->''"In a man to man fight, the winner is he who has one more round in his magazine."''
-->-- '''UsefulNotes/ErwinRommel'''[[note]]after coming out on the losing end of this trope in France in 1914[[/note]]

[[TheHero The hero]] has entered the enemy base. He has killed mooks, [[StuffBlowingUp blown stuff up,]] and [[CatchPhrase said one liners.]] This is it. The final showdown. Hero vs. BigBad. Mr Villain says, "It's too late! The files have already been transferred!" as he holds the heroine close, threatening to kill the DamselInDistress. She cries out to her beloved hero. The hero gathers his resolves and checks his pistol's magazine. He only has one bullet left.

Wait, what? One bullet left?

Oh never mind, he's totally gonna kill the bad guy.

This trope is named after the uncanny attempt at drama of giving the hero only a single chance to win the battle, i.e. one bullet left. You can be sure of it, you can count on it, you could bet money on it if anyone would actually take that bet. That shot is going to hit its target. It may have been actually suspenseful at some point, but by now [[DiscreditedTrope everyone has seen this one done and done again]].

May happen during a DarkenedBuildingShootout.

See Also: BottomlessMagazines & CountingBullets. If there is ''more than one'' target for said bullet, both of them critical, that's under SadisticChoice or FriendOrIdolDecision.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'': Vash has used up five of his six shots to make a giant projectile veer off course from a group of incapacitated civilians. Vash ejects the empty cartridges (even saying "Only one bullet left, doc."), spins the barrel, locks it without looking, and shoots - he picked the right chamber. Somewhat {{justified|Trope}} in that [[spoiler: Vash isn't really human and may or may not have psychic powers]].
** Used epically in the FinalBattle; both Vash and [[spoiler: Knives]] end up with one bullet each in a random chamber of their respective revolvers, and [[spoiler: proceed to play an odd variation of Russian Roulette with their guns in each other's faces]].
* Is a major part of the ''Anime/GoShogun'' movie.
* In ''Manga/GunBlazeWest'' during a gun duel, Viu ''deliberately'' empties his gun of all but a single bullet in the belief that because he only has one bullet, his focus will improve and make that one shot count more than the others. It does.
* Train Heartnet in ''Manga/BlackCat'' has one Oricalcum bullet, and the only thing that can defeat Creed. He almost loses it when he drops it whilst falling, but catches it of course, and his aim is true. In the final arc of the anime as well, when the illusion of his master Zangine tells him to kill him or die, and gives him a single bullet to defend himself with. Train uses the bullet, but not against him, instead to destroy the receptor controlling Eden.
* ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'': During their fight with the Grand Gundam, Chibodee runs out of bullets in his Gundam's revolvers, and George is down to a single AttackDrone. He provides the distraction while Chibodee uses the Attack Drone ''as'' a bullet to make the million-to-one shot that takes out the Grand Gundam.
* The [[SpiderTank Tachikoma]] in ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' are among the worlds best killing machines that can deal with anything short of a heavy tank without breaking a sweat. But when most of them are dismantled and the rest of them had been refitted for civilian work, they had to rescue Batou from a special forces hit squad with nothing but a single ancient mortar round a senile old veteran had stashed in a shoe box as their only weapon. When they arrive at the scene, Batou had already killed most of the attackers, except for one last soldier in a huge suit of powered armor who was crushing him under his giant foot. After chasing him into the nearby forest while losing one of their own, the last two try everything they can to make their one single shot count. But as a subversion, with a weak ''"Pfshhh..."'' the propellant fizzles without ejecting the mortar, and the last two Tachikoma get immediately riddled with gaping bullet holes. [[spoiler:But being Tachikoma, they still don't give up after some encouraging words, one of them holds the powered armor guy in place while the other jumps at him, crushing the mortar barrel between their bodies, [[HeroicSacrifice and detonating the mortar.]]]]
* Subverted in Miyazaki's "Anime/CastleInTheSky". Deep in the floating city Pazu and Muska face each other down with guns raised. The observant, however, already knows ''both'' our hero's and the villain's guns are empty.
** However, Muska has reloads. [[spoiler:Fortunately, the battle isn't decided with guns.]]
* ''Anime/GunxSword'' has an exaggerated example. Wendy's revolver, inherited from her brother, starts out with one bullet... and stays that way for [[UpToEleven the entire series]]. [[spoiler: Fittingly, she uses it on said brother in the finale]].
