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Deadly Dodging
"When fighting blind men, it's best to get out of the way."
Mr. Han, The Karate Kid

A common trick when fighting a Giant Mook, but often seen elsewhere is to find a way to use their power against them. The simplest way to do this is using your own cunning and speed.

Deadly Dodging is a short term in-combat form of Batman Gambit. Arrange things so that the enemy attempts to hit you, but move at the last minute, causing them to hit whatever you conveniently arranged to be behind you.

Common targets include:

While this is usually punches, it can be used on projectiles. Used frequently in kids cartoons to avoid having the heroes actually hit their opponents. In Video Games, this is a fairly common way to defeat the Puzzle Boss, often stretching credulity to the point of Boss Arena Idiocy. Even without Puzzle Bosses, this is also a favorite way of dealing with large numbers of Mooks. Some (usually older) games even allow enemies to begin infighting with each other when you do this properly.

Compare Wronski Feint. See also: Hoist by His Own Petard, Karmic Death, Could Have Been Messy, Bullfight Boss, and Bulletproof Human Shield. Somewhat inverted by Exactly What I Aimed At, where this is making an foe's attack miss and do them harm, rather than you yourself deliberately missing to do another harm.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the third episode of Black Lagoon, Dutch takes out two ships of the fleet of pirates sent after the crew by a disgruntled client when they incompetently attempt a pincer attack on the titular ship by letting off speed and letting the two annihilate each other with their own guns. Revy then proceeds to take out the rest of the pirate fleet singlehandedly in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • The very basis of the Hiryuu Shoten Ha (Flying Dragon Ascension Wave) in Ranma ½ is based on this. The practitioner must goad the foe into a spiral pattern while making them discharge a hot Battle Aura, all while dodging the enemy attacks and keeping a cool aura (and a clear mind) oneself. Upon reaching the nexus, the martial artist winds up and delivers a spinning uppercut —not only does this final punch release the user's cold aura in a devastating blast, but the temperature difference between the hot and cold Battle Auras creates a localized tornado that tosses the enemy high into the air, usually knocking him out in the process (not that the fall is any picnic, either.) Ranma, being the martial arts savant that he is, has modified the technique so he doesn't need an opponent to follow him in a spiral: having them release ki blasts, ignite the battlefield, or even just surround Ranma in a vaguely circular pattern is enough, and he'll do the rest. He MUST dodge the enemy's assault, however.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, the title character defeats his opponent, who is just as fast but larger and stronger, by using Deadly Dodging until his opponent's body breaks under the stress. Yes, Kenshin ran circles around this guy until his legs broke.
    • Possibly subverted early on in the manga; Kenshin deliberately doesn't dodge a bottle that was thrown at him, because it would have hit Kaoru.
  • In the Asgard arc of the Saint Seiya anime, Shiryu uses it on Fenrir, causing an avalanche to fall on his foe.
  • Dragon Ball: Goku has pulled this off on homing projectiles twice. He pulls it off without a hitch against Piccolo, but Frieza's much too smart to fall for that in Dragon Ball Z. At least, until he's forgotten entirely about those energy discs he had flying around.
  • When he witnesses the death of his father, Yukiteru snaps and uses his Future Diary to deadly effect, making sure that there is someone between him and the next person to fire.
  • Gin uses the Innocent Bystander variety of this in Bleach.
    Gin: Are you sure you want to dodge that?
  • Darker Than Black gives a lovely demonstration of why, if you're going to try to attack a waiter in a restaurant, it'd be a good idea not to go after the one who's an undercover hitman for an international crime syndicate. Because he is undercover, Hei tries to act like he doesn't know what he's doing, but after the guy attacking him crashes into several pieces of furniture and a few people in a vain attempt to hit him, an onlooker comes to the conclusion that "It's true all Chinese people are martial arts masters."
  • The epilogue of the third season of Sailor Moon includes this in a fight between Sailor Moon and Uranus and Neptune. Usagi refuses to fight them, so she causes them to collide with each other, defeating themselves for her.
  • One Piece:
    • During the battle with Mr. 4 and Ms. Merry Christmas, Ms. Merry Christmas, who had the power of the Mogu Mogu no Mi (Mole Mole Fruit) was tunneling underground and had Usopp on the run while trying to stab him with her claws from below. Usopp notes that there are several half buried ruins around the area they are fighting in, and tricks her into following him before jumping over a half-buried wall, causing her to smash into the part that was buried. However, this example is subverted in that it didn't actually work that way; she wasn't even remotely slowed down.
