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Archery is all about precision. The standard archery contest (in both fiction and real life) involves a marked target, and points based on how close to the center (or bull's eye) the archer can place his arrow.

A common dramatic situation is one where TheRival shoots first, and hits the target right in the center. It looks like TheHero has lost the competition, until he fires ''his'' arrow at the opponent's and splits it in half lengthwise.

To some extent, this is TruthInTelevision. It's not unusual for aluminum arrows to "telescope" -- one stuck in the end of another. Most archery ranges that have been open any length of time will have some examples mounted on the wall. However, for this trope to be active, the second arrow has to split the first from nock to tip. This normally requires everyone (or at least the first archer) to be using wooden arrowshafts.

In the field, this is known as a shaft shot, sometimes called [[PersonAsVerb Robin Hooding]].

This is a subtrope of ImprobableAimingSkills, and a SisterTrope to ShootTheBullet. Compare to WilliamTelling.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Trope Maker ]]

* RobinHood. Most people will be most familiar with the scene from Errol Flynn's ''Film/TheAdventuresOfRobinHood'', but the story has been traced back to the 17th century ballad "Robin Hood and Queen Catherin". It became a popular part of the legend when Creator/WalterScott used it in ''Literature/{{Ivanhoe}}''.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''GreenArrow'' #18, bad guy archer Komodo is shown effortlessly doing this during practice to illustrate what a superlative archer he is.

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[[folder: Film - Animated ]]

* Disney's ''Disney/RobinHood'' had the titular character shoot an arrow mid-flight to change its course, resulting in this trope.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'' this is how Merida wins the archery contest to avoid an ArrangedMarriage. Not only does her arrow split the other arrow, but it also [[UpToEleven goes straight through the target and hits the stand behind it!]]

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[[folder: Film - Live Action ]]

* Played with in the [[NotJustATournament archery contest scene]] in ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights'', where Lucky Luca does this to ''Robin's'' arrow.
-->'''Villager:''' He split Robin Hood's arrow in twain! (''whereupon one of his teeth flies off'')
** Robin's Patriot Arrow flies wildly around, before slamming into the target utterly destroying the other arrows.
* Robin's daughter Gwyn does this in ''Film/PrincessOfThieves''; splitting the arrow at 100 yards to win the tournament.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the second book of the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series, Kahlan mentions her Home Guard gives ribbons for such shots (called shaft shots). A few had half a dozen ribbons, one had ten. She herself manages such a shot after some training by Richard... who, due to his magical powers awakening, ruined a hundred arrows in a single session.
* The ''Literature/TimeWars'' novel ''The Ivanhoe Gambit'' has a scene where one of the time-travelling heroes, standing in for Robin Hood, pulls off this feat using a high-tech arrow with a built-in guidance computer.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Both Alfred and the villain known as The Archer did this several times in ''Series/{{Batman}}''.
* The ''Series/MythBusters'' took on the Errol Flynn scene twice, and busted it both times. They suspect the arrow Flynn (or archery advisor Howard Hill) shot at had been tampered with -- their guest archer pulled the split off on the first try when firing at a hollow bamboo arrow.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E3RobotOfSherwood Robots of Sherwood]]" takes this UpToEleven when Robin Hood and the Doctor keep splitting one anothers' arrows in the famous archery contest. [[spoiler: Though the Doctor later confesses to cheating with homing arrows.]]

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* ''PrinceValiant'' (Jan. 6-13, 2013) takes it over the top, with the challenger splitting ''every one'' of her opponent's arrows, no matter where on the target they are. Making an impression is apparently more important than winning the tournament, or else she would consider aiming for the center of the bull's-eye.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''Tabletopgame/{{GURPS}}: RobinHood'' includes Robin Hood style characters for different settings. The WildWest version is a WhiteManGoneNative whose native name 'Splits Arrow' comes from performing this feat.

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[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' had [[SecretRelationship Janet and Willy]] doing [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=615 this]] "fancy shooting", resulting in a draw on the last shot of a competition. It looks like they cooperated and rehearsed this "accident", of course.

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* PlayedForLaughs in ''[[http://shirtoid.com/22888/fluke/ Fluke]]'' by Glennz.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': Near the beginning of "[[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheBlueSpirit The Blue Spirit]]" episode, the [[EliteMooks Yu-Yan Archers]] are shown at a firing range. One of them splits an arrow, then splits that arrow, and finally the third arrow in succession, so each is embeded in the other.
* Parodied in a ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch where Robin Hood does this to the Sheriff of Nottingham's arrow and the Sheriff argues that this shouldn't mean [[GoldenSnitch an automatic win]].
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/DaveTheBarbarian'' has Dave's girlfriend for the episode doing this during their FallingInLoveMontage, at which point they're doing ''[[ArtisticLicensePhysics underwater]]'' [[ArtisticLicensePhysics archery]].
* The opening credits of ''WesternAnimation/RobinHoodDaffy'' have an arrow flying into the centre of a target, followed by a series of arrows each flying into the end of the one before it. The camera pulls back to reveal that Daffy is firing each arrow from less than an inch away.

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