* In ''LightNovel/{{Gosick}}'', Victorique, of all people, ends up with a single bullet left in a gun; though she needs it not to kill someone, but to [[spoiler:disable the bomb her train is heading towards]]. Halfway-subverted, though, because both she and Kujo know that there's absolutely no chance of the shot missing. In fact, she may have [[InvokedTrope wasted the rest of the bullets on purpose]]...
* Observant viewers who count the number of shots fired in the final episode of ''Anime/PsychoPass'' will know that there is only one bullet left in the revolver when Akane needs to [[PopTheTires disable]] the BigBad's escape vehicle. [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome She makes the shot.]]
* ''Manga/Golgo13''. Duke Togo teams up with another hitman to take down a CIA chemical warfare lab. As they're about to leave, the other hitman reports in and gets a contract to kill Duke Togo. He says he's been CountingBullets and knows they've both got one left and it becomes a test of endurance -- they're both even in skill, so who will make the first move?
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', Sasha Blouse ends up facing a Titan armed with only a bow and arrows. After missing the first two shots and taking out one of its eyes with the third, she has one arrow left. Rather than risk firing it and missing, she leaps up and stabs it in the other eye with the last arrow, then escapes.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}'': A running theme during the movie. When he first arrives in town, Rango lies about killing seven men with one bullet, and then manages to (accidentally) kill the hawk using just one bullet. Then, during the climax of the film, Rango confronts Rattlesnake Jake with only one bullet left in his gun. [[spoiler:After Rattlesnake Jake backs down, the mayor forces Rango to hand over his gun, but Rango stealthily removes the bullet. He ends up using it to free himself and Beans from the bank vault they've been locked in.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTintin'' would not be complete as the {{Troperiffic}} romp that it is without this. It's invoked in a rather cool manner, too:
-->'''Tintin:''' The bad news is, I've only got one bullet.\\
'''Capt. Haddock:''' What's the good news?!\\
'''Tintin:''' I've got one bullet. ''[shoots down plane]''
* In ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' when Mulan fires the last rocket at Shen Yu, it goes over him. "He was three feet in front of you!". [[ExactlyWhatIAimedAt She was in fact aiming for the mountain behind the Huns]] in an attempt at starting an avalanche. It works.
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/TheCurseOfTheWereRabbit'', where Victor the hunter has to kill the were-rabbit with a bullet made of pure gold ("[[JustForPun Twenty-Four Karat!]]") and only has three. He thinks he kills the were-rabbit with the first one, but it turns out that he shot a disguise instead. Once he realizes this, [[ShutUpGunshot he tries to calm down the crowd by firing his gun in the air...]]
--> '''Victor:''' Now I've only got two... ARGH! I've only got one bullet left.
** [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope That last bullet misses though.]] The [[AbnormalAmmo carrot-shaped trophy he sticks in his blunderbuss]] afterwards though? [[DoubleSubversion Guess.]] ]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The ends of both ''Film/DieHard'' and ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance''. At the end of the first movie, John [=McClane=] actually had ''two'' bullets left, and exactly two bad guys left to kill. [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]], in that [[spoiler: [=McClane=] doesn't kill Hans Gruber with either of them -- Gruber dies when he falls off of the Nakatomi Building]]. At the end of the third, he had two bullets left in a small gun, and two bad guys in a helicopter with a BFG. [[spoiler: He shoots a power cable which wraps around the tail rotor, causing the helicopter to crash and explode.]]
* The final battle of ''Film/{{Doom}}'' begins with this exchange:
-->'''Sarge:''' What you got left?\\
'''Reaper:''' ''[shrug]'' Half a clip. You?\\
'''Sarge:''' ''[patting his BFG]'' I've got...one round.
** Once Sarge misses his only shot, Reaper misses most of his clip, and then [[HonorBeforeReason fires his last round into the ceiling]] before going [[GoodOldFisticuffs hand-to-hand with him]].
* The end of the shootout/rescue scene near the start of ''Film/MissionImpossibleIII''. Of course, Hunt had been shooting excellently up into that point anyway, and wouldn't have checked his ammo if Ferris hadn't asked him how much he had left.
-->'''Farris:''' How many bullets do you have left?\\
'''Ethan:''' Enough. *shoots the last goon* Now I'm out.
