A character who can stroll into the middle of a firefight and emerge unscathed. Guns Are Worthless
against them. They aren't Immune to Bullets
, but they're so fast they might as well be. If you shoot at them from any farther than point blank range
, they'll jump out of the way, or use some impressively small object to deflect the bullet, Improbable Aiming Skills
Considering the speed at which bullets and some other projectiles travel, these kind of reflexes
are blatantly unrealistic, the domain of superhumans and Super Speedsters
. Most guns fire at the speed of sound or faster, so by the time you hear the shot, it will have either hit you or missed you, and even if you could see the shot and react the human body is too slow to do much to get out of the way. Writers who want a Badass Normal
to dodge bullets will maintain a modicum of realism by saying the character is simply predicting where the gunman is going to fire and making sure they're not there when the trigger is pulled.
This accomplishes the same goal
as Stormtrooper Marksmanship
, but in the opposite way: The hero wins despite being outgunned, not because his enemies are terrible shots, but because he's just that good
. Oddly, despite being able to dodge bullets, when the fight turns to fisticuffs
the hero usually becomes much less able to dodge the much slower punches.
Coincidentally, if the enemies did have standard mook accuracy
, this dodging probably wouldn't work, as mooks tend to hit everything except where they're aiming (The Hero
), so the only way to actually get shot is not have the gun pointed at you.
Sometimes this skill is imparted by a background in Gun Fu
, Gun Katanote
, Implausible Fencing Powers
, or Super Reflexes
. Maybe the enemy was Point Defenseless
? For maximum coolness, show off the dodging in Bullet Time
. See also Could Have Been Messy
. More Dakka
may be employed to attempt to overcome this. Compare Bullet Catch
, which is even cooler, and Catch and Return
, which takes this to its logical extreme. Contrast Bullet Dodges You
. When you upgrade from bullets to missiles, High-Speed Missile Dodge
is the result.
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Anime & Manga
- Overdosed in Black Lagoon. This is what keeps Rokuro "Rock" Okajima alive when his Chain of Deals fails - his version is normal compared to his Pseudo-Tsundere Action Girlfriend Revy (yeah, no Bullet Time for the little Rock).
- Vash from Trigun did this a couple of times. It was lampshaded in the first instance where he explains that the enemy is 'just a bad shot'. He is one of the more amusing examples because of how he dodges the bullets in the first half of the anime. Eventually, we are shown that he is fast enough to change the paths of bullets in mid-air... by throwing rocks at them.
- Notably, he is using the "predict where the marksman is going to fire, then dodge before they shoot" method. (Though this is justified; he has the incredible analytical skills and reflexes that would be needed to pull this off because he isn't human) He also does get turned into swiss cheese repeatedly once Cerebus Syndrome gets into full swing because of this.
- Grenadier takes this to a whole different level. Yajiro can deflect bullets with his sword without much problem, and Rushuna can't be shot even from point blank range!
- Let's put it in perspective. A villain with a galdo and an army of marksmen (who just wiped out a troop of samurai) with rifles and automatic weapons, can't hit Rushuna when she's standing in a courtyard surrounded by them. She has one six-gun. She wipes them out.
- The eponymous girls from the "Girls with Guns Trilogy" (Noir, Madlax, El Cazador de la Bruja) do this all the time, starting with the opening of the shows. Madlax is a particularly ridiculous example, as half the time she manages to dodge so fast that we don't even see her move (although this could qualify as Immune to Bullets), and the rest of the time she is dancing around the bullets.
- Many of the Mobile suits from Mobile Suit Gundam are often seen doing this on a larger scale (dodging cannon fire rather than bullets). And it doesn't seem limited to New Types. It seems that any MS piloted by a named character can zip past enemy fire. If it's a mobile suit/weapon going up against a conventional weapon or vehicle, then even a nameless mook will suddenly develop bullet dodging enabling precognition.
- An early demonstration of Star Platinum's powers in the third part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is when Jotaro points a gun at his head and pulls the trigger. Star Platinum catches the bullet before it gets close to Jotaro's head.
