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[[quoteright:194:[[VideoGame/{{Fallout}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Bloody_Mess_FO3.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:194:Over already?]]

Any time people gather with the goal of hitting each other until one of them falls over, the ultimate trump card would be a weapon, spell, technique, trick or what-have-you that makes people fall over ''immediately'', without all that annoying [[TheStrategist strategizing]] and [[TheMedic healing]] and stuff. The One Hit Kill is that trump card.

Often, the One Hit Kill isn't humble enough to just kill, instead [[TakenForGranite petrifying]], [[BalefulPolymorph permanently polymorphing]], or banishing its victim to the PhantomZone. At times, it's not even content with a single target, becoming a OneHitPolyKill.

Usually, the One Hit Kill comes at a price. Sometimes it's a DangerousForbiddenTechnique which to use requires [[CastFromHitPoints Casting From Hit Points]], other times it's just really hard to pull off, or leaves you wide open for a counterattack. One-Hit Kills are a [[StockRPGSpells common spell]] in {{R|olePlayingGame}}PGs. In video [=RPG=]s, it's frequently a UselessUsefulSpell because of low hit rates, [[ContractualBossImmunity inability to affect bosses]], or a prohibitive cost required to cast it, if not all three combined. {{Tabletop RPG}}s, by contrast, have a history of letting [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards those pesky spellcasters]] make these spells ''insufficiently'' useless, turning many fights into a mere QuickDraw contest. In martial arts, it frequently takes the form of the TouchOfDeath. If it only works at the start of a fight, it's a BackStab. If it only works at the end of a fight, it's a FinishingMove. If ''every'' enemy attack is a one-hit kill, the protagonist is a OneHitPointWonder.

There's also a non-lethal variant of this: The One-Hit Knockout. One Hit KO's usually don't involve anything like forbidden techniques or rare technology, just an immense amount of force applied at once, usually in the form of a punch to the face. (Bonus points if a particularly fleshy or swift and satisfying sound effect accompanies the blow.) The drawback of this is somewhat self-explanatory: It's not a kill, only a knockout. Still, it give the user at least a solid 5 minute head-start, perhaps even longer, to make an escape or thwart some evil plans before the target can recover and figure out what hit him. In certain works, this is a common reprisal when someone (accidentally or intentionally) presses someone's BerserkButton.

With bladed weapons, cinematic representation of this trope often becomes a SingleStrokeBattle. See also ChunkySalsaRule. Often a DeathOrGloryAttack. Compare CoupDeGrace. Note that if the battle is laughably brief because the attacker is much more powerful, as opposed to simply using an instant-death weapon, it's a CurbStompBattle.

----
!!Examples:

Subpages:
[[index]]
* OneHitKill/AnimeAndManga
* OneHitKill/TabletopGames
* OneHitKill/VideoGames
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* JusticeLeagueOfAmerica fans say it with me: [[http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/DataZak/blog/JL5-2.jpg One]]. [[http://www.blogcdn.com/www.comicsalliance.com/media/2010/02/hdbatmangg.jpg Punch]].
* Comicbook/{{Th|eMightyThor}}or [[http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/7/78698/1857806-thor_one_shots_namor_super.jpg knocked out]] [[Comicbook/SubMariner Namor]] with one punch in ''Invaders #33''.
* Marv from SinCity never seems to have to hit a person a second time (although sometimes he does anyway).
* In ''[[Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan The Death of Spider-Man]]'', the Human Torch does this to the Green Goblin. Keep in mind, that in [[UltimateMarvel this universe]], the Goblin is a nigh-invincible hulking beast with the ability to throw fireballs and ''not'' a guy in a suit as he is in most media.
** Though this then shifts into BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu, when Goblin - who's fire powered in the Ultimate universe - comes back from this bigger and stronger than ever, allowing him to fulfill the name of the arc.
** Later in that same arc, Peter Parker shows up, bleeding from a gunshot wound, and takes the Vulture out for a while with one web.
* The finale of ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}: ComicBook/AgeOfApocalypse'' has SelfDemonstrating/{{Magneto}} (who's the closest thing this CrapsackWorld has to a BigGood) going one on one with [[BigBad Apocalypse]], who's pounding on Magneto and asks why he doesn't fight back. Magneto responds that he can't, because he's concentrating. Apocalypse doesn't even have time to wonder what Magneto means before [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe getting ripped in half]].