* Clint Eastwood's ManWithNoName does this at the end of ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars''. He has one bullet left in his six-shooter, while the bad guy has one bullet in a rifle. Clint might have been lucky, but considering how badass the MWNN is, he was probably just that good. The point was that both of them have one bullet, but they have to load their weapons of choice first. And Clint's six shooter is faster to load than the BigBad's rifle. [[RuleOfCool Or So I Heard.]]
* Subverted in ''Film/TopGun'', in which [[AcePilot Maverick]] is sitting on one missile and facing 3 [=MIGs=] at the end of the climactic air battle... And then the [=MIGs=] retreat.
* From the 2000 film ''Film/ThePatriot'', Benjamin Martin deliberately saves a special bullet made from one of his murdered son's lead soldiers especially for the BigBad who killed him, Colonel Tavington. Subverted in that while he does get his final, poetic justice-y shot in on Tavington, a cannonball landing nearby throws off his aim and merely wings the villain, leading to a rather fierce duel between Benjamin and the now ''very'' pissed-off Tavington in the midst of the battle.
* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'', the trope becomes "One ''Missile'' Left". By the time the humans realise they need to [[AttackItsWeakPoint attack the weakpoint]] of the alien ship in order to bring it down, the only guy left with the ability to exploit their new weakness is the insane crop-dusting veteran. [[spoiler:Then ''his'' missile malfunctions and never leaves his aircraft. Fortunately for the human race the missile was still set to go off, and RammingAlwaysWorks.]]
* The pipe bombs in ''Film/{{Tremors}}''. Val kills the last Graboid with the last pipebomb, although he uses it in a slightly different way than expected.
* Subverted in ''Film/Tremors2Aftershocks'': the heroes are trying to reach the last working vehicle in the area and escape a Shrieker pack, only to find the route blocked by one of the creatures. Burt Gummer has only one (enormous) bullet left for his (equally-enormous) rifle. He successfully shoots the Shrieker, but the bullet then punches right through a stone wall, several barrels, and wipes out the escape-vehicle's engine.
* ''Film/TheHost'', [[spoiler:where it is subverted. Turns out there were ''no'' bullets left, Gang-du just miscounted.]]
* ''Film/ShanghaiNoon'' has this in probable {{homage}} to ''A Fistful of Dollars''. [[spoiler: Roy O'Bannon has one bullet left in his gun, and says as much to his [[DirtyCop corrupt sheriff]] nemesis. Out of a "sense of fair play", the bad guy mimes emptying his still fully-loaded revolvers, leading to a final shootout with Roy's one bullet vs. the bad guy's 12. Roy gets him right through the heart -- and [[PocketProtector through his badge]].]] By the way, [[spoiler:this is the only time in the movie Roy successfully shot ''anything''. When he tells Jackie Chan's character, he doesn't believe him at ''all''. Roy notes that the baddie's bullets all went through the robe he was wearing without leaving a scratch on him.]]
-->'''Bad Guy:''' Now how the hell did that happen? ''[collapses]''
* The climax in ''Film/DirtyHarry''. Apparently the Scorpio Killer ''did'' feel lucky, that ''punk''...[[spoiler: he wasn't]].
--> '''Harry Callahan''': Ah-ah. Now, I know what you're thinkin'. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kinda lost track myself. But bein' as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head ''clean off'', you've got to ask yourself one question: "''Do I feel lucky?''" Well, do ya, ''punk''?
* At the end of the western ''Film/BadGirls'' Kid Jarrett is apparently out of ammo, so Cody pops one bullet out of her gun and gives it to him, saying "Pick it up, put it in, die like a man."
* In ''Film/{{Freejack}}'': Descending in an elevator to escape the building, the hero and his girl knows they will face guards on the way out. He looks at his [[ViewerFriendlyInterface LED ammo counter]], sees it read "01", and remarks, "Think I can get them all to stand in a line?". Cut to a scene of the {{Mooks}} all lining up. [[SubvertedTrope But, at the last second]], the elevator is called to the BigBad's penthouse.
* A different take on this is shown in ''Film/SkyCaptainAndTheWorldOfTomorrow'' (2004), where [[spoiler:the [[HotScoop Plucky Girl Reporter]] has one shot left in her roll of film. In the end, however, she forgoes the chance to photograph the scoop of the century to instead take a shot of her LoveInterest...only for him to reveal [[CameraObscurer she's left the lens cap on her camera]].]]