    • In the Dressrosa arc, this is how the young gladiator Rebecca fights. She makes up for her relative lack of strength with a combination of Observation Haki and speed, using her opponents' strength against them to make them take each other out and/or throw them outside the ring.
  • In Pokémon Special, Cynthia's Garchomp tried to hit Cyrus's Magnezone with its Hyper Beam but ended up blasting a hole in the Celestic Ruins instead, allowing Cyrus to go inside.
  • Subverted in the final episode of Macross Frontier. The Battle Galaxy fires it's Wave Motion Gun at the Macross Quarter which barely manages to dodge... causing the shot to miss and hit the Battle Frontier instead, destroying it's own Wave Motion Gun. Subverted because the Battle Frontier and the Quarter are on the same side, making this accidental friendly fire.
  • This was Vash the Stampede's modus operandi, displayed especially well in the first episode with a Giant Mook using a humongous bladed boomerang.
  • Shown in the first opening for Durarara!!. Shizuo chucks a vending machine at Izaya's head. Izaya just ducks out of the way and lets it knock the cap off of a high-pressure water main, slamming Shizuo into a wall while he makes his getaway.

    Card Games 
  • There's a Magic: The Gathering card called Shield Dancer, with the special ability to, when blocking an enemy, inflict that enemy's damage to itself.
    • It's not alone; several other creatures and spells have this effect. (Ravnicans, in particular, are good at it...)
    • The Planeswalkers get in on the action too, with spells like Mirror Strike.
    • "Reroute" from Ravnica block, in flavor text, image, and ability.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card"Dimension Wall", where the art is basically a guy thrusting his sword at someone, his arms and weapon have disappeared into a portal and are coming up fast behind him. Deadly dodging via magic.

    Comics 
  • In Spider-Man, both the film and the comics, Green Goblin remotely launches his hovercraft at Spider-Man, who gets out of its way in time for it to hit Green Goblin himself.
    • This is also his common technique for taking down stronger opponents such as Scorpion or the Rhino.
    • Used to defeat more than a few supervillains Spidey faced in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, due to the fact that Spidey wasn't allowed to punch anybody due to Executive Meddling.
    • Also, used in The Spectacular Spider-Man. Spider-Man does this while mocking Shocker, goading him into unwittingly blasting a building's supports, causing it to collapse. Spidey also uses this in a sewer system, making the Rhino punch so many holes in the pipes that the steam overheats him, and leaves him exhausted and delirious.
      • Referred to and subverted in one of the later Spectacular Spider-Man episodes, where Rhino attacks Spider-Man. Spidey believes that he was able to dodge each and make Rhino look foolish. However, it turns out that Rhino wasn't expecting to hit anyone; His attacks were mainly aimed at the supports of the carpark they were fighting in, with having someone to aim at a distraction and a bonus. When Rhino points out his plan to bring the building crashing down on top of them, Spider-Man laments that he fell for a variation of the above trick he used to defeat Shocker. When the dust settles, Rhino tosses off the rubble on top of him with ease, Spider-Man has a bit more trouble.
  • Superman can be found employing this on the frequent off chance he finds himself depowered.
  • One of the favourite tricks of The Flash. Makes sense, with Super Speed.
  • In one Transformers comic, a rhino-shaped decepticon (Stranglehold) charged against an autobot, who very politely introduced him to the wall.
  • Used by Deadpool to impale the Hulk on a broken pole.
    • The Hulk himself has pulled this trick a couple of times, including ducking the Constrictor's cybernetic whips and causing them to hit an electric streetlight behind him and electrocuted the snakelike killer, or rolling out of the way of an electrically-charged Absorbing Man and letting him hit a large pool of water.
  • In Sonic The Hedgehog, this is how Sonic wins the very first fight we see him in, tricking Dr. Robotnik into hitting Caterkiller.
  • In Astérix In Spain, Asterix succeeds in defeating a wild aurochs with this method - after some spectacular Spanish bullfighting, of course.
  • During a fight near the demolished Gotham bridge in Batman: No Man's Land Batman ducks a thrown rock which ends up hitting the guy behind him. It sends him off the bridge and into the water, landing straight on one of the mines the government has placed to keep Gotham sealed off. Hopefully that wasn't intentional on Batsy's part...
  • When Batman fights a mind-controlled Superman in Hush, he uses this tactic to get Superman to punch an electrical panel, though this only delayed Superman temporarily.

    Films — Animation 
  • Another Disney hero using this is Aladdin. His introduction song is all about how he's always one jump ahead of his enemy.
  • In the 2009 film version of Astro Boy, Astro uses this to get the Peacekeeper to collapse a skyscraper on itself.