* In ''Comicbook/UncannyAvengers'', Rogue accidentally does this to Grim Reaper after absorbing WonderMan's strength. She was unprepared for just how much more powerful she'd become, and ended up snapping the villain's neck with one punch.
* ''ComicBook/LaQueteDeLOiseauDuTemps'', this is a favorite of legendary warrior Le Rige, who tends to kill his preys with just one swift and powerful blow of his axe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''[[FanFic/AceCombatEquestriaChronicles Ace Combat: Wings of Unity]]'' has ''Fluttershy'' of all ponies get this in the third chapter: when the villains launch a "burst missle" that destroys a fleet of Equestrian ships, she enters a FreakOut and [[DisneyVillainDeath knocks an enemy Pegasus out of the sky to his doom]] with ''one punch'', screaming in rage the whole time. Even her friends are startled, with Firefly remarking on how she'll avoid making Fluttershy angry at all costs.
* ''[[{{FanFic/Gather}} Gather]]'' features this as Taylor's ultimate attack. As part of her AU powerset she can insantly kill any parahuman she makes skin contact with, [[PowerCopying stealing their powers]] and [[MookMaker turning them into a nearly indestructable minion]].
* Naruto gets to deal one of these out to [[spoiler:Sasuke]] in the AlternateHistory fic ''Fanfic/{{Team 8}}'' during the Chuunin Exam preliminary battles (it's a knockout instead of a kill). It's [[AllThereInTheManual fully explained in author's notes later on]], given the context of the fight--[[spoiler:Sasuke was still recovering from Orochimaru's seal being applied (and then removed), Naruto just watched Neji beat Hinata half to death in their preliminary battle and was [[TrueCompanions understandably pissed off]], and Sasuke crossed a line ''he should not have crossed'']]:
-->'''[[spoiler:Sasuke]]''': ''(as Naruto stumbles after vaulting off the balcony to the battlefield)'' Can't you do anything right, Dead-last?\\
''(Naruto ignores this remark. But...)''\\
'''[[spoiler:Sasuke]]''': ''(scoff)'' [[DudeNotFunny I hope you put up a better fight than your pathetic teammate]].\\
''(Naruto gawks at [[spoiler:Sasuke]], then [[DeathGlare glares a hole]] through him.)''\\
'''Test proctor Hayate''': Begin!\\
''(FlashStep, [[FanNickname "Fuck You" Punch]], broken jaw, [[RagdollPhysics ragdolls away]]. KO.)''\\
''({{Beat}}) [Exit Naruto.]''\\
'''Hayate''': ...winner, Uzumaki Naruto.
* In the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'', [[spoiler: Chaos easily kills Doumon by crushing her skull in his hand.]]
* "[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9060802/1/Days-of-Futures-Past-What-Does-That-Mean-It-Kinda-Sounds-Sexy Days of Futures Past What Does That Mean It Kinda Sounds Sexy]]", [[spoiler: Naruto knocks out Superboy by throwing a cake laced with Kryptonite at his face.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Any number of Kung Fu B-movies, which often featured characters (usually villains) who knew a special technique that could kill people (or otherwise take them out of a fight) instantly.
** In a parody of this, the Wuxi finger hold in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda''.
** The Flying Guillotine from the movies was a weapon version of this. If it gets on your head and the villain pulls the chain, [[OffWithHisHead it's game over for you]].
* This happens to [[spoiler:Bill]] in ''Film/KillBill: Volume 2'', when the Bride does a special move that explodes the heart of the victim after the victim takes 5 steps.
* Creator/BruceWillis pulls off a one-hit kill in ''Film/TheLastBoyScout''.
-->"I'm gonna need a light. You touch me again, I'll kill ya."
* The DuelToTheDeath in ''Film/SevenSamurai'' comes down to this.
* In ''Franchise/StarWars'', the Death Star plays this both ways. One shot from the superlaser at a target ''planet'' creates the planetary equivalent of the ChunkySalsaRule. Whereas a single proton torpedo to the thermal exhaust port, and the Death Star--the size of a moon with a crew numbering in the millions--turns itself into a planet-sized firework.
* ''Film/{{Snatch}}'' has "One Punch Mickey", Gypsy bare-knuckle boxing champion. Bonus points for doing it when he shouldn't.