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'', Captain Jack Sparrow was given a gun with a single bullet inside (all guns back then would have been single-shot) by Barbossa and the ship's crew after they mutinied against him and marooned him on an island, so he that could commit suicide. By the time the storyline begins, Jacks hasn't fired the gun for 10 years, [[ChekhovsGun because he's saving the bullet specially for Barbossa]].
* Chow Yun-Fat embodies this trope in ''Film/TheReplacementKillers'' when, at the end of a Hong Kong-style gunfight, he comes face-to-face with his former employer and slaps his last clip in which has just One Bullet Left -- the [[MarkedBullet dragon-marked bullet]] that he promptly uses to end him.
** Another Chow Yun-Fat movie, ''Film/TheKiller'', has hitman Ah Jong living by these words: "I always save the last bullet, either for myself or for my enemy." The first time he says this, it's when he's demanding of his handler Sidney Fung to know who took out the ContractOnTheHitman, and after a shootout in his apartment where Ah Jong defends himself and Sidney, it's revealed that he indeed had one more bullet. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:later on when Sidney goes to Johnny Weng's residence to get Ah Jong's money and gets the living shit kicked out of him, he doesn't keep a final bullet, and Ah Jong has to MercyKill him when he is gunned down by Johnny's men]].
* DoubleSubverted in ''Film/WildWildWest'': Artemis Gordon has a derringer with only one shot and only one chance to make an impossible shot to save Jim West's life. He fires, and misses. The villain delays killing West to mock Artemis for his failure, especially after the 'can I kill someone?' soul-searching he engaged in beforehand. Unfortunately, for the villain, [[ExactlyWhatIAimedAt Artemis wasn't aiming directly at him]].
* In ''Film/TheFlightOfThePhoenix2004'', the protagonists have 5 cartridges to start the rebuilt plane's engine - the first three times it stalls, the fourth cartridge is expended to clean out the cylinders, and the last one, shockingly enough, works perfectly. (The [[Film/FlightOfThePhoenix1965 1965 version]] subverts this by having the engine start with the sixth cartridge of seven.)
* A different take on this trope is in ''Film/EightMM'' when the hero, whose gun has been unloaded and left on a table, only has time to load a single round in the chamber. And he's facing two criminals. While handcuffed to a desk.
* An InvokedTrope in ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead''. RussellCrowe's character, preacher and ex-outlaw Cort, is always given only one bullet before each gunfight... so he won't try to shoot his way out of town and escape.
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** Valentin Zukovsky in ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'' has precisely one bullet in his walking-cane gun, and has to decide between killing [[BigBadDuumvirate Electra]] and freeing Bond. [[spoiler:He chooses the latter]].
** ''Film/TheManWithTheGoldenGun''. Happens with the final confrontation between Bond and Scaramanga; the latter only has a single-shot weapon, and Nick Nack taunts Bond with the fact that "You have only three bullets left" at one point.
--->'''Bond:''' My six bullets against your one?\\
'''Scaramanga:''' [[BadassBoast I only need one.]]
* Played with in the conclusion of ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan''. [[spoiler: Wounded and immobile, Captain Miller]] pulls out his sidearm and fires it at an incoming tank. The bullets bounce off harmlessly until he fires the last one and the tank explodes. He then looks up in disbelief and sees the close air support that had really taken out the tank.
* PlayedForLaughs at the end of the very BlackComedy ''Film/SixShooter''. After an extremely violent and depressing day that began with the death of his wife, the protagonist [[DrivenToSuicide takes home a revolver with two bullets in it]]. [[spoiler:He's about to put one of them through his head when he remembers their pet rabbit, which will presumably starve if both owners are dead, so before proceeding he cradles the rabbit in his arms and [[ShootTheDog shoots its head off]]. As he goes to use the other bullet on himself, he drops the gun, misses his shot, and is left sitting there widowed ''and'' holding his headless rabbit.]]
-->"Jesus... what a fuckin' day."
* ''Film/IronEagle'': By the time that Doug Masters is forced to face his nemesis, Col. Nakesh, his F-16 is down to a few hundred rounds of ammunition and a single missile... which misses. Nakesh has just enough time for some EvilGloating before it is revealed that the missile is a heat seeker, which comes around for a second pass...
* One bad guy tries to invoke this in ''Film/TheSabataTrilogy'': thinking that Sabata has fired his gun dry, he makes a dive for his rifle... only to have Sabata shoot it away using a second gun hidden in the first one's grip.