  • Used several times in the starting sequence to Bolt, once by Bolt getting a homing missile to hit a helicopter, and once by Penny getting one of the motorbiking Faceless Goons to electrify another.
  • At the end of Chicken Run, Ginger is pursued by Mrs. Tweedy climbing up a rope (OK, a string of Christmas lights). As Tweedy reaches her, she attacks Ginger with a meat cleaver. After a moment, Ginger reveals that not only is she alright, but that Tweedy cut the rope, and falls away.
  • In Epic Ronin dodges a shot from Dagda and kills him in return, but Dagda's shot hits the queen as a result.
  • The Incredibles has Dash cause about half the fatalities in the movie by getting mooks to blow themselves up on scenery during a chase sequence.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Po dodges a bite from Tai Lung, getting him to bite his own tail instead.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana and Naveen use this against a trio of dim-witted frog hunters.
  • Disney's Robin Hood uses this tactic against the mook archers, causing them to hit each other. Of course, they don't actually hit each other with arrows. They just get pinned to walls through the collars or somesuch.

    Films — Live Action 
  • First Blood features the variant with friendly fire.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit Eddie Valiant dodges Judge Doom's punch, leading to Doom getting glued to a slowly moving steamroller.
  • In The Rock, John Mason is in a fist fight with one of the bad guys, and is losing badly until he ducks a punch. The bad guy then solidly hits a metal pipe, and while he is in pain, the protagonist takes advantage of the distraction to resoundingly trounce his opponent.
  • Also appears in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. When being "interrogated", he shifts sideways from a punch and Mook #1 ends up punching Mook #2 instead, giving Bond the opening he needs to beat up the numerous baddies.
  • Mr. Miyagi pulls this trick in the opening "fight" of The Karate Kid II, tricking his opponent into punching car windows and injuring himself.
    • The Remake also features quite a bit of it in the initial fight between Mr. Han and the six boys who'd beaten up Dre. Han barely shows any actual offense at all, mostly maneuvering the boys into hitting each other. When Dre remarks on this in the next scene, Mr. Han replies, "when fighting against angry blind men, best to just stay out of the way".
  • The protagonist of Ultraviolet incorporates this into her Gun Kata in the rooftop shootout in order to take out a group of gangster-looking Mooks.
  • X-Men:
    • Used by Kitty Pryde against Juggernaut in X-Men: The Last Stand, as she tricks him into crashing into a wall behind her; due to their powers being temporarily nullified by Leech, he's promptly knocked out.
    • And again in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with Wade Wilson dodging and slicing bullets to take out foes on either side of him with their own bullets.
  • In Kung Fu Hustle, the Landlord defeats the pair of kung fu villains who double as Musical Assassins by throwing his arms over their necks in the way friends often do. Then he moves his hips, causing their punches to strike the other one.
    • He is even able to seemingly dodge strikes that land by causing them to slide off his body and strike the other.
  • Pulled off in The Hunt for Red October. By a submarine.
  • River Tam from Serenity, in both the Maidenhead fight and Mr. Universe's complex, uses this, although she isn't above shoving people into the way as well.
  • Willow, beginning of the escape from the inn. "Gentlemen? Meet Llug."
  • In Tremors, Kevin Bacon outwits a giant worm by luring it off of out of a cliff.
  • Early in Machete, the title character is lured into a streetfight. He wins it by dodging several attacks, then stepping aside just at the right time for his opponent to shatter his arm on a concrete post.
  • Hellboy dodges Wink's fist and it hits what appears to be a giant meatgrinder. Wink doesn't live much longer after that, obviously.
  • In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Robin and Achoo (Bless you!) dodge four soldiers while on a hanging platform, leaving them suspended off the ground atop their swords.
  • In Dragonball Evolution, when Goku is forbidden to fight, he defeats some bullies by tricking them into hitting each other and hard surfaces.
  • Jet Li's character invokes this by accident in the final battle of Lethal Weapon 4 when he reflexively dodges a bullet which hits and kills his brother.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman manages to trick one of the missiles launched by one of the stolen Tumblers into blowing up one of the others after leading it on a long chase in the Bat.
  • Osmosis Jones did this by doing some sort of micro-division as Thrax delivers his coup-de-grace, forcing Thrax to become jammed in a false eyelash.
  • As The One, Neo used his speed, martial arts mastery and agility to easily dodge attacks by sinister mooks of the Merovingian in The Matrix Reloaded's chateau fight scene, often causing them to main and kill each other.
  • Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil: Tucker is loading logs into a wood chipper when one of the co-eds comes up behind him with intent to stab him. Tucker, completely oblivious to this, ducks out of the way to get more wood as the kid charges past and goes straight into the wood chipper.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Radio: In some versions of the fairy tale The Valiant Little Tailor, the title character captures a unicorn by provoking it to charge at him and into the tree he was standing in front of.
  • The exact same trick with a tree is used on a unicorn in Eve Forward's Villains by Necessity.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, this is a space tactic known as the Ackbar Slash. It was developed in the Battle of Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi for use by large capital ships in close proximity to each other. It has been implied that the only reason it works is because it's generally suicidal and no-one is that crazy.
    • And also because the Mon Calamari warships that constitute the bulk of Admiral Ackbar's fleet have stronger Deflector Shields and better maneuverability than most other ships of their size, giving them a better chance of avoiding enemy fire and of surviving the shots that do hit them.
    • Also notable is a trick used by fighters against capital vessels, involving having a bunch of missiles chase an allied fighter, then making a high-performance turn right next to the hostile ship. The missiles try to match the turn, but have to take wider turns due to their faster speed — and crash straight into the target.
    • Make sure the missiles are all fired at the same time
    • There's also the A-Wing Slash, wherein a group of X-Wings head for any enemy ship, only to peel away at the last minute and reveal the A-Wings that were hiding in the glow from their engines. The Deadly Dodge part comes when an Imperial commander duplicates it with Preybird starfighters in place of X-Wings and proton torpedoes in place of the A-Wings.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, depressed robot Marvin is left to defend himself with no weapons against a giant killer robot. He explains this situation to the killer robot, with emphasis on the callous and unthinking humans who abandoned a little helpless robot, and this makes it so angry that it destroys a wall, and then the floor. Unfortunately, it's standing on a bridge several hundred feet above ground level.
    Marvin: What a depressingly stupid machine.
  • In the Discworld book Maskerade, Granny Weatherwax first encounters the Ghost when he uses this tactic to fight some muggers threatening her and Mrs. Plinge:
    ...when six are against one in a melee in the shadows, and especially if those six aren't used to a target that is harder to hit than a wasp, and even more so if they got all their ideas of knife fighting from other amateurs, then there's six chances in seven that they'll stab a crony and about one chance in twelve that they'll knick their own earlobe.
  • In the first book of The Kingdom Keepers series, Finn managed to defeat a skeletal T-Rex by making it hit the tracks of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which causes the weak frame to splinter apart.
  • In the Doctor Who Past Doctor Adventures novel The Eleventh Tiger, the Doctor does this to the Gung Fu School bully who challenges him to a duel. The Doctor first flips him onto his back using his attack as a lever, then when the bully decides to kick at the Doctor's head (a kick that he boasts shatters jars, and jars are stronger then heads) the Doctor momentarily blinds him with a reflection of light and then moves his head an inch to the left, allowing the bully's foot to crack into the wooden pole behind the Doctor's head, splintering the pole and his foot. The Doctor then tells the other students to tend to the bully's wounds. Topping this off is the fact this is the first Doctor, who looks like he's 60 if he's a day.
  • In The Titan's Curse, Percy takes the sky from Artemis, and Artemis pushed Atlas into Percy, who moved, and allowed the sky to fall on Atlas.
  • Ciaphas Cain uses this in Cain's Last Stand when fighting three combat servitors. The one hit by the other's plasma bolt isn't taken down by it, but misidentifies its fellow as another attacker as a result of the hit.
  • In Helm, Leland de Laal discovers this by accident during his Training from Hell and begins using it intentionally.

    Live Action TV 
  • In one episode of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., the protagonist is about to be shot by four bandits who form a perfect cross around him. He decides to duck at the last moment and the bandits kill each other simultaneously.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Me Robot You Jane", Buffy defeats Moloch the Corruptor by tricking him into punching an electrical junction box, frying him.
    • In the episode "Homecoming", Buffy maneuvers the two German assassins into shooting each other.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Age of Steel", Mickey also defeats a Cyberman by getting it to punch an electrical generator.
    • Probably the single most epic version of this comes from "Day of the Doctor" when all thirteen of the Doctor's incarnation teleport Gallifrey from the Time War and into a Pocket Dimension causing the Dalek fleet bombarding the planet to wipe themselves out instead.
  • Double Subversion in an episode of Farscape. Crichton tries to trick a creature into jumping through a hole blown in the hull that's sealed with an improvised hatch and an electromagnetic field. However, after he dodges it, it misses the hatch and clings to the wall instead. It takes a few more tries and several seconds of frantically dodging to work.