* Franchise/{{Godzilla}} possesses the "Spiral Ray" in a few of his later incarnations, a supercharged, red/orange-colored variant of his normal light-blue atomic BreathWeapon. It proved capable of annihilating some of Godzilla's most powerful foes ever (such as Super Mechagodzilla, Spacegodzilla, and Kaiser Ghidorah) within seconds. The one and only time it did not provide an immediate victory was when used against Destoroyah - and that was when it was being used for the duration of the entire climactic battle - which [[TheWorfBarrage demonstrated how amazingly dangerous Destoroyah really was]].
** Kiryu (AKA "Mechagodzilla 3") possessed a weapon called the [[FreezeRay Absolute-Zero Cannon]] which could [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin instantly freeze anything it hit down to absolute zero.]] The devastating effects of the weapon are seen when Kiryu accidentally freezes several skyscrapers during a battle with Godzilla. Said skyscrapers collapsed into dust almost immediately after freezing. The lethality of the weapon is subverted when used against Godzilla himself ''twice''. The first time, Kiryu had gone berserk from hearing Godzilla's roar and was rampaging across Tokyo before they could fire the weapon. And, the second time, the Absolute-Zero Cannon was badly damaged and could only ''very'' temporarily trap Godzilla in ice.
* Kick-to-the-face in the trailer to ''Film/OngBak'' is possibly the best example ever.
* In ''Film/{{Diggstown}}'', "Honey" Roy Palmer gets pissed off and knocks out an opponent with a single punch immediately after the round starts.
--> '''Roy:''' (''to the ref'') Get the next one in here now.
* All but the tiniest phantoms in ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin'', since they're an IntangibleMan that does CollisionDamage by ripping the soul from your body like walking through a cloud of smoke.
* In ''Film/PunisherWarZone'', Frank kills a man with a single punch that penetrates his skull.
* ''Film/DriveAngry'' gives us the Godkiller. A unique gun that can kill anything shot by its bullets in one shot, and even banishes them from existence.
* In the ''Series/ISpy'' [[TheFilmOfTheSeries film]], Creator/EddieMurphy's character is a boxing champion known for one-hit [=KOs=]. Not exactly a "kill", but it would definitely end your career if you went down from one punch.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'': Galvatron [[spoiler:kills Starscream with one shot.]]
* In ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'', Godzilla performs one on the male [=MUTO=], by way of a TailSlap into a skyscraper. Amusingly, the way Godzilla turns around to deliver said attack looks almost casual.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Gamebooks]]
* A staple of Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure books are the no-escape dead ends, though gamebooks (e.g. ''Literature/LoneWolf'') fit the trope best with instant death if you're lacking the right skill/item or just plain unlucky -- being not only accepted, but ''expected''.
** In ''Literature/LoneWolf'', the bow and arrow, far from being [[AnnoyingArrows just annoying]], often allows a one-hit kill for the hero, if he chooses the right target and is enough of a good shot (though some monsters are utterly immune to this).
** The best Choose Your Own Adventures were better known for their creatively gory endings to your life than for their successful endings.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Avada Kedavra, a.k.a. the Killing Curse, from ''Literature/HarryPotter''. [[UnblockableAttack In nearly all circumstances, the only way to survive it is to not be hit]]. The fact that the title character survived it as a child is what made him a legend ("The Boy Who Lived") in the wizarding world. Quirrell in ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical'' all but uses the trope name when he describes it as BoringButPractical.
* In the second series of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber,'' Merlin knows a "neat little cardiac arrest spell." He only uses it once, but he just obliterates a Jabberwock with it. Apparently, he has a separate "death spell," but he never uses it. However, he does note that the first spell wouldn't have been a One Hit Kill on a fire [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angel]], as they have three hearts.
* In Creator/MichaelMoorcock's novel "The Eternal Champion", when [[spoiler:the Eldren]] use their ultimate weapon [[spoiler:a high-powered energy gun]] against their opponents, who are using classic Middle Ages armor, their attack is a OneHitPolyKill, obliterating entire lines of their opponents each shot.
* The Ivory Knife in P.C. Hodgell's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'', a mere scratch from which will kill; it is described as "the very tooth of Death". As one might imagine, this can be somewhat dangerous for the wielder as well. Heroine Jame carries it in her boot sheath for a long while, at first because she doesn't realize what it is, then after she knows, because she doesn't have anywhere safe she can leave it.