- Spinzaku from Code Geass
- Hanyuu stopped time to make herself dodge a bullet in the finale of Higurashi's second season due to her god powers. Except in the canal drying chapter, where she dies. Again. She also did this to Keiichi with multiple bullets in the Matsuri only arc, Miotsukushi-hen.
- In Cowboy Bebop the Red Eye Serum not only sends user into potential bloody rampages, but vastly increases their speed and perception, allowing even small-time mooks to dodge bullets (there are also subtle hints that Big Bad Vicious uses it as well, which is why he can successfully use a katana against gun wielders).
- In Black Cat ex-assassin and gunman Train Heartnet blocks bullets with his gun, Hades, made of a special, ultra-strong metal called orichalcum. Train's supernatural speed is never directly discussed, but it's implied it comes from his previous life as an uber-assassin. Almost all the other characters, as well, block or dodge bullets. Some with supernatural help, others simply with speed.
- For Rurouni Kenshin, gifted in the art of god-like-speed, dodging bullets (as long as he can see the line of fire) is child's play. Granted, these are old timey rifles, but it still looked cool; he later just barely manages to outrun an early-model Gatling gun long enough for the guy using it to run out of bullets.
- This is kept in the Live-Action Adaptation, but taken Up to Eleven. During Kenshin's battle with Gein (first battle he has to expend effort at all in the movie) he uses his sword to block the bullets that Gein shot at him...while disoriented and upside down. He does it so well, that when he's back on his feet, Gein's still shooting and almost out of bullets. But Kenshin just. Keeps. Blocking.
- Probably one of the earliest anime and manga examples, Goemon of Lupin III regularly blocks bullets by cutting them with his sword. In his first appearance, the bullets are even shown splitting apart after hitting the ground. Lupin's tricks make him seem similarly fast, as he's managed to leap out of a full-body Latex Perfection disguise fast enough for the disguise to be shot instead of him.
- It's been explicitly stated in Mahou Sensei Negima! that Shinmeiryuu swordsman aren't affected by bullets because of the ability to swat them out of midair with their swords. These tend to be roughly 2-metre-long Nodachi swords.
- The Mariage in StrikerS Sound Stage X of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise. In the track where we first meet one, a squad of TSAB mages fires a barrage of energy shots at her, only for the Mariage to block all of them with one arm blade.
- In the Sengoku Basara anime Uesugi Kenshin takes on a woman holding a gatling gun. Not only that, he runs headlong into the volley of bullets in order to get to her. And dodges every single one. In a cloud of rose petals! Given that the series in nominally set in the Sengoku period, how Kenshin managed to dodge the gatling gun is perhaps a less important question than what it was doing there in the first place. note
- Fuhrer King Bradley is the ultimate bullet timer in Fullmetal Alchemist. The guy, despite admittedly being near 60 years old not only weaves through gunfire, but casually deflects automatic gunfire with his sword! You wonder why people even try to shoot him...?
- In One Piece Mihawk changes the course of two bullets fired at him with his BFS. Zoro claims that it is because his sword is so gentle. Later on we see Zoro dodging a gun shot at point-blank range fired by a World Noble.
- Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess seems to be able to avoid harm, without trying, even in cases where everyone else gets injured, once she walked through a hail of rubber bands without getting hit once, and was completely unaffected by a massive lighting strike that destroyed the temple and left everyone else in a blackened heap. Well, y'know — goddess.
- Thing is, so are the others, Belldandy on the other hand seems to either be super lucky or have unconscious probability control
- Done in Detective Conan The Movie 13, The Raven Chaser. Ran Mouri dodges a bullet fired by Irish when he's standing right in front of her.
- Claire Stanfield from Baccano! can do this. But then, he's the sort of guy who can reasonably be mistaken for an Urban Legend.
- Similar to the page quote, the Big Bad of Parasyte isn't fast enough to dodge the actual bullets. He is fast enough, however, to be able to see where the police point their guns, and be able to move out of the way.
- Some of the more Badass fighters in Change 123 can pull this off, with lots of effort spent explaining how it actually works. You don't have to dodge the bullet, you just have to make the guy with the gun miss.
