"Today Is a Good Day for Someone Else to Die!"
It's time for the hero to go to battle, to take action, to strive. Surely such a moment is worthy of an exclamation. If the hero (and it's almost always a hero
) is up to it, he might produce a one-off Pre Ass Kicking One Liner
suitable for the occasion. It's not rare, though, to instead utter an appropriate Catch Phrase
: the hero's trademarked Battle Cry.
A Battle Cry is usually written in title caps, and ends with an exclamation point or three.
This is more frequently a convention of comics, animation and video games than of live action, for some reason.
They have also appeared historically, in Real Life
. Helps with Friend or Foe
A common variation is calling out "Geronimo!" while leaping from a great height (usually when parachuting out of a plane). This is derived from an Apache chief known as Geronimo
, notorious for the seemingly suicidal raids he would undertake while using his name as a battle cry, leading to his name's association with insane endeavors
Compare Rousing Speech
. Screaming Warrior
is sometimes an instance of this trope. Might also manifest as the dreaded Funny Bruce Lee Noises
Contrast In the Name of the Moon
, which is a longer speech and happens before the fight really starts.
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Anime & Manga
- The Tick
- The Tick parodies this convention with "Spoon!"
- And his sidekick Arthur's "Not in the face! Not in the face!"
- Fantastic Four
- Ben Grimm: "It's Clobberin' Time!"
- Mark Waid once said that the Avengers' battle cry is "Avengers Assemble", and the Fantastic Four's is "Johnny, wait, don't!"
- Johnny Storm also has "Flame on!", which he says whenever he bursts into flames to attack an enemy. He doesn't have to say it (as evidenced by all the casual setting-himself-on-fire he does when not fighting), but he almost always does.
- In the Ultimate universe, Johnny did have to say "Flame on!" whenever he wanted to use his powers, before he became more competent with his powers. Conversely, he also originally had to say "Flame off!" when he wanted to return to normal.
- Captain America
- "Avengers Assemble!" The phrase can and is said by any Avenger, but Cap seems to say it the most. Sometimes, for added pathos, "Avengers" is drawn out or has its own explanation point, and back in the '80s the team sometimes used "Avengers! Attack!"
- Lampshaded in JLA/Avengers during the final battle, where they are technically fighting under the Avengers name (since Captain America is in charge). Everyone screams "AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!", and then the Wasp adds in for the benefit of her friends from The DCU: "And Justice Leaguers, uh— LAMBASTE!"
- Inverted in the Civil War arc series, in which the Registration detractors under Captain America shout "AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!" and Bishop replies "What's he talking about? I though our side was the Avengers?"
- The Teen Titans have "Titans Together!" In the animated series, it was just "Teen Titans, Go!" or "Titans! Go!"
- The Thunderbolts (infrequently) used to have "Justice like Lightning! Thunderbolts!"
- Howling Commandos: "WA-HOO!"
- Usagi Yojimbo: "RYAAAAAAAAAAA—"
- Blackhawk: "Hawkaaa!"
- Incredible Hulk: "HULK SMASH!"
- Possibly parodied by Birds of Prey's Misfit with "DAAAARKK VENGEEAAANCCE!" (She's a Batgirl wannabe, you see.)
- In Battleground: Tattooine, some Imperial troopers abandoned into slavery on Ryloth are scooped up by the Rebels and allowed to go after their old commander.◊ "SEMMM-TIINNNN!"
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- The Turtles: "COWABUNGA!"
- Casey Jones in the Mirage Comics had the phrase, "GOONGALA!" It's seldom remembered in other works.
- In the eighties series the turtles would often enter battle with, "Turtles fight with honor!" Though it was sometimes said by just Leonardo. In one episode, however, the Shredder retorts as follows:
Turtles fight with honor! Shredder:
(pulls out pair of laser guns
) But I fight dirty.
- In an all-Wolverine edition (it's complicated) of the Sliders-esque Exiles comic, the little girl Wolverine-thing (it's even more complicated) asks "Anyone have a battle cwy?" Zombie Wolverine responds with "Lunchtime!"
