For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.
It's the end of the movie, the climactic battle royale
between The Hero
and the Big Bad
... and The Hero
is losing. After a long struggle the Big Bad
finally manages to get through the hero's defenses and score what looks like a decisive hit. The hero crumples, looking to be in a dire strait indeed
. Usually at this point the villain takes the opportunity to gloat
a bit and humiliate his opponent verbally or physically, believing the hero to be his to dispatch at convenience. Often, the hero's loved ones will to be watching them
getting the beat-down in a horrified state, which adds to the despair of the situation (and is a pretty bad hit to the hero's confidence). In more violent examples, the hero will have wounds that really ought to be fatal
Then, just when everything seems to be lost, something happens. With a sudden all-out effort, the hero rises, often presaged or accompanied by a Theme Music Power-Up
, ready to rejoin the battle — and, this time, despite the apparently crippling injury just sustained, there's no question at all that the hero's going to end up standing over the villain's smoking corpse — or, more generally, triumph in whatever way is appropriate for the genre. It is also traditional to deliver a "World of Cardboard" Speech
in the process.
This trope is heavily relied on in Professional Wrestling
. Hulk Hogan
in particular carried wrestling for approximately eight years doing this, to the point where the moment a hero starts shrugging off
his opponent's offense is still called "Hulking up
" (not to be confused with "Hulking out"
There are hundreds of ways to do this same trope, but some of the most popular ones are:
- Realize what it is that you are really fighting for if you haven't done so yet.
- Think of your friends.
- Your belief in yourself is so strong that you refuse to give up.
- Your cause is so important, you are simply not allowed to lose.
- Resolve an inner conflict that has been holding you back.
- Your magical trinket starts glowing and heals your wounds.
- Just get really pissed off.
- ...or do the opposite: Calm your mind and focus.
- Ask the spirit of your ancestors, your deity or just the universe in general to give you more strength.
- A loved one is in danger!
- Realize that you are correct and your opponent is not; being the moral one will also make you superior in combat.
- Use sheer grit and force of will.
- On the brink of death you uncover a yet-unrevealed power.
- Did you make a vow to yourself or a promise to someone else (for example, "I will definitely come back!")? You're not going to break your word, are you?
- Is your belief in yourself or your weapons so strong that nothing can faze it?
- Fight the way a person like you would fight, rather than copying someone else.
- Have a friend or a random kid beg you to stand back up. It'd be rude to let them down, right?
- A ghost, a Spirit Advisor or some other apparition does the same.
- A Superpowered Evil Side that was hidden until this point suddenly surfaces.
- Remember what the Big Bad has done and all of his atrocities and then use The Power of Hate
- Realize that whatever collateral damage that might come around by unleashing all of your power is nothing compared to what will happen if this villain beats you.
- The Big Bad makes the mistake of reminding you about all the people that you loved that he killed or harmed. (Bonus points if he obviously enjoys those memories.)
...and many, many others.
of Heroic Spirit
. Frequently a Crowning Moment of Awesome
(who stays up because he never went down to begin with), You Are Already Dead
, And Your Little Dog Too
, Let's Get Dangerous
, Rage Breaking Point
Contrast Hope Spot
(when this is subverted). If you are looking for the original (but unrelated) name of this trope
, see My Name Is Inigo Montoya
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Anime & Manga
- Depending on the author, Spider-Man's greatest power is not wall-crawling, web-slinging, or even fighting like a cow. It's taking a Class A butt-kicking for 10 pages (complete with torn and shattered mask) before coming back to defeat the villain. The movies followed this pretty accurately. Perhaps the most famous example being in issue 33 of the original Lee/Ditko run, where Spider-Man lifts a massive piece of steel he'd been trapped under, in a room filling up with water, when he reminds himself about the final ingredient of the medicine Aunt May needs before it's too late.
- Parody example: An official ability of The Tick is Drama Power. This means that his strength actually increases the longer he is attacked, because a comeback victory is more dramatic. Clearly seen in The Tick vs. The Tick.