- All speedsters. All of them. From Wild Cards' Joe Twitch to The Flash family of The DCU to the Marvel Universe character Quicksilver. Every last one of them can dodge bullets or pluck them out of the air.
- Batman does this on a regular basis as well.
- As does Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl (pictured). Born to be the ultimate assassin/bodyguard, her father raised her in a bunker under special conditions that deprived her of any form of spoken or written language so she could learn to read body language and movement like a book. Using this ability, Cass can see where the gunman would point the gun and when they'd pull the trigger so she could step out of the way before they fire. Or in several cases, step out of the way after they've fired. To the point of drawing the bullets hanging in the air as she steps around them.
- A particularly egregious example in the animated series, when Bruce is doused with anti-fear gas, he stands at near point blank range dodging bullets as they're fired just to show off. Though Robin is right to think Batman is pushing his luck, he comes out unscathed somehow.
- Wonder Woman regularly deflects bullets and any kind of energy weapon with her bracelets. The bracelets are Immune to Bullets, but moving her arms to block the bullets definitely counts as dodging. Justified by literally possessing the speed of Hermes.
- Superman sometimes inverts this: he's fast enough to deliberately place his own invulnerable body in the path of bullets, to protect whatever's behind him.
- Spider-Man can dodge bullets due to his spider-sense. According to Marvel's published data, Spider-Man's reflexes are fast enough to dodge single-shot gunfire, he only needs his spider-sense to dodge full-auto weapons fire.
- Blade does this quite often, even though bullets are a minor annoyance he can quickly heal from. Justified since his vampiric powers give him Super Reflexes. Though when he's in the mood to dodge, he doesn't get hit.
- In fact in a situation very similar to the trope picture of Cassandra Cain, Blade pulls the exact same maneuver as she did. However its taken a step further: As Deadpool fires at him, Blade gradually moves forward, dodging the bullets until he is close enough to punch Deadpool in the head.
- Subverted in Garth Ennis' The Punisher series: at one point he follows a criminal who muses how he once killed four federal agents then dodged a bullet fired by the fifth and killed him too. Frank's solution? The criminal may have dodged one, but he cannot dodge thirty.
- Wesley Gibson and his father from Wanted. In the opening scene Gibson Sr. dodges sniper fire. Wesley is not usually seen being shot at, and it's possible he simply kills opponents before they can fire. In one exception, he deflects the bullet with a knife. Even then, Wesley was surprised that the deflection actually worked.
- Amadeus Cho, from The Incredible Hercules (no, really). He's a badass normal in that he is so smart he has the ability to figure out where the bullets are going to be and not be there. Despite being physically normal.
- Captain America can do this pretty well, although he prefers blocking them with his Immune to Bullets shield. Since the shield isn't that big, it still takes amazing reflexes for it to protect him as well as it does.
- When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aren't spinning their weapons, they're dodging bullets and lasers and so on.
- John Doe of Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja , thanks to a lifetime of Ninja training. In the first issue of his comic, he dodges a bullet fired at him from point-blank range; later, he dodges a sniper's bullets while running uphill towards the gunman.
- Sin City plays around with this. Miho and Wallace generally dance around gunfire. Dwight avoids it most of the time but has been pinned down by enemy fire more than once with nowhere to go. Marv avoids gunfire more often than not but is known to get clipped every now and then (not that it stops him). Hartigan was clipped in every gun battle he was involved in, although considering he was an old man suffering from a heart condition, this is quite impressive.
Films — Animated
- Mulan: Part of the training for the new recruits is to learn to run through a hail of burning arrows without being hit. This is almost an inversion in that in the beginning when they are no good at it they do some actual dodging, but once he's got the hang of it, Yao runs through without being hit without making any visible effort to dodge.
Films — Live-Action
- Star Wars: Jedi knights dodge and deflect Frickin' Laser Beams (often straight back at the shooter) so often that one wonders why individual mooks even try to shoot them. (As we find out in the prequel trilogy, the Jedi aren't all as good as the main characters, particularly against an army. Moreover, individual lightsaber styles or "forms" may or may not emphasize deflection and defense.) Justified in that blasters are actually particle weapons that fire bolts moving slightly slower than bullets, and the Jedi use their limited precognition to anticipate attacks and defend against them before they even happen. This can be defeated with lots and lots of guns, and lots and lots of firing, in a rapid succession. aka: More Dakka. In one of their very first scenes, C3PO and R2-D2 strolled right through the middle of a firefight without getting so much as scorched.