- In one battle, Loki actually wound up on the same side as Thor and Odin while all of their allies were elsewhere. As the three launched themselves at their giant foe, Odin shouted, "For Asgard!" Since Earth was also endangered, Thor yelled, "For Midgard!" And Loki? Loki proclaimed, "For Myself!"
- Sub-Mariner: Namor has "Imperius Rex" which translates out as something like "Power of the King", or to put it more simply, "You're about to get your backside handed to you cause I'm Namor, bitch!"
- The Wreckers from Transformers have one: "WRECK AND RULE!"
- ElfQuest: "AAAYOOAHH!"
- American Vampire: "Semper Fi, motherfuckers!"
- Rahan will proudly yell "RAAAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!", though he uses it more often as a victory cry than a battle cry.
- In With Strings Attached, the Hunter yells the name of his BFS during battles: “Blackfire! Blackfire!”
- In Ace Combat The Equestrian War, Cloud Kicker comes up with a battle cry for the Mirage squadron: "May the sun and moon shine upon us!"
- The Immortal Game: Rainbow Dash coins one for the pegasi Loyalists. Twilight borrows it when she fights alongside them during the Battle of the Everfree.
Rainbow Dash: Thunder and lightning!
Troops: Wings and steel!
- In the Dashverse story Hot Heads, Cold Hearts, and Nerves of Steel, we have this exchange when the group is going to enter Sombra's palace, and Applejack asks if anyone has anything to say for inspiration.
Zecora: There is a seapony battle cry of which I am aware. Cry halibut and let slip the cods of war!
(beat of silence as everyone else stares)
Zecora: ...I said it was a battle cry. I never said it was good, by the by.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Longfellow's Excelsior is an ironic commentary on this trope.
- Conan the Barbarian: "Do You Want to Live Forever?!"
- Various groups of Redwall critters over the course of the series have had their own battle cries. The three most common are "Redwaaaaaaaaaall!" (duh), "Mossfloweeeeeeeer!", and "Eulaliaaaaaaaaaa!", the traditional battle cry of Badger Lords (and the Long Patrol).
- Also "Logalogalogalogaloga...!"
- The soldiers of Salamandastron have the signature battle cry.
- Subverted in Lois McMaster Bujold's The Warrior's Apprentice. While boarding an enemy ship, one of Mile's people enters a room with a "Whoop!" looking for someone to shoot. Miles points out that "You know, it might be better if we don't yell, going in. It's startling. It's bound to be a lot easier to hit people if they're not jumping around and ducking behind things."
- The Lord of the Rings
- Théoden's speech from the Film of the Book, above, is composed mostly of things said by Éomer, in the book, after he first sees his uncle the king die, thinks his sister Éowyn is dead, and then later, just when he thought they might be winning, sees the Corsair ships coming in, with what he assumes are reinforcements. Although "now for wrath, now for ruin, and a red nightfall" is the last line of a poem he speaks, laughing 'at despair,' when he thinks he's about to die by Corsair, since "he was young, and he was king: the lord of a fell people." Still, these circumstances probably explain why the words themselves are so depressing.
- Aside from this, the books contain a lot of battle-crying. Frodo yells "For the Shire!" when he stabs an orc in Moria; Gimli "Khazâd! Khazâd!" before leaping into battle at Helms Deep; Éomer and Aragorn say "Gúthwinë for the Mark!" and "Andúril for the Dúnedain!" when they draw swords together, and so on and so on.
- Professor Tolkien helpfully adds a translation of the traditional Dwarf battle-cry, "Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!" i.e.,"Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!", which is a helpful warning that a lot of hairy kneecappers are about to run up one side of you and down the other.
- Aragorn also often cries with the name of his ancestor Elendil.
- In The Silmarillion, at the end of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears: the Elves and their human allies have finally marched against Morgoth, they are losing and will never recover from this defeat. Húrin, a human warrior, is alone and about to be captured by trolls, but he is still fighting and all the while he keeps shouting: "Aurë entuluva !" — "Day shall come again !" — since he's fighting to allow the army of Gondolin to withdraw.
