZL0IA a fight]] between Milde DualWielding [[MacheteMayhem machetes]] and Valmet armed with a single knife. They're not really trying to kill each other, though.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* {{Storm}}'s battle with Callisto for leadership of the Morlocks in ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'' comics.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* These tend to be the result when Nav encounters assassins in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Driven to Kill'' features what may be [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA3U-6zyFpU the greatest knife fight ever.]]
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljHRS_19vwk baton vs. knife fight]] in ''Film/ShaPoLang'' between Ma Kwan and the assassin Jack.
* A fantastic one between TommyLeeJones and Benicio Del Toro in ''TheHunted''.
%%* ''Film/GangsOfNewYork''
* The Bride and Vernita Green in ''KillBill Vol. 1'' are in the middle of one of these when the bus comes and little Nikki arrives. They discuss continuing it at a baseball field. But in a subversion, [[spoiler:Vernita tries for a bushwhack by pulling a gun and the Bride kills her on the spot (in front of her daughter who just walked back into the room)]].
* [[Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick Riddick]] gets into these a lot.
* The cult film ''Exposure'' actually has a scene where a knife fight master teaches the protagonist.
* ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'' and ''EasternPromises'' are both known for having psychologically disturbing knife fights.
* ''Film/TheLongRiders'' had one between two Bowie knives, and at the lady's request no less. Notable for having the fighters "tied" together by a chew rather than their wrists.
* ''Film/UnderSiege''. The final has [[StevenSeagal Casey Ryback]] fighting the BigBad [[TommyLeeJones William Strannix]], and utterly annhilating him.
%%* ''Film/WestSideStory''
* A defining moment in ''Film/RebelWithoutACause''.
* ''Film/IntoTheNight'' has a struggle of knives between David Bowie and Carl Perkins.
* ''The Ultimate Warrior'' has a knife ''brawl'' involving no less than five people.
* A knife fight is proposed in ''Film/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid'' when Harvey decides to give himself a KlingonPromotion. [[spoiler:Butch instead delivers a Groin Attack]].
* In ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', a giant mech is handily equipped with a proportionate Bowie knife to engage in a knife fight with the hero.
* In ''Film/MurdersInTheRueMorgue'', Dr. Mirakle's carriage runs into two men knife fighting over a prostitue. After the two kill each other, he kidnaps the woman for his experiments.
* Averted in ''Film/CrocodileDundee'' in the classic "That's a knife" scene. The mugger is not interested in knife fighting a guy who carries a Bowie knife around with him.
* Mahoney gets into a wrist-tied version with Zed at the end of ''PoliceAcademy 2''. There's a twist: Mahoney has a rather small sheath knife. Zed has a scimitar.
* In ''Film/{{Commando}}'', between Matrix and Bennett at the end of the movie. Minutes later both of them lost their knives, engaging in a fistfight instead.
* ''Film/TheManFromNowhere'' has one around the film's climax.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* CormacMcCarthy features several in his HistoricalFiction novels. Especially ''The Border Trilogy'' and ''BloodMeridian'', ranging from quick attacks to possibly the most epic DuelToTheDeath ever captured on the page.
* Quite a few throughout the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' novels; forcefield technology repells bullets, but slow things like knives and swords get through fine.
* ''Literature/SnowCrash'' gives us a fight between [[BadAss Raven]], who uses ''glass'' knives with molecule-thin cutting edges, and BadassGrandpa Uncle Enzo, who has a straight razor.
* Creator/JorgeLuisBorges had a fascination for them. Knife duels feature in several of his stories ("El encuentro", "El Sur", "El fin", etc.) and there is a whole book of his poems dedicated to (a nostalgic and romanticized version of) the ''cuchilleros'' of Buenos Aires circa 1900.
* In ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'', F'lar and [[spoiler:Lord Fax]] engage in a duel using short knives. Although F'lar has a lot of practice dueling experience, he does not have nearly as much practical killing experience as his opponent. In fact, F'lar gets into a knife fight in each of the original three novels. He wins all three, killing his opponent in two of them.