- The Matrix:
- Daredevil was able to dodge Bullseye's projectiles in The Movie. At one point, he back-flips his way through a window's worth of flying glass shards. His senses make him aware of the whole 3D environment around him, and he's able to tell from an opponent's stance which way they're about to shoot (or throw). A bit like Vamp from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (see video game section below).
- The Grammaton Clerics of Equilibrium have this as part of the Gun Kata package, though their opponents seem to have graduated from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
- The Beast from Kung Fu Hustle demonstrates that he is a Not So Harmless Old Master by catching a bullet fired at him from close range. Admittedly, one he fired at himself, but still...
- Drake from Blade: Trinity can not only dodge bullets fired from near-point blank ranges, but also change his form at the same time. Justified because he is the friggin' Dracula.
- The Big Bad of the first film, Frost, can also do this. Though no other vampire besides Dracula has ever done this, and it was never mentioned again.
- Boris The Bullet Dodger from Snatch seems to have a talent for making bullets miss him. In Boris' death scene, Tony has to use every bullet from a Desert Eagle clip before he manages to hit Boris, and that only works because he aims very carefully with the last shot. The .50AE Desert Eagle's absolutely hellacious recoil probably wasn't doing Tony's marksmanship any favours though.
- Cris Johnson in Next can see two minutes into the future and play out various scenarios in order to pick the best outcome. At one point in the movie, he finds himself up against a terrorist with a fully loaded gun. From our perspective, we get to see him split off in various directions in an attempt to dodge all the bullets complete with each false choice getting shot and disappearing until only one is left standing, the one outcome where he successfully dodged all the bullets.
- Jet Li's character in Lethal Weapon 4 does not seem to fear guns and in one scene dodges a bullet fired at him in the back unawares.
- Also Jet Li's character, Yulaw from The One has superhuman physical abilities and is once shown dodging a bullet.
- Remo Williams The Adventure Begins features a man being trained to do this, complete with comments about which muscles to watch for twitching and why you shouldn't cheat by remembering how many bullets are meant to be in the gun.
- Lampshaded in UHF. George fantasizes about raiding a heavily guarded prison camp to rescue Stanley. At one point, George stands inches away from a soldier firing a gun at him, but he keeps missing. Later in the fantasy, George catches a bullet in his teeth, chews it, and then fires the pieces out of his mouth back at the shooter like a machine gun.
- During the WWI sequence in Sucker Punch, as Baby Doll is closing in on the German courier, she uses her katana to parry the bullets he fires at her.
- Some of the other girls tilt, twist, and leap out of the way of bullets.
- In Alien: Resurrection one of the Aliens manages to repeatedly dodge point-blank shots from a guy established to have nearly RoboCop-level Improbable Aiming Skills.
- In Bulletproof Monk, the titular character appears to be able to do this as well, although he still gets shot by the Big Bad at the beginning after dealing with all the other Nazis firing submachineguns. One of the scenes (which, naturally, made it into the trailer) shows a Mook firing at the Monk with the bullet-time effect showing us the bullet moving past the Monk's nose, with the Monk following the bullet with his gaze. However, the bullet had already missed by that time (the Monk didn't even move aside), and we simply see that the Monk can react fast enough to see a moving bullet.
- The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis) in The Great Race is inexplicably the sole clean soul in the midst of a chaotic food fight in a bakery, perhaps part of his Man in White status. He does get hit with a pie (by someone on "his side", accidentally) at the very end of the fight. $18,000 (in 1965 dollars) worth of pies were used for the scene, which lasts over four minutes and took several days to shoot (necessitating the careful reconstruction each morning of the characters' appearance at the end of the previous day of shooting).
- Almost the same thing occurs with the canteen food fight in Blazing Saddles, where ultimate 'black hat' Hedley Lamarr ducks out unstained, only to apparently get nailed with a pie by some malicious party lurking in the washroom.