* Thoroughly {{justified}} in ''Film/TheCrossing''. Bad weather has forced the Continental Army to use bayonets rather than shooting because the powder's all wet, except for one soldier who sealed his musket--a weapon that has one shot anyway--with candle wax. He's the ''only guy in the army'' who can shoot, and [[spoiler:he uses the shot on Colonel Rall, mortally wounding him and ending the battle]].
* In ''Film/{{Stagecoach}}'' (1939) the white people are on the verge of being taken alive by Indians and a gambler saves his last bullet to spare a lady "a fate worse than death". There's another woman on the coach but she's a prostitute so he doesn't seem to care. [[spoiler: He's just about to pull the trigger when he's shot and mortally wounded, sparing her. They are saved by the calvary moments later.]]
* ''Film/TheHobbit''. In "The Desolation of Smaug" it's revealed that Laketown has only a single bolt of black iron capable of killing the dragon Smaug. When last used, several bolts failed to penetrate Smaug's thick scales, though one did knock loose a scale [[AttackItsWeakPoint creating a vulnerability]]. If you can hit it on the first go...
** For bonus points, the black arrows can only fired from a wind lance and there's only one of those left too. [[spoiler:Smaug takes it out before it can be used, but Bard turns out to be pretty good at coming up with Plan Bs.]]
* In ''Film/DeadInTombstone'', Guerrero is pinned down and out of ammo during his gunfight with Snake. He finds one bullet left in his ammo belt and uses it to deliver a MoeGreeneSpecial to Snake.
* ''Film/TheKillingRoom'' (2009). Three men are locked in a room for a psychological experiment that quickly turns lethal. It's implied that only one man is to be left standing. At one stage, a gun is thrown into the room. One man grabs it to shoot the other two, who tell him to check the magazine. It's empty, so there's just one round in the chamber. [[spoiler:Turns out the reason there's one bullet is to identify the man who's willing to commit suicide in a HeroicSacrifice, as the whole idea is to brainwash people to become suicide bombers. When he tries to shoot himself the weapon won't fire and his companion is terminated instead.]]
* Played with in ''Literature/TyrannosaurCanyon'': the hero scavenges a gun with only one bullet. It burns a hole in his pocket for several chapters until he finally gets close enough...and misses. He still manages to [[WeaponForIntimidation make it work]].
* The climax of the 1967 spaghetti western ''Film/DeathRidesAHorse''. The hero has tracked down and killed the men who murdered his family when he was a child, except for one, who turns out to be his mentor, now out of bullets. The hero gives him one bullet, having a single bullet left in his own revolver. However the man just rides off in a PleaseKillMeIfItSatisfiesYou trope, and the hero's bullets kills another outlaw who'd been about to shoot him.
* ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad''. Max has a scoped SKS rifle with only three rounds, and aims into the night toward the oncoming searchlight of the Bullet Farmer's vehicle (who, as his name indicates, has plenty of ammo). He uses two shots to no effect, so hands the rifle to Furiosa, who braces the rifle on Max's shoulder and fires a shot that shatters the searchlight, blinding the Bullet Farmer.
* An Australian movie ''The Last Bullet'' (1995) is about the SoleSurvivor of an Australian unit in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII versus the Japanese ColdSniper who killed the others, each down to only one round.
* In ''Film/{{Dredd}}'': Dredd, when cornered by [[spoiler:corrupt Judges]] and out of standard ammo, takes a desperation shot with his last remaining round: a [[StuffBlowingUp Hi-Ex]]. The victim's [[YourHeadAsplode head explodes]], making sure he won't be a problem. Unfortunately, this also clues in the last one that his gun is now empty.
* Doubled in the final battle in ''Film/BattleLosAngeles''. The final shot in the artillery barrage is coming into to destroy [[spoiler:the AttackDrone command center]], an alien ship is moving to intercept it, and Tech Sergeant Santos has a one shot [=AT4=] to try and destroy ''it''. [[spoiler:She shoots it down, and the artillery shell destroys the commander center]].

* ''Literature/TheHobbit'': Bard shoots the dragon with the only arrow he has left. Although more justified in this case, as the one left is also a special one inherited through generations, and just before the shot Bard is told the dragon's weak spot.