* MatthewReilly does a couple of these, since most of the characters carry knives as backup weapons (see Real Life section below). ''Literature/IceStation'' has a knife fight when the air becomes mixed with a flammable gas.
* Technically it's a "sword vs knife" fight, but given the relative sizes of the two combatants and the close quarters involved, the duel between [[TheWoobie Ahren Elessedil]] and his [[KickTheDog tormentor]], Cree Bega in ''TheVoyageOfTheJerleShannara'' is thematically closer to this. Oddly, given the number of {{Knife Nut}}s in TerryBrooks' writing this is the only one that really stands out, possibly due to it being between a BreakTheCutie Woobie, and TheDragon.
* In ''Ghost Story'' from ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' Daniel Carpenter gets into a knife fight with a [[TheFagin street sorcerer]] named Aristedes, whose magic gives him SuperSpeed. He loses, but manages to cut him [[spoiler: and then Butters beats him with a lead pipe before he can kill Daniel, hospitalizing him and ending his control over the others.]]
* The Fishhawk chooses knives as the weapons for a duel against SolomonKane, figuring that he can better use his trickery and strength than if they fought with swords or pistols.
* ''ShipBreaker'' concludes with a KnifeFight between Nailer and his ArchnemesisDad, Richard. It ends when Nailer traps his dad between the gears in the ship's engine and kills him.
* In ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' there are fights between Tanith Low, who has a BFS, and Billy-Ray Sanguine, who carries a straight razor. HilarityEnsues.
* In ''TheWheelOfTime'', it's mentioned that knife duels were a popular pastime for a while in the First Age. With knives coated with slow poison. Most of the time, both duelists ended up dead.
* ''Literature/JamesBond''
** In ''Literature/{{Icebreaker}}'', Bond goes to visit one of his many girlfriends and finds two thugs waiting for him. The other is quickly dealt with, but the bigger one with a knife must be fought with another blade.
** After stopping the BigBad's EvilPlan in ''Literature/DeathIsForever'', Bond is attacked in London by a knife-wielding cohort of his, and all he has is a knife of his own to defend himself.
* In ''[[Literature/TheHammerAndTheCross One King's Way]]'' Shef and his crew witness a 'Rogaland style' duel, where the men tie their left wrists together and knife fight on a bullhide. Later, Shef fights the King of Sweden this way, atop the Kingdom Rock.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The ''Series/MagnumPI'' episode ''"Lest We Forget"'', in which Magnum helps reunite a couple that had been separated for decades. He was a WorldWarII flier and she was a prostitute and they met on a beach and fell in love and planned to elope but were interrupted by the attack on Pearl Harbor(I know, I know). In any case, it shows one {{Flashback}} seen in which the flier comes to the Place of Employment to pick up his girlfriend. The local muscleman draws a knife on him where upon a sympathetic customer throws a knife to the flier and the two of them have a DuelToTheDeath.
* Major Zod vs Clark in the ''{{Smallville}}'' Season 9 finale. It should be noted that the knife is made of Blue Kryptonite which renders both of them human and vulnerable to being stabbed, while preventing the Kryptonian-attuned [[TomeOfEldritchLore The Book of Rao]] from teleporting them both to another dimension. And that oh yeah, it takes place in the rain with Film/TheMatrix-style Slow-Mo being employed. The result? [[spoiler: Clark lets Zod stab him and then jumps off the building, which results in the Book of Rao teleporting the now-Kryptonian Major away]]. One of the show's most epic moments.
* In one of the episodes of the new ''Series/HawaiiFive0''. The fight involves one of the main characters and his BrokenPedestal partner on the beach at night. Could count as a CrowningMomentOfAwesome because it still has the Hollywood style flashiness but both participants were Ex-Spec Ops members and it showed off a lot of the technical aspects of a fight.
* In the third episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', [[HotScientist Carter]] got in a fight with the [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Mongoloid leader]]. He had a larger curved sword and was trained to fight people his own size. Carter had a combat knife and was trained to fight people bigger than she was. Carter won.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''
** Captain Archer is forced to duel the Andorian commander Shran in the "wrists bound together" version of this trope during the fourth season. He wins by cutting off one of Shran's antenna, which incapacitates him.