  • Done unintentionally in Friends, where Ross accidentally punches a lamppost after being goaded by Joey to hit him. Joey apologizes and states that he merely dodged reflexively, even taking a swing at Ross to demonstrate (who doesn't dodge). At the end of the episode Joey, again trying to demonstrate how people dodge refexively, throws a punch at Chandler, who dodges ... meaning Joey hits Ross again.
  • In the Grimm episode "Leave it to the Beavers", Nick gets a reaper to behead another like this.
  • In the second season The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Virtue Affair", Napoleon Solo escapes from a holding cell and is running through the corridors of the Big Bad's lair. Confronted by two Mooks approaching from opposite sides of the corridor, Solo dodges just in time for the mooks to gun each other down.
    • Played with in the third season episode "The Five Daughters Affair, Part II". Solo and Kuryakin, creeping down a corridor of a THRUSH complex, are menaced by one THRUSH mook ahead of them and two behind them. The mook in front of them sprints towards them, then leaps at Solo as if to tackle him. Solo quickly hits the floor, and the leaping mook takes out the two mooks following the heroes.
  • In an episode of Murder Most Horrid, the fiancée of a murder victim announces that she no longer wishes to live and asks his killers to all shoot her in the head at the end of a song. She takes a bow.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "The Vault of Secrets", Clyde gets two robots to fire at him, and jumps out at the last second, causing them to shoot each other.
  • In Smallville, this is how young Clark frequently winds up accidentally disposing of villains, allowing the writers to have the threat dealt with without Clark ever breaking Thou Shalt Not Kill. Take him on, and you will find yourself stuck like a cocktail weenie on a pointy object that should rightfully only bruise you.
  • The first season of The Adventures of Superman depicted Superman doling out some super-haymakers against Metropolis's resident hoodlums. But as the series grew Lighter and Softer over time, the Man of Steel shifted his strategy to stepping out of the way (or even just standing still) while the crooks dutifully bumped into the door, or each other's heads.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21), Sam ducks out of the way as Jake punches resulting in Jake's fist going through a wooden trough and getting stuck.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • TNA wrestler Samoa Joe's favorite counter against high-flying wrestlers is to simply step aside and allow them to crash into the mat (or the concrete floor, as the case may be).
  • Happens a lot in wrestling, often leading to a breakup of a tag team or among allies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted, Lunars and Dragon-Blooded get Charms that allow them to do this to enemies.
  • In Mutants & Masterminds, the "redirect" feat allows you to pull this off, as does the "trick" application of the Bluff skill.
  • Rules for the "Sucker Attack" go back as far as third edition Champions.
  • Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons features a few different ways to force attacking enemies to hit their own allies by mistake or blunder into a disadvantageous or even dangerous position.
    • Also available in Fourth Edition for Rogues, including a paragon path as well as various attacks.
      • Monks have at least two reactions like this as well, and the flavor text for a few powers point at this, even though the game mechanics are that of a regular attack.
      • So do a few other classes, mostly as feat- or utility-based powers.
  • Star Wars Saga Edition has a starship maneuver called the "Ackbar slash" which allows you to redirect an enemy attack towards another enemy ship.

    Video Games 
  • To beat GLaDOS in Portal, you have to do this with some missile turrets, either standing close by and aiming the turrets, or using portals to send a missile over.
    • Portal 2 uses a similar concept. Of course, without real weapons this is pretty much the only way a boss battle can go in those games.
  • Players can destroy Mycon Podships in Star Control by guiding their plasmoids back into them.
  • Used in Super Mario Galaxy to trick Bowser into performing a Ground Pound over a glass cover. Said cover was on top of molten hot liquid that would burn Bowser.
    • Of course this actually harkens back to Super Mario Bros. 3, where Mario tricks Bowser into destroying the floor, which covered a Bottomless Pit.
    • Also in Galaxy, this technique can be used to turn Bullet Bills into Helpful Mooks by tricking them into colliding with something you want blown up (including a certain boss's weakpoint).
  • The old Sega Genesis/Megadrive game Taz In Escape From Mars requires this tactic against one boss, a bull that one must trick into running into a wall.
    • Also used against those 2 gators; you get the stupid to put his net over the smart one.
  • Luring enemies into firing at each other and then fighting is an essential combat tactic in Doom.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance uses this in a couple boss battles using Action Commands.
  • A variant appears in Escape from Monkey Island: the enormous Final Boss appears in a rehashing of the game's martial-arts-code-breaker puzzle, but can't be defeated in regular combat. The player is expected to have discovered and remembered that combatants will get frustrated and beat at their own head if stalemated, and induce the boss to do so, crushing its controller who was conveniently riding on top.
  • In Persona 4 enemies that miss have a chance of falling down. If it is the last enemy on their feet at the time, you get a free combination attack.