* Balefire in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' instantly erases from existence anyone it hits retroactively. And it kills in such a way that even the Dark One (who has power over death and can reincarnate people) can't save them.
** Balefire comes at a very high price, though. Since it kills retroactively, the past will be changed - any actions performed by the killed within for everything for a minute back to days (all according to the power of the Balefire) will now not have happened. If this happens to much, reality itself unravels, causing a ''TemporalParadox'' that can destroy the world.
* The [[HiveQueen Vord Queen]] in ''Literature/CodexAlera'' has become powerful enough by First Lord's Fury that, when an [[WorldOfBadass Aleran]] [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking High Lord]] [[BigDamnHeroes takes the field at the battle of Alera Imperia]], [[NegatedMomentOfAwesome she blasts him out of the sky with one hit]]. ''When he's protected by dozens of Citizens and knights.'' Cue the MassOhCrap.
* The demon-in-the-form-of-a-sword "Stormbringer" in MichaelMoorcock's ''[[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric of Melnibone]]'' series kills any non-magically protected human in one blow (it also eats the victim's soul). "Mournblade" is a similar demonic sword, and one story reveals that there is an entire race of these demons -- all of them taking the form of swords.
* "Morganti" weapons in ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'' are all one-hit killers. They also destroy the soul of the victim, making revivification impossible, and also making it impossible for the victim to travel the Paths of The Dead to the afterworld.
* Any of several magic words in the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' which cause instant death to whoever they were directed at.
* In Creator/FredSaberhagen's BookOfSwords series, Farslayer can kill anyone (including demons and gods) anywhere as long as they don't have Shieldbreaker or Woundhealer to save them.
* In ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'', Jadis uses the deplorable word and basically one-shots an entire planet, resulting in no more subjects for her to rule. But that's okay, a pair of children help save the day on Earth and Narnia
* Shardblades from ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' cut the soul of living things rather than the flesh, and cut straight through almost any inanimate matter without any effort. Slicing the blade through one of a victim's vital organs kills them instantly. Slicing it through a limb "kills" that limb, rending it permanently paralyzed and numb. The only beings that are likely to give somebody with a Shardblade a problem are those with a suit of Shardplate, (which can withstand a Shardblade, at least for a while) or beasts so large that the blade can't easily be sliced into their vital organs (and these are {{BFS}}s an average of six feet long, so the fact that there ARE beasts that big, and a lot of them, says [[DeathWorld something about this world]]).
* In TheDestroyer book series, the martial art of Sinanju is mostly one-hit kill moves.
* In ''Literature/BillyBudd'', the eponymous character is accused of conspiracy and mutiny aboard a British [[WoodenShipsAndIronMen man-of-war]] by the ship's master-at-arms, who is doing this to fight off his "[[HoYay strange attraction]]" to the androgynous sailor. Upon hearing this, Billy freezes up, unable to say anything in his defense. Eventually, he answers the only way he can - by punching the liar in the temple. The man dies on the spot. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:Billy is found guilty of murder by the tribunal of officers, despite them all being sympathetic to the boy, and hung the next day]]. Interestingly, [[spoiler:the tribunal was about to find him not guilty as a weird case of self-defense, when TheCaptain intervened and convinced them of the necessity of the execution]].
* In the ''Literature/StarCarrier'' series H'rulka weapons easily one-shot smaller Confederation ships, being as how their ammunition consists of what amounts to [[AbnormalAmmo miniature black holes]]. They also outrange most Confederation weapons.
* Literature/HonorHarrington delivers a One Hit KO to [[UpperClassTwit the Honorable Sir]] [[AssInAmbassador Reginald Houseman]] in ''Honor Of The Queen'', after he demands that she pull her forces out of Yeltsin's Star, leaving the Graysons to be conquered or nuked by Masada. It worked not only because Honor is a HeavyWorlder, but that he was such an EntitledBastard that he had no idea at all that she would ''dare'' to actually strike him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Doctor Who}}'' the [[OmnicidalManiac Dalek race's]] beams are this, even for other daleks, who are usually really hard to even scratch.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', especially early seasons, there are very few opponents that Clark doesn't take out in one hit.