* In the novel ''Literature/TheRescuers'' by Margery Sharp, Bernard (a mouse) attempts to stop the human villain from climbing a ladder. Having failed with a sword and an axe, he throws the last weapon in his arsenal, a tiny dagger. The sharp sting of the knife causes the villain to lose his grip on the ladder and come crashing to the ground.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' plays with this, with the characters being GenreSavvy and arguing about how a "one in a million shot" always works. So they get rid of all their extra arrows, and set up an increasingly convoluted way to fire the arrow to make sure that the odds of success are exactly one in a million. [[note]]They missed. Luckily, the odds of their survival if that one shot didn't work were ''exactly'' a million to one.[[/note]]
** In ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', the newly incarnated Auditors are so unused to physical sensation that chocolate will kill them. After the heroes think they've run out of suitable sweets, Miss Susan notes that there is generally one left among the empty wrappers.[[note]]A sizable group of them kill one another trying to get it. It destroys the lone survivor. [[/note]]
* Subverted in ''Literature/{{The Lost World|1995}}'', where a character is told that she only has One Bullet Left. After she makes the impossible shot, she checks the rifle and finds that there are still more bullets--she was told there was one left to motivate her.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/Adam12'': Late in the series' first season, Reed has the lesson of the importance of following direct orders to the letter brought home to him when, during a stakeout of a warehouse burglary, he is asked to not shoot unless absolutely necessary or when told. When the whole standoff ends and the robbers are captured ... Reed's gun has just one bullet left. (The argument being that, any time it takes – however fast – for the officers to reload would give the suspected robbers the opening they need to shoot and kill the officers.)
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'':
** Subverted in "Tabula Rasa", when many of the Losties think the marshal should be euthanized. Sawyer remarks on the appropriateness of there being one bullet left in the gun. Unfortunately, Sawyer shoots the marshal in the ''chest'', which doesn't kill him and makes his suffering worse.
** When Sawyer, Michael and Jin are captured by the Tailies, Sawyer's gun had a single bullet left over from the shark incident. Turns out to be very important several episodes later [[spoiler:when Ana Lucia uses it up (accidentally) shooting and killing Shannon.]]
* At the end of the episode "Revelations" of ''Series/CriminalMinds'', Reid pulls this trope off with a ''revolver''. (It's thematic, and also lampshaded.)
* Taken UpToEleven in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', with two full seasons of buildup. The heroes are hunting "the yellow-eyed demon" armed with six blessed bullets. By the time they catch up to the demon with the gun, they're down to one. [[spoiler:[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Dean doesn't miss.]]]]
* Interesting example from ''Series/BreakingBad'': Hank Schraeder has been cornered by one of Tuco's Cousins. He's about to shoot Hank, who's out of ammo, but then decides that would be too easy. Since Hank's immobilized, he calmly walks to where he left his chrome fire axe. Hank discovers that a bullet has fallen out of the Cousin's pocket (a free sample from the arms dealer earlier in the episode) just out of arm's reach. He manages to get it, loads his gun with it and kills the Cousin with a headshot, just as he's about to bring the axe down.
* This happens on ''Series/BurnNotice'' quite a bit due to various circumstances, whether in a struggle for an enemy's gun, stealing a bullet to use as a distraction, or as a handy way of breaching a barrier.
* In ''Series/{{Bones}}'', episode "The Mummy in the Maze", Booth has a fight with a guy using a shotgun who has infantry military experience. Booth is using Brennan's gun because "it's too big for me," and we get this exchange: "How the hell does a guy with military training miss with a scattergun? What were you, Navy?" "Infantry! Which is how I know you're carrying the .50 caliber 500. That's 5 shots... and by my count, you only got 1 left!" A minute later, cue Booth killing him with the last shot.
* In ''Series/GetSmart'', there was this approximate exchange:
--> "Don't try to bluff, Max. Your finger is out of bullets"\\
"No it's not, it's got one bullet left. See?"
* In the first version of ''Series/{{Zorro}}'', there's one episode where the title character is faced with a gang of outlaws, and is left to one single bullet. He manages to buy some time by asking them [[ArmorPiercingQuestion "Have you already decided which of you is going to receive it?"]]

* Subverted in Music/NickCave's "O'Malley's Bar", after the narrator has [[VillainProtagonist slaughtered everyone in the bar]] and the police are waiting for him outside.
-->Well, I checked the chambers of my gun\\
Saw I had one final bullet left\\
My hand, it looked almost human\\
As I raised it bravely to my head\\
''"Drop your weapon and come on out!\\
Keep your hands above your head!"''\\
I had one long hard think about dying\\
[[KarmaHoudini And did exactly what they said.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/BigEyesSmallMouth'' has this as one of the Gun Bunny abilities. It's based off of the "Dramatic Ammunition Rules", which say you have infinite ammo until the GM decides it would be dramatically appropriate for you to be out; [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin One Bullet Left, obviously, gives you one last shot after that]].