- In Edge of Tomorrow, Cage's ability to reset the day with full knowledge of the day's events gives him quite the edge in dodging anything and everything, eventually resulting in him giving Rita Vrataski a pace-by-pace, second-by-second rundown on how to dodge every single blow she faces in any given scenario.
- The In-Laws: "Serpentine!"
- The Destroyer paperback series of novels and the movie based on them, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, states that Masters of the martial art of Sinanju are able to dodge bullets, among their many other abilities.
- Further explored in later novels in the series, Remo discovers that a Sinanju master can 'punch' Civil War era muzzloader projectiles away. Master Chiun demonstrates this while kicking Remo in the chest simultaneously because why not?
- Averted somewhat in The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K Dick and Ray Nelson, in that the person being shot at is telepathic, and therefore knows when the shooter is about to pull the trigger.
- The engineereds in Duumvirate dodge single aimed bullets easily, but have a harder time with things such as poorly-aimed A Ks and shotguns.
- Grandpa Smedry of Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians and sequels presents an interesting twist, as part of his Smedry Talent: his Talent is being late; when somebody shoots a gun at him, he always arrives late for the bullets to hit him.
- In the Warhammer 40,000 novel Grey Knights, Ligeia's death cultists dodge almost all the firepower thrown at them.
- In the Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels novel Deus Sanguinius, the daemon Malfallax dodges the rounds fired at him by the Space Marines. As a princeling of Tzeentch, Chaos god of fate, he has an ability that allows him to see where the rounds go and move appropriately; when the body part enabling this is damaged, he fares considerably worse at avoiding.
- In Discworld, in Men at Arms, Sergeant Colon enters the Tower of Art, having just heard somebody, and reasons, seeing nobody in the tower, that they are behind him. He dives right as the Gonne is fired. Afterwards he swears that he felt the shot pass over him. Discworld is based on Steampunk era technology, and the Gonne would not be as fast-firing as modern guns. Also, Sergeant Colon can spout a lot of shit sometimes.
- In John D. MacDonald's The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything, the hero activates his magic pocket watch just as his adversary pulls the trigger. Not only can he easily get out of the bullet's way, he uses a ruler and his knowledge of the gun's normal-speed muzzle velocity to calculate just how much the pocket watch is slowing down time.
- In Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Kelly proves that dodging bullets is for sissies by dodging a Sentinel's laser blast. Then she flips it off.
- In Theirs Not To Reason Why Ia parries not just bullets but lasers with her sword. Justified by her precognitive powers; she knows beforehand where the projectile is going to be, so she can put her sword in the way.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek: Enterprise: The Augments appear to dodge disruptor beams when seizing the Klingon Bird of Prey, but that might be an illusion caused by their genetically-enhanced reflexes.
- MacGyver does this at times. He dives between lines of bullets shot by a helicopter in the early season intros. He's blocked a crossbow bolt with a 2x2 board. Practically nobody who shoots at him can hit him—if they do, they graze him (and cause amnesia). It's played off as luck, though, rather than skill, and he has a healthy respect for people pointing guns at him.
- Ziva does this in an episode of NCIS, though what actually happens is she hears the gun being cocked and reacts to that.
- Averted and busted by the MythBusters. While it is theoretically possible to dodge a .338 Lapua round in as close as 500 yards, it is not practical nor likely to happen with military grade rounds in a combat scenario. You can't see the muzzle flash from that far away, and the bullet will reach you before the sound of the shot.
- Hicks from Alphas is able use his Super Reflexes to get out of the way of a bullet. He realizes that the shooter is about to fire and drops to the ground before the trigger is squeezed. He follows this up with a feat of acrobatics right out of The Matrix which confuses the shooter and causes the second shot to miss as well.
- Parodied in The Office (US). Michael Scott's amateur film features his character dodging bullets from point blank range using some awkward and poorly choreographed poses.
- Fudge Fu, for Fudge, allows people to deflect lasers. This is with lasers that actually travel at the speed of light. And all they need is a little mirror, or even something along the lines of a very shiny spoon. Although it is intended to mimic crazy kung-fu movie action, and has more than a few other things which are just as ridiculous. Such as being able to walk across rapidly moving water.