- Discworld's Dwarfs yell "Today is a good day for someone else to die!"
- In Sourcery, Nijel the Destroyer has "Erm, excuse me..."
- The Nac Mac Feegle like their battlecries. But because they're all stubborn individualists (despite having a hive structure), when a swarm of Feegles attack you, every one of them will be shouting something different.
- "Remember Koom Valley" is another one, used by both Dwarves and Trolls. This may fall into disuse after the events of Thud!
- Commander Vimes's terrifying war cry as he enters a berserker rage, also found in Thud!: "THAT IS NOT MY COW!!!!"
- In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Tyson was attacked by a swarm of monsters. He tried to say, "For Poseidon!", but since his mouth was full, it came out wrong. The other Cyclops took up the cry, screaming, "PEANUT BUTTER!"
- In H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, Kalvan sets up a battle cry for Friend or Foe, but adds "Down Styphon!" to make the issues clear. Later, a captured enemy complains of having been attacked by his own side when screaming his battle cry.
- The Dresden Files
- In the book Summer Knight, Harry has "I DO NOT BELIEVE IN FAIRIES!" before charging into battle and unleashing his surprise against the Summer Lady.
- In the same battle Harry recruits several faeries (of the several inch tall variety) by buying them pizza. Their battle cry? "For the pizza lord!"
- In Ghost Story, Harry gets himself an army of ghosts. His Battle Cry for them? "BOO!"
- Dune. The Fremen under Paul Atreides had two battle cries: "Muad'Dib!" (Paul's public Fremen name) used by all Fremen and "Ya Hya Chouhada" ("Long live the fighters!"), used by his Fedaykin death commandos.
- In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, every Kencyr House has its own battle-cry. That of the heroine's House is the scream of a rathorn, a terrifying carnivorous unicorn-like beast.
- Henry V: "Follow your spirit, and upon this charge, / Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!' "
- The Elric Saga: "Blood! Blood and souls for my lord Arioch!"
- In the last Fablehaven book, Newel and Doren, junk-food-and-TV-loving satyrs, shout "Frito-Lay!" before battle.
- Rachel's cry of "Let's do it!" became a custom at the start of every battle. Later none of them felt right going into battle without it.
- Also the free Hork-Bajir battle cry: "FREE OR DIE!"
- Inverted by the legions of Glen Cook's Dread Empire: "The soldiers of Shinsan fought, and died, without a word or cry. Their silence had unnerved men more experienced than Torfin." They're not under any kind of enchantment, or with tongues cut out; they're just that disciplined.
- Tar Gibbons, the Master of Martial Arts from Rod Albright Alien Adventures yells out "Hee-yah! Frizzim Spezzack!" before attacking. Strangely, despite the Tar having Translator Microbes, this phrase is never translated.
- Mat Cauthon from The Wheel of Time seems to be fond of these.
- A notable example is "Carai an Caldazar! Carai an Ellisande! Al Ellisande!" ("For the honor of the Red Eagle! For the Honor of the Rose of the Sun! The Rose of the Sun!") from the first book.
- Subverted and made more realistic later on, when his battle cry is "Blood and bloody ashes!"
- When fighting the Gholam in Towers of Midnight: "Al dival, al kiserai, al mashi!" (For light, glory and love!) "Carai an manshimaya Tylin. Carai an manshimaya Nalsean. Carai an manshimaya ayend'an!" (Honor of my blade for Tylin. Honor of my blade for Nalsean. Honor of my blade for the fallen!)
- The title family of the Deathstalker series has maintained the battle cry of "SHANDRAKOR!" for centuries, in memory of said Death World.
- A Song of Ice and Fire
- Most of the battle-cries are the name of either their family or their city.
- This gets Arya in trouble at one point when she's supposed to be in disguise, then shouts the name of her home castle, "Winterfell!" during a battle. Fortunately, her friend Gendry manages to convince everyone that they misheard, and that her battle cry is actually, "Go to Hell!"
