Curb-Stomp Battle

"Flawless victory."
Mortal Kombat screen after winning a round while taking no damage.

A fight that's extremely one-sided; where one side just absolutely trashes the other with little-to-no effort. Commonly used as a way of establishing a character as being very strong, especially if the person on the receiving end of the beating is known for being a badass.

The name comes from the act of forcing someone to lie down in the street and bite the curb, then stomping on the back of their head. About as humiliating of an ass-kicking as you could imagine, especially since it kills you. If you survive, you'll still be missing most of your teeth and have a severely broken jaw.

Sometimes, this is played for humor; other times, it tends to be a Moment of Awesome.

Sometimes, it actually makes sense by the logic of the story, but writers use Third Act Stupidity to avert it.

Compare Pendulum War, which is where sides take turns to perform this trope upon each other. In Professional Wrestling this frequently overlaps with Squash Match. In video games, see Flawless Victory. Breather Bosses and Anticlimax Bosses are the types most likely to be on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle. If this is done to the heroes, on the other hand, it becomes a Hopeless Boss Fight, often from a Hero Killer. Compare No Sell. Contrast Story-Breaker Team-Up. If the curbstompee manages to get a few good hits in to show that they're not totally helpless, it's a Curb Stomp Cushion. A No-Holds-Barred Beatdown is similar but much more realistic, brutal, and violent.

One-Hit Kill is a subtrope that's Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A subtrope for elections is Landslide Election. No Kill Like Overkill is often the result of a Curb-Stomp Battle.


Alternative Title(s):

One Sided Battle, Curb Stomp