- In GURPS the ability of characters to dodge bullets is justified by the assumption that you're staying away from where the shooter is aimed. You usually need exotic or cinematic powers to raise it above 10 (50% chance) so it's best not to rely on it against guns. With the right advantages and the high skill levels you can deflect weapons that move faster than the speed of light because... you know.
- Hero System has "Combat Luck" — Armor defined as "it just missed me, good thing I dodged" instead of the usual "it bounced off my skin/bulletproof vest/powered armor".
- In Shadowrun, the firing character uses a dice pool that can't really go higher than around 15 (agility max. 6 plus firearms skill max. 6 plus aptitude 1 plus specialization 2) while the defender uses reaction (max. 6) plus dodge (max. 6) plus aptitude (1) for a dice pool of 13, which gives an almost even chance of dodging any shot. (you successfully dodge if you roll more 5's or 6's on your 13 dice than the other person does on his 15) That is for a single shot (and we should mention that with stat-boosting cyberware, bioware and magic the shooter's pool could actually be up around 18). Start using burst fire and your chance of hitting can be a lot better...
- In Aberrant, Novas with at least two Mega Dexterity can make Dodge rolls against gunfire even without cover. (Those with four Mega Dexterity can make Block rolls to catch them.)
- The Old World of Darkness has a Dodge skill that allows you to dodge bullets. The difficulty of the dodge depends on your available cover. If you've got good cover, it can be a 6, which is a standard difficulty. If there is no cover, you can still drop to the floor to avoid the bullets, which is difficulty 8, pretty challenging.
- The base New World of Darkness rules avert this trope: firearms ignore characters' Defense scores. However, Vampires' power of Celerity grants Super Speed that does defend against bullets, on the basis that it makes them too unnaturally fast to target.
- Some of the shielding spells in Mage: The Awakening function in this way, depending on the type of magic. Fate-based shields make the caster just too lucky to hit, Time and Space distort their position just enough to avoid strikes, and Death and Forces slow bullets down enough to dodge.
- Older Than Steam: In Ben Jonson's 1598 play Every Man in His Humour a character claims to be able to teach another to deflect bullets with his sword. "Unless it be grapeshot, and spread."
- Happens all the time in Madness Combat. The main characters are rarely, if ever, hit, and even then, it's usually because an enemy has sneaked up on them.
- This happens a fair bit in Survival of the Fittest although considering that it is a roleplay and handlers are reluctant to allow their characters to die, it is only to be expected. The most ridiculous example happened with Clive Maxwell. He was shot at with an MP5 (a weapon which, mark you, fires around 13 rounds per second) and not only managed to push his 'friend' Liam Black aside but avoid getting hit at all by running around the shooter in a circle.
- Contessa of Worm can dodge and parry bullets at point blank range thanks to her Combat Clairvoyance; she's not particularly fast, but she knows how to move to avoid the bullets before they're even fired.
- There used to be an old naval trick of steering into the splashes made by a salvo knowing that when the enemy gunnery officer corrected the next salvo would land elsewhere. He might know the trick too... Matt Helm (in the novels by Donald Hamilton) has done this a couple times in speedboats to avoid snipers.
- If you're sufficiently far away from the shooter, it is possible to dodge an airborne paintball. The fact they're large, brightly colored and relatively slow moving (compared to actual bullets) makes it possible - although still very hard.
- Nerf darts travel VERY slowly compared to actual bullets, paintballs, or airsoft pellets. If you're paying attention to your shooter, you really can't get hit by a Nerf dart at any sort of range.
- Sufficiently lower powered airsoft guns (especially those firing light plastic pellets) can often be slow enough to both be seen and dodged.
- In his memoir a Russian artillery officer described how he managed to dodge a shot from a Panther tank's main gun. He was observing it through his observation telescope at the time and it fired from half a mile away. He saw the puff of smoke and hurled himself and his assistant into the bottom of the trench. He later calculated that he had just half a second between seeing it fired and the shell arriving.