- Discussed briefly by Tyrion in his Rousing Speech during the defence of King's Landing. He specifically declares that he is not going to shout the name of the king or his own city, and instead reminds his troops that King's Landing is their city, and that is his warcry when he leads the charge. Tyrion's nickname of "Halfman" becomes the Battle Cry of the city's defenders.
- The untrained and cowardly baker's boy known as Hot Pie shouts his own name when he is forced into combat, much to Arya's amusement.
- The clans have them in Warrior Cats. The Dark Forest also has, "Kill the clans!"
- There are lots of them in Greek Ninja. The weirdest one by far is brought to us by Eleonora.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe
- The battle cry of the various legions in Codex Alera is "X for Alera!", with X being the name of the city the specific legion is based in. The exception to this is the First Aleran, which is made from legionaries from every part of the nation. Their battle cry is simply "Alera!".
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? occasionally mocks these during skits involving gladiators, Vikings, or other warriors by giving them the the most unintimidating battle cries ever.
- Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena's battle cry is just too darn epic! Few characters try imitating it as well. It's something like "Aye-yee-yee-yee-yee-yee-yee-yee-yee." Lucy demonstrates. It's called uluation, boys.
- Doctor Who
- Also "Delete! Delete!"
- For the Tenth Doctor, "Allons-y!"
- And for the Eleventh (by the looks of it), "Geronimo!" (occasionally)
- Jamie often utters the battle cry "Creag an tuire".
- Titus Pullo has "THIRTEEN!" (his old legion) in Rome. Sets up a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for him and Lucius Vorenus.
- Power Rangers
- Power Rangers S.P.D. both uses and parodies this at the same time in episode 11, when the Rangers scream "BATTLE CRY!" as they maneuver towards the enemy in their Megazord.
- Many teams and individuals have these, but it probably falls under the "In the Name of the Moon" category, as they're more than a word or two and involve signature poses.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- An episode where Jadzia Dax was called upon to help three elderly Klingon warriors she'd known back in her previous host avenge the murder of their firstborn sons, one of whom was then-Curzon Dax's godson also amended the aforementioned battle cry with, "... but a better day to live," after Jadzia persuaded the three old boys that this might be The Last Dance, but it didn't have to be a Suicide Mission because they were going to fight smart.
- "VICTORY IS LIFE!"
- "FOR CARDASSIA!!!"
- Community: "Britta for the Win!"
- Chiana from Farscape has a battle cry that can best be described as "BRRRRRRUUUUGHHHH-YI-YI-YI-YAAAAAAH!"
- Captain Dashell in Death Valley always ends his briefings with "Let's get out there and kill something!"
- The Never-Fail clan from Level Up borrowed one from the real-life section, "Tulta munille!" as a battle cry for everything they do that is outside their normal comfort zone.
- Arthur occasionally uses "For the love of Camelot!"
- "ON ME!" is also popular in Camelot.
- Highlander as with the films, "There can be only one!" is very common.
- Every once in a while, on NCIS Gibbs likes to growl "Ooh-rah".
- Kamen Rider Den-O has Momotaros saying "Go ! Go ! Go !", on top of each Imagin's Catch Phrase.
- Klaus, The Big Guy in the French series Hero Corp, is fond of "PINAGE !!" (which can be roughly translated by "PWNAGE!!").
- Noob has a fictional MMORPG with three factions (Empire, Coalition and Order) who use "Les ennemis de l'Empire doivent perir" (Enemies of the Empire must perish), "Coalition! Destruction!" and "L'Ordre dominera Olydri! L'Ordre est infini!" (The Order will dominate Olydri / The Order is infinite) respectively.
- From wrestling: "Let's Get Ready to Rumble!" is the odd example of a battle cry uttered by a third party.