  • Simultaneously played straight and inverted in Dwarf Fortress. When fighting, both your dwarves and whoever they're fighting can sidestep to an adjacent free tile in order to dodge an attack. Free tiles include open spaces, so battles on top of bridges often result in one or more combatants dodging off the bridge and falling into the water or magma below.
    • This can be exploited in defense of your fortress. Make a high, narrow bridge the only path into your fortress, and rig the bridge with traps which will poke its victims with blunt sticks. Invaders will dodge to avoid getting poked, and thus fall to their deaths.
  • Played straight in Monster Hunter. Certain monsters with very large fangs or horns can get them temporarily stuck in conveniently-placed ledges or walls by application of this technique. Doesn't work once the offending body part has been smashed, though.
    • When dealing with the Alatreon, there are two ledges at the edge of the arena. This is the only reliable way to get at these horns while it's still standing - the other ways are knocking it off its feet and putting it to sleep.
  • One of the quicker ways to defeat the Garradors in Resident Evil 4 is to stand with your back to a wall, get them to charge you, and run for it (conveniently, they usually don't swerve after you), causing them to get their claws stuck in said wall and allowing you a free strike to the weak point on their backs.
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has the Nemesis. If you are skilled or lucky, you can get him to kill zombies for you, since he destroys anything in his path to get to the player.
  • Averted in the fight against El Odio in Psychonauts, interestingly, as not only is it a Bullfight Boss in terms of the trope definition, it's a Bullfight Boss in literal terms. He's rather intelligent for a boss of his kind and probably won't end up touching the wall at all.
  • In Super Smash Bros Brawl story mode, you can do significant damage to Duon by getting its homing missiles to crash into it.
  • The mooks in Battletoads: Battlemanics automatically counterattack when they take damage, so if you get one to hit another they'll fight to the death.
  • One boss in Fable I can't be damaged and always strike you. Every few attacks, he will loose a brutal assault that, if dodged, stuck his swords in the ground. This leaves him vulnerable for a while.
    • A similar sequence occurs in Clive Barker's Undying. When fighting Aaron, he will stand in the middle of the room when sufficiently injured and keeps attacking with his chain hook. The trick is to let him attack then sidestep when you are in from of the door. If done right, the hook gets stuck in the door and Aaron can be "killed" by decapitating him with the scythe.
  • In Metroid Prime 2, Samus defeats the Grapple Guardian by dodging just as its beam hit an electrified pillar that stuns it for a few moments.
  • Played straight in Super Double Dragon. You can get your enemies to throw knives and boomerangs at each other, although it might take you a while to perfect this fine craft.
  • In I Wanna Be the Guy, during his third attack pattern, The Guy is immune to your puny bullets, and you have to dodge his shots so that they bounce off the walls into him. It's harder than it sounds, because the bullets don't follow usual angles: they always bounce so that they're flying directly at you.
  • The Golems in Boktai roll around to attack you. If you hide behind a wall or other obstruction (or you Quick Guard in Lunar Knights), the Golem will be stunned for a period of time (by crashing into it), allowing you to get a few hits in.
    • The Goat Chimera roars when it's about to charge you; unlike the previous examples, you have to use the lamppost to disable it, as it skids to a halt if you dodge and it runs you over if you try to block. Thankfully it can still be killed the old-fashioned way.
  • This is the basic mechanic of the flash game Dodge: your spaceship is unarmed, and you have to maneuver so that the enemies destroy themselves and/or each other with their missiles.
  • A fun tactic in multiplayer games of Bomberman and derivatives of it. Keep running around until the opponent hits himself with his own bomb. More effective in Baloono, with smaller arenas and more power-ups....
  • The Haunted Mansion has a segment where Zeke is shrunken down onto a billiards table and has to get the ghostly player to hit all the balls into the pockets. In the kitchen, you have to get the plates aimed at you to break every bottle of alcohol.
  • The first form of the Final Boss in An Untitled Story is defeated by having his charge shot bounce right back at him.
  • Used brilliantly in Jade Empire by Sagacious Zu against Death's Hand. Turns out to be a Heroic Sacrifice, sadly.
  • In Pikmin 2, the easiest way to clear out areas with Cannon Beetle Larva (which shoot rocks out at you) is to lure them into shooting every other enemy in the vicinity. It also spares your pikmin from being steamrolled by the rock projectiles in the process.
  • In Phantasy Star Online, the easiest way to dispatch a Garanz is to open the menu to keep yourself in non-combat mode and running in circles around it, making it hit itself with its missiles while you take no damage.