* {{Game Show}}s: In its simplest sense, the one-hit kill was a contestant winning the game outright on the first play of the game, before his opponents even have a chance to play. Although rare, the most notable examples were:
** ''Series/TicTacDough'': The "red box" "Bonus Category," which immediately allowed the contestant another turn if he/she answered a three-part question correctly. The categories were moved to other boxes after the question, and the "Bonus Category" always appeared in an adjacent box or other space that allowed him/her to set up and eventually complete a tic-tac-toe. Played correctly – and it often was – a tic-tac-toe was completed without the opponent getting a chance to play (although he/she was always invited back to play the next game). Eventually, in the interest of fair play, the category was retired, in lieu of the modified "Double-or-Nothing."
** ''Series/TheJokersWild'':
*** Spinning three jokers on a single spin automatically won the game for that contestant ... provided he/she correctly answered a question. While it has happened several times on the game's first spin, only once – the first time it happened – did it result in the opponent not getting to play. (The opponent, a challenger, forced his smile as he was on and off the show in roughly 90 seconds.) The ""first-spin triple joker" quick kill was averted thereafter by allowing the challenger – who always played second – an opportunity to catch up by continuing to answer questions until they either caught up, won by surpassing the opponent's score or giving an incorrect answer; however, the game would end if the challenger spun the triple joker and answered the question correctly.
*** Like its sister show ''Tic Tac Dough'', the 1977-1986 syndicated version had special scoring categories, which could be used on the player's first turn to build a huge lead and virtually assure themselves a win, simply by severely pressuring the opponent. Categories fitting this example were "Fast Forward" and "Bid," both which allowed contestants to answer multiple questions in a single turn until they either stopped and kept their winnings ("Fast Forward") or completed the terms of their bid to earn the cash ("Bid").
** ''{{Concentration}}'': Solving the puzzle after making a match on the game's first turn.
* In the finale of ''Life'', [[spoiler: Crews kills Roman with one blow to the throat]].
* In the competitive robot combat show ''Series/RobotWars'' robots could be battered into submission and some robots were in fact powerful enough to disable an opponent with a single lucky blow. Robots could also be flipped over and those with no way to right themselves were immobilized and defeated. However there was only one guaranteed way to defeat an enemy robot in a single strike: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jYTotkRN5g throwing it over the wall and out of the arena.]] The first time it happened, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOojWy6Lta4 no one could believe their eyes.]] Not to mention, the pit.
* The Zat'nik'tel in ''Series/StargateSG1''. Although it takes two shots to kill, one shot delivers excruciating pain, enough to neutralize any target that's not protected against it.
* Done on ''Series/{{CSINY}}'', where a martial arts expert killed the victim of the week with a single blow to the back of the neck.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* It's pretty common in North America for a pro wrestler's FinishingMove to be used as a One Hit Kill. There are many, many matches where one participant spends the whole match getting the snot beaten out of him, then seizes an opportunity to hit his finisher and win the match. Note that this is less common in Mexico, Japan, and Europe.
** The One Hit Kill effect is essentially what made Wrestling/DiamondDallasPage so dangerous in Wrestling/{{WCW}}. You could beat him up all day, but all he had to do was hit the Diamond Cutter and he'd come out on top -- and he could hit the Diamond Cutter at a moment's notice, from ''fifty-two'' different positions.
** As well as Wrestling/RandyOrton's RKO.
** Also witness [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGoQWNElahg this WWF title match between]] Wrestling/BobBacklund and [[Wrestling/KevinNash Diesel]]. Kick, Jackknife Powerbomb, match over.
* Though he didn't use it for obvious reasons, Michael Tarver of Wrestling/TheNexus once had the gimmick of the 1.9 second punch, a punch that would instantly KO anyone.
* Wrestling/SantinoMarella has The Cobra, a jab to the throat. He's still mostly a {{Jobber}} because he wastes so much time signalling for it that he's almost always intercepted.
** And then after months, he finally hit the move for the first time on Wrestling/ZackRyder...and still ended up losing the match.
** People now have to ''sell'' the damn thing.
* Wrestling/{{Umaga}}'s Samoan Spike.
* Wrestling/ShawnMichaels and Sweet Chin Music.
* The Tombstone Piledriver: In the 2 decades that Wrestling/TheUndertaker has been using it, you can count the amount of people who have even kicked out of it ''once'' on your fingers. In fact, when Wrestling/ShawnMichaels kicked out of it at ''Wrestling/{{WrestleMania}} XXV'', the look on Undertaker's face was something akin to "WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL OF FUCKNESS JUST HAPPENED?!?!"