Very odd, as you won't hear it during any Pro Wrestling event held since WCW ended. Michael Buffer, boxing announcer and MC— who occasionally introduced WCW main events — has trademarked the phrase and has been somewhat aggressive against those who use it — not surprising as according to The Other Wiki, he's made $400 million off of those five words alone... (Buffer's introductions are deleted from WWE 24/7.)
- In team sports, a collective battle cry before the match is not uncommon.
- The All Blacks, New Zealand's national rugby union team, start every game with the Haka, a Maori war chant. Perhaps a bit more organized than the Trope category calls for, but impressive nonetheless. Ironically, haka Ka Mate is not a war haka, and the current haka was written specifically for the All Blacks.
- Warhammer 40,000
- Every Space Marine chapter and legion has their own battlecry, though virtually every Imperium force may use "For the Emperor!" and "The Emperor protects!".
- The orks have the ever-recognizable "WAAAAGGGGH!"
- The Eldar use "For the Craftworld!" in Dawn of War, but background material also includes "KHAINE!" and a wordless scream from the Howling Banshees.
- Khorne worshippers has "Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!" as a Catch Phrase. Which characters in the Ciaphas Cain novels very much enjoy mocking them for. See the Quotes tab.
- There's also a joke warcry for Slaaneshi cultists: "Porn for the Porn God! Smut for the Smut Throne!"
- Warhammer 40,000 also includes a number of memorable subversions: for example, in His Last Command, the Tanith 1st have been merged with the 81st Belladon to become the 81/1st (recon). Their commander muses on the difficulty of merging all the regimental traditions, and notes that a Battle Cry of "Fury of Belladon, for Tanith, for the Emperor, and, by the way, Remember Vervunhive!" gets full marks for effort, but'll leave you dead in a slit trench before you can finish saying it and get on with the fight...
- This is so ubiquitous that the Tyranids and Necrons are noted as being especially creepy for not using them. Furthermore, the Legion of the Dammed are noted for fighting in "disturbing silence".
- The various Chaos Legions each have their own, ranging from the Iron Warriors' monotone chant of "Iron Within, Iron Without" to the Night Lords' "We have come for you!"
- Warhammer Fantasy has the same warcry for orcs and it even has an official spelling (it's always spelled WAAAGH!, though the alternate capitalization Waaagh! can be used when referring to an Ork army instead of the battle cry itself). The Khorne worshippers uses the same as in 40k. The regiments of renown also had a warcry each.
- Legend of the Five Rings: The Crab Clan usually employ "HIDA!!!" as a battle cry.
- ThunderCats and ThunderCats (2011)
- Thunder... THUNDER... THUNDERCATS, HOOOOOOO!!!!! and from the latter:
- For the pride!
- Clerics, to the death!
- G.I. Joe
- The G.I. Joe team uses "Yo, Joe!"
- And on the other side: "COOOBRAAAAA!"
- And: "COOOBRAAA-LALALALALALALALALA!"
- Danny Phantom
- American Dragon Jake Long: "DRAGON UP!"
- "Autobots! Transform and roll out!"
- Due to them being animals, the phrase is not used in Beast Wars — until Optimus Primal gets Optimus Prime's spark (read: soul) in his body, where he orders the Maximals to "Transform and roll out" as a Shout-Out. In Beast Wars, the transformation code phrases were often used interchangeably with battle cries. Inferno's frenzied shouts of "For the ROYALTY!" fills this purpose.
- Coopted by Megatron in Transformers Animated with the more aerial-oriented "Decepticons! Transform and rise up!" Also fitting considering their evil-rebel nature in the Animated universe.
- Megatron has also been known to use the more succinct "Decepticons! ATTACK!"
- ALL HAIL MEGATRON!
- Code Lyoko, William: "FOR XANA!"
- CAPTAIN CAAAAAVVVEEEEEEEMMAAAAANNNNNNNN!
- Dave the Barbarian loves to parody this trope, with Strom the Slayer's "Al-limba-lee!" When Dave has to create one it involes a Hammer Space hat and cane: "Look out world, cause here I come!" sung like a Broadway hit.
- The Tick: "SPOOOOOOOOOON!"