* In the {{Pulp}} RolePlayingGame ''TabletopGame/SpiritOfTheCentury'', Ammo normally isn't tracked; the game just assumes you brought enough and lets you get on with the fun. But if you bought a certain ability, you can ''declare'' at any time that you have one bullet left- you'll be out of ammo after your next shot, but that last bullet gets huge bonuses.
* The [[DeathOrGloryAttack Death Or Glory rule]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' can be invoked when a unit is being run down by a tank. Instead of getting out of the way with the rest of his unit, one soldier may stand directly in the vehicle's path and make a single shot with a ranged weapon or a single attack with a melee weapon. If he immobilizes or destroys the tank, he lives, otherwise he gets run over and dies messily. The dramatic potential for having an Imperial Guardsman about to be run over by a Chaos Land Raider, and then lobbing a melta-bomb through an open gun slit is limitless. As is the sheer awesomeness of having a Space Marine power-fist a tank about to run him over.
** Funnily enough, this can also work in reverse when a cheap tank [[SubsystemDamage with its ordnance already shot off]] decides to charge a [[EldritchAbomination Greater Daemon]] that will most likely slice it in half with the aforementioned rule... only for the Daemon to first miss its attack and then [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu become roadkill]]. [[DramaticIrony Especially appropriate when it happens to the bird-like Lord of Change.]]
* ''TabletopGame/StarblazerAdventures'', based on the 1980's British science fiction ComicBook. A character with the One Shot Left stunt may declare at any time that their ranged weapon only has one shot left. This gives their next shot a +3 bonus. (This is the ''same'' stunt as in ''TabletopGame/{{Spirit of the Century}}'' above, right down to the exact wording; the two games share the same basic system, although with ''Starblazer Adventures'' being a slightly later iteration there are some differences in detail as well as genre-specific add-ons.)

* The recent {{NERFBrand Nerf}} guns tend to come with 'secret storage' for one more dart, either below the barrel or up the pistol grip. It's usually not one of the features on the box art.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''VideoGame/SilentScope'' series always does this at the end, forcing the player into a situation, such as shooting out a pane of bulletproof glass, where he must waste all but the last bullet of his existing magazine (or, if there's only one or two bullets left already, the last bullet of his next magazine) before confronting the last boss. As such, you ''have'' to get a headshot on him, or it's [[NonStandardGameOver game over with the bad ending]].
** Exception: ''Silent Scope 2'' forces this situation ''after'' the last boss is killed. Your last target is the handcuffs that connect him to the DamselInDistress.
** In ''Silent Scope EX'', the first two bosses are like this; failure to headshot will yield a big LifeMeter penalty and you'll be forced to repeat the mission.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: World At War'' has a variant of this - the "Desparado" challenge has you kill an enemy with your magazine's last bullet.
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' has one mission begin with you in a room full of mooks with one round left in your revolver [[spoiler: being forced to play Russian Roulette with one of your comrades]].
*** ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' also features a multiplayer mode that has every player with a pistol (M1911 or PM), one bullet and ability to take one more bullet from a killed enemy. Missed the enemy? Your only hope now is a knife kill
* In ''VideoGame/SyphonFilterTheOmegaStrain'''s first bonus mission, Stone has a sniper rifle with only one bullet, and must kill enemies by [[NeckSnap snapping their necks]] until he finds the target.
* ''VideoGame/GHOSTSquad'' has a variant of this for the boss of mission 2: You get only one shot to headshot him, but that's because if you miss, he'll set off a grenade, not because it's your last bullet.
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez'' at the end, the bad guy takes you out with a gun shot to the head, [[spoiler: and you, with one final shot, have to shoot him in the head before he knives your companion in the back.]]
* ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' uses this with some subtlety. Raynor always carries [[RevolversAreJustBetter his pistol]] around, but never uses it. It's not until later in the game when he [[spoiler: launches a boarding action on Mengsk's flagship]] that he checks his pistol and we see it loaded with only a single cartridge in the six-chamber cylinder. He simply clicks the cylinder back in place and holsters the gun, implying he only carries that single bullet for use against that one, specific target. In reality the bullet was more symbolic of setting right the past and redeeming his mistakes, [[spoiler:thus why he uses it in the GrandFinale to [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl Save the Girl]]]].