  • In Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, That One Boss fight involves two really big guys. The only way to beat them is to dodge and get an axe stuck in the ground.
  • The only way to get a record for the record player in Minecraft (other than being really lucky with dungeon chests) is to get a skeleton to kill a creeper with its arrow.
  • In Tomb Raider Anniversary, during the fight with the T-Rex this is the fastest method of killing it, but it's optional since you can just pump it full of bullets until you reach the end of the fight where this is in full effect. The force of the T-Rex smashing into the building behind you even leaves you with a conveniently placed stepping stone to get into the next area.
  • In the Nintendo 3DS downloadable game Sakura Samurai, timing your dodges and attacks is the key to victory, as opposed to Button Mashing. You can dodge most enemies' attacks normally, but it's more effective to time your dodges and backsteps just as the enemy is about to attack, then closing the gap with an attack of your own. Doing this properly earns you "Precision Points", which can be traded in for gold.
  • Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage: During the second phase of Kenshiro's boss fight with Shin in Chapter 2 of Legend Mode, Shin will use an unblockable charge attack that will cause severe damage if it connects. If you position Ken in front of a pillar and then dodge at the last second, Shin's hand will get stuck for a few seconds, allowing you to get a few free hits in.
  • This trope describes one of the most popular techniques for scoring in the coin-op game Berzerk, where the player would stand between two robots until they both fired, then would step out as the shots passed and then step back to lure the robots back into the line of fire.
  • There's a secret mission in Devil May Cry where Dante is fighting against a pair of rock-spitting spider demons, and has to goad one of them into destroying the other using this trope.
  • The Post Final Boss of Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time does not allow the Mario Bros. to attack at all. They can, however, still dodge everything, and every attack that is dodged will mysteriously come back and hit the boss. Repeat until dead.
    • There's also a boss in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team that's like this, with a rules gimmick set before the battle that says 'only fight via counter attacks'.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has done this on multiple occasions, most notably in Sonic 3 & Knuckles where nearly every boss in the second half of the game has to be defeated this way (notable examples are the bosses of Flying Battery Zone 1note , Sandopolis Zone 1note , Lava Reef Zone 2note , Death Egg Zone 2 (first boss)note , and Doomsday Zonenote ).
  • Gatling Gears: In a few stages, you encounter drilling machines that attempt to charge the player. You can take advantage of them by standing in front of a Mook and dodging as the drill charges, causing them to run into and instantly destroy the other Mook.
  • You're actually rewarded for pulling this off in World of Tanks, the medal "Lucky" is given to anyone that is within 50 meters of an enemy tank being team killed. It should be noted that any attempt to set this up yourself will likely go about as well as expected, but it's not uncommon to see ELC AMX drivers pull this off as their tank is both small and fast, and can force many players to take 'snap shots' that they otherwise wouldn't, which results in this trope being played out.
  • Played With in The Witcher: when fighting the golem in the swamps, Geralt soon discovers that thanks to its insane Damage Reduction, it is practically unkillable by conventional means (read: his swords). Instead, he has to lure it to the nearby magical lighting rods and activate them to summon the lightning, using the short delay before it appears to get clear so it strikes the golem instead of him.
  • It's possible to do this to Seath in Dark Souls. You can manuever yourself so that he accidentally destroys the primordial crystal, which is what causes him to remain effectively immortal. Doing this causes him to fly into a rage where he's open to hits for a while.
  • In Super Smash Brothers this can be done against certain opponents with certain moves. Jigglypuff is the biggest example, with a fully charged Roll-Out causing them to shoot off in one direction at insane speed. If it hits, the attack stops and all the momentum is transferred to the opponent for a KO. A crafty opponent can just as easily avoid the attack at the last second and watch Jigglypuff fly off the side of the screen themself. This can also happen with Squirtle's and Sonic's similar moves, though Squirtle's moves really slow and Sonic, while he starts skidding if you try to stop, can also cancel the momentum simply by jumping during the move.
    • This can also happen to Wario if he uses his bike during his final smash. It's generally a good idea to get off as soon as you get on because of how fast it is, especially since he's one of the few characters that can die during a final smash.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Mildly lampshaded in this strip of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
  • Sluggy Freelance
    • In "That Which Redeems", initially the only creature standing against the demons invading the Dimension of Lame is an alternative counterpart of the ferret Kiki, who's from some third dimension still and has more attitude than everyone in the Dimension of Lame put together. She's seen jumping quickly between the demons, causing them to skewer each other on their bladed weapons when trying to hit her.