* Wrestling/KentaKobashi's Burning Hammer can actually one-up on the Tombstone: ''nobody'' has ever kicked out of it. As a result, he's only used it seven times to maintain its special-ness. [[MemeticMutation Well, eight if you include the time he used it on his cancer]].
* {{Wrestling/Sheamus}}. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5tCCL5RlKk The]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQB6u7n_OJc Brogue]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2PGmPevQ74 Kick]].
* Wrestling/TheBigShow. The Knockout Punch aka The Weapon of Mass Destruction.
* [[Wrestling/TheDudleyBoys Spike Dudley]]'s Acid Drop/Dudley Dog.
* A simple roundhouse kick to the head is a staple of the Japanese shoot-style finishing offensive. It's credible enough to pass for a real KO, and the UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts world has taught us that it's indeed as powerful.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', the [[EmpathicWeapon talking sword]] Chaz can kill pretty much anything with a single swing. The only limitations shown are that, for certain creatures, a specific part of the body must be hit, and that Chaz only has this power after bathing in the blood of the innocent.
** Later, 4U City's military is shown using weaponized teleporters which transport whatever they hit into AnotherDimension. Not really a one-hit ''kill'', but definitely a one-hit victory.
* The Golden Arrows from ''Webcomic/SlightlyDamned'' tend to take football sized chunks out of their targets. It's not a guaranteed kill, but it's pretty close.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Roleplay]]
* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'' uses this often. Any attack that isn't charged has an incredibly high chance of this happening to it. If the godmodder doesn't [[{{Brainwashed}} brainwash them]] and turn the summon to his side instead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'': [[http://web.archive.org/web/20090316130341/http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-544 SCP-544]] perceived threads extending upwards from the heads of others, as well as from other living things, and could kill anything instantly by cutting its thread with his mind.
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwNVQvygCNQ Art of the Instakill]]'' celebrates the trope in several modern game franchises. VisualEffectsOfAwesome included. Here's a reference for those who may not know.
** ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 3}}'': Knifing
** ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'': Knife throwing
** ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': BackStab
** ''{{Halo}}'' Series: Plasma sword
** ''Franchise/MassEffect'': Omniblade
** ''[[{{VideoGame/GoldenEye1997}} Golden Eye]]'': Golden Gun
** ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'': [=AR2=] SecondaryFire
** ''MarioKart'': Blue Shell
* Season 1 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' has [[CampGay Donut]] [[BewareTheSillyOnes throw a]] [[StickyBomb plasma grenade]] and oneshot Tex, who was halfway across a canyon and in a tank. This gets a CallBack in season 10, where he manages to lob three plasma grenades in one throw to kill three soldiers.
* One of ''Website/{{Cracked}}'''s [[http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_586_31-life-lessons-you-can-only-learn-from-video-games/ 31 Life Lessons You Can Only Learn From Video Games]] is that "no matter how strong and powerful you are, some scrub will take you out with a death spell."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** The series gives the impression that the advanced Firebending ability to shoot lightning is a One Hit Kill if it manages to get a direct hit. This is offset by the difficulty of shooting lightning in the first place (it requires a mindset which is opposite to the usual for Firebending, and insufficient skill is likely to cause it to explode in the users face), and even when mastered the time it takes to build up the charge tends to telegraph the attack.
** In the grand finale, [[spoiler: Aang's use of 'Soul Bending' borders on a peculiar sort of Have-a-Heart instant neutralization. Ty Lee was feared enough for her ability to -temporarily- kill someone's Bending. Not a 'kill', but in a world where children can throw fireballs it leaves you pretty helpless (Various big name mundanes aside) ]]
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic]]'', the main characters use [[AllYourColorsCombined the Elements of Harmony]] twice: [[spoiler: once to take down Nightmare Moon, the evil ruler of the moon, and again on Discord, the omnipotent dark god of chaos.]]
** Even without the Elements, a CircleOfFriendship attack has enough power to One Hit Kill a trio of Windigos, powerful monsters capable of causing a world ending blizzard.
* {{Film/Kramer vs|Kramer}}. Franchise/{{Predator}}, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxI6ITD42RY as seen on]] ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''.
* The Loch Ness Monster gets one on Bigfoot during their ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch'' fight when he cuts the fight short by slicing Bigfoot in half.