** Combined with blatant {{fanservice}} in the MirrorUniverse episode when a scantily-clad [[CatFight Hoshi and T'Pol]] go at each other with daggers while exchanging snarky comments about each others sex life.
* Occurs several times in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' thanks to the Klingon tradition of carrying bladed weapons, specifically "Sins of the Father" when assassins attack Worf and later Picard, and "Redemption" when one of Gowron's officers [[KlingonPromotion challenges him for leadership]].
* Veronica and tribesman characters get into these a lot in ''Series/SirArthurConanDoylesTheLostWorld''. In "The Knife", Veronica gets into one with Sir William Gull and Robert Anderson, but RealityEnsues and she kicks their asses because they are mere killers of the helpless and not trained fighters.
* On ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' demons and angels can only be killed using special weapons, most of which are short blades. In later seasons most characters obtain an Angelic Blade, a slender silver dagger that is the standard weapon used by angels. Any fight between two angels is usually a fairly short knife fight since angels are not very sophisticated knife fighters, and the weapon is built for stabbing rather than slicing.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* Music/MichaelJackson's music video for "Beat It" from ''Music/{{Thriller}}'' had a switchblade fight, of the wrists-tied variety.
* LemonDemon: I'mma cut you (swish-swish) in a Knife Fight (Knife Fight), Knife Fight (Knife Fight), Knife Fight! Knife Fight!
* Instrumental, but Music/TomWaits has the song "Knife Chase" on ''Blood Money''.
* Link Wray's ''Rumble'', despite not having any lyrics, was popularly believed to feel like a knife fight, courtesy of its then-new distorted guitar sound. In fact, many radio stations banned it [[TheNewRockAndRoll out of fears that it would incite juvenile delinquency]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Leon and Krauser have one in a harrowing PressXToNotDie sequence in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4''. It even has a bit of ThatOneBoss to it.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', Martek the Exiled challenged [[BigBad Deathwing]] to a KnifeFight, or at least that's his story in "The Day Deathwing Came".
* In ''MetalGearSolid4'', Raiden engages Vamp in a one-on-one knife fight [[spoiler: atop Metal Gear Rex on Shadow Moses Island.]] Too bad [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome the player doesn't get to see any of it]] because they're trying to kill an oncoming rush of Gekkos at the same time in split-screen.
* All of the major {{Boss Battle}}s in ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' are of the Knife Fight variety. With a side-order of MindScrew.
* Shiki Tohno has several in ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' and the spin-off ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood''. His opponent is usually his EnemyWithin, Nanaya.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In the [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Strong Bad Email]] [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail69.html personal favorites]], Strong Bad claims that one of his favorite emails was the one [[NoodleIncident where Coach Z and Pom-Pom had a knife fight on the stone bridge]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' showed us the simple joys of a monkey knife fight.
--> Mr. Burns: "OH BEAUTIFUL JOE! What have they done to you?! Smithers, this monkey is going to need most of your skinů"
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' briefly featured a knife fight between [[CaptainErsatz look-a-likes]] of TheSmurfs.
* Parodied on the ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'' animated series, with the office equivalent: tied at the wrist with a necktie, and fighting with marker pens.
-->'''Asok:''' I'm gonna [[StealthPun mark]] you so bad!

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Knives are carried by most soldiers, primarily as utility/survival tools for most, while special-forces troops are more likely to use their knives as weapons. This is often reflected in the design of the knives, leading to such contrasts as the classic US Marine's K-BAR and the equally famous British Fairbairn-Sykes commando knife.
** [[ShovelStrike Entrenching tools are actually preferred however.]]
* The reason Dizzy Gillespie left CabCalloway's band involved the two of them getting into a knife-fight.
* Jim Bowie got into a few knife fights with his signature blade, resulting in his reputation as a KnifeNut and the knife's popular nickname.

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