- Arthur: "Not in the face! Not in the face!"
- The Super Hero Squad Show: "Hero Up!"
- Toxic Crusaders parodies this trope, then plays it straight. Toxie's original Battle Cry is "I hope I don't get hurt!", but he later changes it to "It's clean-up time!"
- The Problem Solverz: "ALFEEEEEEEEE!"
- Beast Wars
- "For the Royalty!"
- "For the glory of the colony!"
- Codename: Kids Next Door:
"KIDS NEXT DOOR: BATTLE STATIONS!!! 5!, 4!, 3!, 2!, 1!"
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers: "Let our powers combine! Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! Go Planet!" Captain Planet's statement probably also counts. "By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!"
- Dino Squad: "Go Dino!"
- Thundarr the Barbarian: "Ariel, Ookla, Ride!"
- The Other Wiki has an extensive list of Real Life battle cries, as well as some fictional examples. A particularly notable is the one used by the Japanese in WWII ("Banzai!").
- Yelling the words "Attack!" or "Charge!" in relevant situations may very well count as a Battle Cry, with good reason, since in those relevant situations it likely also counts as an order or "advice" to the yeller's allies.
"Fire!" may also count.
- Teddy Roosevelt added to the mounting evidence that he was a Badass at the battle of San Juan Hill when he ordered his Rough Riders not to "Charge" but to "Follow me!" Which btw happens to be the motto of the Infantry Officer's School.
- The Scots Covenanters' battle cry (from the English Civil War, which spilled over into Scotland) was "Christ and No Quarter!" Short, terrifying, and internally inconsistent.
- HAKKAA PÄÄLLE! Litteraly translates as "Hack them down!" or "Keep on hacking!". War cry of the Finnish auxiliary cavalry. Also short, to the point and completely pants-shittingly terrifying.
- This war cry is today used by Finnish ice hockey fans.
- Finnish cavairy didn't follow the normal battle tactics of the time. Instead of "shoot-retreat-reload-repeat" they went "shoot-shoot-CHARGE". For a soldier who was used to the former, this could be a major Oh Crap moment.
- This war cry was also popular during the Winter War. Another, popularized by The Unknown Soldier, was "Tulta munille!", which roughly translates to "Fire at their balls!", as according to The Other Wiki.
- "Aayo Gurkhali!note "
- Even hotter tip: If you hear this, run the fuck away.
- The Sikhs have this: "Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!"note
- While the US Marine Corps is known for saying "Semper Fi", they are just as likely to issue forth a loud, guttural OORAH.
- Those families or clans that fought in the Crusades were awarded a Coat of Arms, and these would have the clan's battle cry on a banner above the helm. The clan motto is always placed below the shield. The pattern on the shield and the battle cry were critical devices for determining true allies from imposters.
- During The American Civil War, Confederate soldiers had a distinctive, blood-curdling "Rebel Yell" that was terrifying to Union soldiers. Sadly, nobody today knows what it actually sounded like, given that audio recording technology had yet to be invented.
- "¡Desperta Ferro!" (literally, "Awake iron!"), the most characteristic battle cry of Iberian Almogavar warriors.
- Allied fighter pilots in World War II used "Tally-ho". Germans used, "Horrido". Both of these naturally enough, were originally hunting calls.
- The Indonesians in their war of independence: "MERDEKAAA!" note
- The small, but carefully selected and well-trained Swedish army of the late 17th and early 18th centuries relied on strict personal discipline and courage of the individual soldier to defeat numerically superior enemy forcesnote . They would usually approach and charge without any battle cry, which in itself unnerved the enemy to the point that they broke and ran.
- Remember Pearl Harbor, while not nearly as popular in the field as the Marines' Semper fi!, it was popular enough for a Take That so subtle that the victim didn't even know about it: While in US coustody after the war, General Tojo Hideki was provided with a set of dentures. The US Navy dentist who built them engraved 'Remember Pearl Harbor' in Morse code across the lower teeth, taking care to position the message so that tip of Tojo's tongue would always rest against those words.