** In the beginning of the game, Raynor shoots the bar TV when Mengsk appears on it, but it's impossible to tell if that was his only shot.
* ''VideoGame/PointBlank'' does these with its infamous "sniping" challenges, where the player is given one shot to take down a small, moving target, such as a falling leaf or a tossed coin.
* ''[[VideoGame/CounterStrike Counter-Strike: Source]]'' has the achievement "Magic Bullet" which involves killing an enemy with the last bullet you have loaded..
** The achievement points out that this has to be a non-sniper weapon.
** ''Global Offensive'' will point out a notable accomplishment of someone during each round at its end; one of the possible things to be listed is killing someone with the last bullet in your mag.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfTanks'' awards players a medal for destroying the last enemy vehicle in the battle with their last shell.
* ''VideoGame/IAmAlive'' features this situation a lot—bullets are extremely rare. The protagonist starts out with a gun with no bullets and has to bluff people attacking him into backing off often with his empty gun—or threaten two or more people with a gun that has only a single bullet.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}''
** The Gunzerker's "Money Shot" ability gives the last bullet in the magazine a damage bonus. This amount is proportional to the magazine's size to a maximum of 12, and doesn't work for single-shot weapons, otherwise every shot would get a damage boost.
** [=Zer0=]'s "0ne [=Sh0t=] 0ne Kill" skill inverts this: the ''first'' bullet fired from a full magazine gets a big damage bonus.
* The opening cutscene of ''VideoGame/ThePunisher'' video game starts out with Frank only having one shell left in his automatic shotgun, and a squad of bad guys blocking his way to the exit. Frank shoots one of the them, and stalks towards them, the goons being too terrified to act. He then [[HeyCatch throws his empty gun at one of them]] and uses a knife to kill several of them, taking one of their guns in the process.
* Damage bonus on the last shot is the passive ability of Tsygan from ''[[{{VideoGame/Sanctum}} Sanctum 2]]''. Though it has since been adjusted, the final shot from her primary weapon once dealt enough damage to one-shot an Armored Heavy (the most durable non-boss enemy in the game so far).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' and ''WesternAnimation/MerrieMelodies'': A common gag in various shorts where the antagonist uses a gun to try to shoot his prey, the gun becomes jammed and, upon investigating, is shot point blank (ergo, the gun chamber is freed). Most famous example is the hunting triology classic "Rabbit Fire", where an irritated Elmer tries to shoot Daffy Duck, but the gun locks up. Elmer remarks there were "no more buwwets" left in the gun -- a point that Bugs picks up on calls Daffy out on -- and the overconfident duck grabs the gun to make sure. Sure enough, there was "one buwwet left!"
* Subverted in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' where a bulldozer is heading straight for a tree with a tree house the kids are in. They throw everything in the house including the sink (seriously) in its path but nothing stops it. Arnold grabs a coffee mug and throws it hoping to hit the brake lever. It misses by a good deal.
* ''WesternAnimation/MightyMax'': In "The Maxnificent Seven", one of the four heroes who goes with Max, Virgil, and Norman to the center of the earth to destroy Skullmaster's Crystal of Souls is Native American warrior and master archer Yona-Ya-Yin. He winds up having only one arrow left, which he uses to save the lives of Max, Virgil, and Norman [[spoiler: by tying a rope to his last arrow, with Norman tying the other end to himself, and shooting a dragon that was flying towards where the escape portal was.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' while Steve, his friends, and Principal Lewis are fleeing the casino. They hide behind a trash can until the goons empty their weapons. Barry (who's gifted at counting) claims they're out of ammunition. Lewis bursts out only to be shot in the shoulder by the last bullet. Barry lied. While sticking his finger in the bullet wound, he points out that Lewis should never touch a fat boy's candy.
* Played straight in the ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' episode "Marabounta". When Jérémie's multi-agent system tries to destroy Aelita and eat all of Lyoko, Jérémie creates a virus to destroy it and uploads it into one of Odd's lazer arrows. He then has one chance to shoot the original agent and destroy the whole system. It then [[MadeOfExplodium explodes]].
* DoubleSubversion in the ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' episode "Homefront". Artemis is the last remaining member of the team standing, has one arrow left in her quiver, and needs to make a million-to-one shot. She takes the shot, misses, and runs away to come up with a new plan. Inevitably, when she's ready to try the new plan she's only found one replacement arrow, giving her one shot. It works.