** In Spice Girls vs. Hanson, Marilyn Manson gets one on both combatants by crushing them under the light rigging.
** In Kid Rock vs. Eminem, Joe C jumps into the ring and eviscerates guest referee Carson Daly, but not before Carson kicks him into the air. He lands on Eminem, and takes control of Eminem's body, which he uses to take out Kid Rock with one hit.
** Jean-Claude Van Damme cuts Chuck Norris in half with one hit.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* TruthInTelevision. Many weapons don't need many hits to kill a person.
* This is the aim on both {{kendo}} and [[UsefulNotes/EuropeanSwordsmanship German School of Swordsmanship]].
* It is entirely possible to kill or knock out a person instantly with a single surprisingly gentle blow. However, beyond accidental cases there is [[http://www.straightdope.com/columns/040521.html little evidence for the existence of a reliable martial technique]]. Chances of an instant knockout are significant if any highly trained fighter is given a reason to go all out against an opponent with little or no conditioning. Even if the attacker has no training, (un)lucky hits can lethally aggravate a pre-existing condition (aneurysms are particularly infamous) and kill in short order.
* It is very possible, if very rare, to cause someone to go into fibrillation (heart beating so rapidly and without any rhythm, such that it doesn't actually pump any blood) simply from hitting them in the right place, with the right force, at the right point of a heartbeat. It doesn't even have to be a hard hit. It is unfortunately common in athletes. One minute they're active, then they get what seems to be a hard bump to the chest, and then they're down and out. Of course, CPR and defibrillation, as well as quick medical treatment has a chance of bringing them back. But for all intents and purposes, until their heartbeat goes back to normal, they are dead.
* ''Nuclear weapons'', capable of annihilating entire cities and [[OneHitPolykill the inhabitants located in them]]. Project Orion would suggest that a properly designed structure can survive hundreds of nuclear weapons.[[note]]"Properly designed" here meaning "designed with the intention of nuking it hundreds of times."[[/note]]
* The Box Jellyfish, the quickest-killing venomous animal known. It generally takes somewhere between 5 minutes to a second for its sting to kill. [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/27/box-jellyfish-stings-australian-girl-survives Only one person is known to have survived from one]].
* The poison dart frog poison kills even faster; less than 3 seconds; it has to get in the blood though, so contact itself probably won't kill you. Unless it's the ''Golden'' Poison Dart Frog, which can.
* In naval warfare, a well-aimed or lucky hit in the opposing ship's magazine can lead to that ship being blown up by its own ammunition. This is what basically happened to three British battlecruisers at the battle of Jutland in 1916 and to the ''HMS Hood'' in 1941. Similarly, hydrogen-filled Zeppelins in WorldWarOne were easily downed with just one burst of incendiary ammunition (it had to be specifically incendiary, though -- being both huge and lighter than air, just putting some small bullet holes into them otherwise proved surprisingly ineffective) and a number of WorldWarII planes were quite vulnerable to hits in their fuel tanks, most notoriously the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_G4M Mitsubishi "Betty"]] aka the "one-shot lighter" or "flying zippo".
* This can also happen with torpedoes. Specifically, a magnetic (or other proximity) torpedo detonating a short distance below the keel of a vessel has the potential to "break its back". Causing the ship to split in two and [[CaptainObvious sink relatively rapidly]]. It doesn't even have to be in the main magazines! At least one of the hits at Jutland was a turret hit, which wouldn't have been a problem except that the Royal Navy battlecruisers' gunners were bypassing safety protocols for the sake of rapid fire and leaving a nice, flammable chain of cordite leading all the way to the magazines. That, and the fact that the cordite stock hadn't been sufficiently rotated and the stuff was a bit old and chemically twitchy, added up to cause disaster.
** The "back breaking" effect happened to one US ship during World War II from a kamikaze aircraft instead of a torpedo. The aircraft crashed in front of the ship, the ship ran over it, and subsequently got destroyed by an airplane which had already been shot down.
* In WorldWarI the SMS ''Szent István'' was torpedoed in the aft boiler, killing the power needed to use the pumps and throw the water out. In fact a direct hit from a well-placed torpedo will sink most warships, with only the biggest capable of surviving.
* Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushinaki Karate, was considered in his time the embodiment of "One Strike, Certain Death". Three times in exhibitions, he killed a ''full-grown bull'' with a single punch.
* A lot of pesticides are made like this.
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