    • Bun-bun pulls this thrice during "Oceans Unmoving". The first time Bun-bun dodges Calix's throwing axe so that it cuts part of the ship's rigging instead, allowing him to do a dramatic rope swing attack. The second time, Bun-bun dodges another (assumed) axe throw, this time positioning himself so that the axe will hit his enemy, Blacksoul, instead. Unfortunately, Calix has been persuaded to leave by a third party and does not hear the insult that's supposed to incite his attack, leaving Bun-bun looking pretty silly in front of his archnemesis. Shortly after in the same fight, Bun-bun dodges Blacksoul's blades to cause him to get them stuck in the barrel behind him; Blacksoul retaliates by picking up the barrel and using it like a hammer.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Inverted when Roy confronts a half-ogre who uses a Game Breaker from the 3.5 rules to attack him twice a round while dodging backwards. The half-ogre eventually falls off a cliff.
    • Played straight in this strip, where Roy tricks his Dumb Muscle Evil Counterpart Thog into crashing into a series of columns in order to bring part of the roof down on him. Although it's not exactly dodging, since the D&D rules of Thog's attack specify that it cannot do any arena damage unless the attack works. "That's how I use my Intelligence score in combat, dumbass!"
  • Bob and George Teleport out of the way, and he hits the wall
    • Also used against the heroes, where a villain moved out of the way and Proto Man accidentally shot and killed George.
  • Just a few Instances in The Beast Legion

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, Contessa is exceptionally good at this thanks to her particular brand of precognition.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang uses this to trick to get Zhao to fling fireballs at his own fleet of questionably wooden ships.
    • Also occurs unintentionally during an episode where Aang is training with Katara and Toph, where he ducks a boulder from Toph by burrowing into the ground, which proceeds to hit Katara, who was standing behind.
    • And again in "The Headband", wherein Aang is attacked by the school bully. He manages to defeat the bully with his hands held behind his back and an innocent smile on his face, by dodging in such a way that causes his opponent to throw himself to the ground.
      • Put simply, Deadly Dodging is a big part of Airbender martial arts.
  • Splinter likes doing this in the 2003 TMNT cartoon. In one episode, he uses it to defeat the Shredder by bringing down a wooden water tower on him; in another, he combines it with Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors against a group of elementals.
    • The 1987 version has the title characters do this when Bebop and Rocksteady were charging, causing the two to collide head-first into each other. The first arcade game has a Boss Battle where this scene can be duplicated.
  • Bugs Bunny pulls this trick a couple of times while fighting the bull in the classic short Bully for Bugs.
  • The Road Runner also makes Wile E. Coyote run off a cliff in almost every episode several times.
  • An episode of Futurama has Leela fighting her old martial arts master as he remotely controlled a giant kill-bot fighting Bender in the wrestling ring just above him. Leela tricks the guy into punching through the floor of the ring, hitting himself in the head.
  • In Code Lyoko, before Season 3 Aelita has no proper attack power, and the only real way she can damage the monsters (when not counting on the Lyoko Warriors) is by Deadly Dodging. In Episode 39, "A Bad Turn", alone on Lyoko, Aelita manages to get rid of a whole swarm of Frelions by flying on the Overboard and having them ram the mountain or each other.
  • At the end of the Hobgoblin's debut two-parter in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Spidey tricks him into smashing his glider against an exhaust tower at Oscorp, causing him to lose control and crash into the river.
  • Used three times in Disney's Gargoyles, Hudson and Elisa both execute the version causing mooks charging from opposite directions to crash into each other, while the trickster Coyote baits his robotic namesake into toppling the steel skeleton of an unfinished building onto himself.
    • Lampshaded by Brooklyn
    Brooklyn "It's incredible how often that move works."
  • Since Secret Squirrel can't fight the endangered One-Ton Panda without getting arrested, he tricks the villain into whacking himself with various objects by acting as an unhelpful bodyguard.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Tohru Wouldn't Hit a Girl so, when forced to face a female criminal, he used Deadly Dodging to defeat her.
  • Chip 'n Dale use it against Donald Duck in the short "Out on a Limb", when he chases them with a lawnmower and they lure him into a power line.

    Real Life 
  • Defied in Real Life: Many modern homing munitions (like missiles and torpedoes) are designed so that they self-destruct if they turn back towards the launching platform. In addition the missiles are now often smart enough to recognize the signature of an aircraft on its sensors and tell the difference between friendly and enemy.
  • Aikido is based on a similar principle, as it focuses on using the momentum of the opponent's attack against him.
    • As well as the "sticking hands" technique seen in Chinese martial arts like Wing Chun and Tai Qi.
  • Stories abound of WWI fighter pilots surviving many-to-one ambushes by flying between the numerous opponents, thus making them reluctant to shoot.


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