- Played so straight it became the ultimate example in Marvel Two in One Annual #7. A Cosmically-powered warrior called simply "The Champion" beams the strongest heroes of earth up to his ship to Box with him. The fate of the Earth is at stake naturally. The Thing is the last hero into the ring (the others being mopped-up in short order by a bored champion or not really understanding Boxing, and thus being "disqualified" and punted back to wherever they were yanked from — there's an absolutely classic moment where Thor pops up, thoroughly confused, wearing boxing gloves and trunks... and his winged helmet and cape. Of course, since Norse gods don't box much, he proceeds to wing Mjolnir at the Champion and get kicked out). The Thing gives a good account of himself before being savagely beaten down. He gets back up and attacks again, managing to injure the Champion before being beaten to an utter pulp. He gets up and manages to land a few more blows before being beaten through the floor. As the Champion goes into his spiel about the fate of the Earth, the Thing drags himself up and grabs him by the ankles (weakly). At which point the Champion declares "I could break your body, but I could never destroy your spirit" and leaves for other planets and other challenges. The story is based on a story in which Daredevil takes on the Hulk, which is itself based on a much earlier story involving Daredevil against the Sub-mariner.
- Used in an episode of Dexter's Laboratory, with their Avengers expies (and Monkey taking Thing's role). The Champion expy Rasslor was voiced by Randy Savage (if those two clues weren't enough, the contest in question was wrestling rather than boxing).
- The X-Men are defeated. The Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club stands victorious. Wait! A single hand raises out of the sewers water, soon followed by a very pissed Wolverine: "OK, suckers. You've taken yer best shot. Now It's My Turn!"
- John Hartigan did this twice in his story from Sin City. His second wind was usually brought on by his old age and heart failure, rather than actual attacks. At one point, after being shot, he tells the attacker "Just getting my second wind".
- This happens with Hulk a lot, due to the fact that both his strength and his rate of recovery speed up the more hes angered. When hes down and seemingly out for the count he'll usually get mad enough to get his second wind. In the 2008 movie he has a few just from seeing Betty Ross in danger (or apparent danger).
- The Punisher does this a lot. The most common reason for getting back up is having a flashback to the death of his family, especially when children are involved.
- This pops up during the Battle of Canterlot in The Immortal Game. Twilight is dueling General Esteem when Titan suddenly sneak attacks her and guts her. As she lays dying, Esteem mocks her, only to cut short as Twilight uses the link between the Elements of Harmony to tap into Applejack's Healing Factor and gets back up. Cue asskicking.
- During their final duel, Twilight, despite having absorbed Harmony's power and become an alicorn, starts losing to Titan, who verbally dismantles all her reasons for fighting while physically overpowering her. However, before he can kill her, she realizes his one vital flaw — that for all his talk of a natural order, he has no place in it — which she forces him to recognize, which breaks him completely, allowing her to gain the upper hand, strip his powers, and finally kill him.
- In chapter 17 of Ace Combat The Equestrian War, Fluttershy fights against Night Raven and puts up a fair fight, before the griffon calls for Axe to immobilize Fluttershy. After a brutal beatdown, Night Raven reveals to Fluttershy that he killed her friend, Blueberry earlier and how much he loves fighting. Before he gets a chance to finish Fluttershy off, she is able to free herself and flies into Unstoppable Rage, ultimately defeating Night Raven.
- During the Final Battle of the Pony POV Series Chaos Verse, the Big Bad Nightmare Phobia has managed to overwhelm Discord and Fluttercruel, and is on the verge of victory. Fluttercruel is about to hit the Despair Event Horizon when she finds the letter Discord wrote for the Princesses and entrusted to her... and which he knew she'd read. The message gives Fluttercruel the hope to keep fighting.
- MLP Next Generation: Know Fear!: During Starburst's battle with Nox/Shadow Wing at the climax, he overpowers her and takes her power ring, intending to harness its power for himself in the war with Equestria. However, this just makes Star think about all the suffering he'll cause to her home, family and friends; tapping into that fear, she's able to remotely recall her ring from Nox (blowing off his arm in the process), recharging it completely, before managing to end the fight by killing Nox.
Films — Animated
- The Lion King: Scar has main protagonist Simba trapped on a ledge, and is about to drop him into the flaming gorge when Scar whispers what he intends to be the Just Between You and Me secret: "I killed Mufasa." Those three words, which trigger the memory of watching Scar drop Simba's tired father into the stampede, give Simba more than enough Second Wind to lunge at his evil uncle and eventually defeat him.
Films — Live Action
- The Princess Bride:
- Inigo finally catches up with the six-fingered man who killed his father. After being stabbed several times by his nemesis, he rallies, accompanied with repetition of "Hello. My Name Is Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die." Was the former Trope Namer before the name moved somewhere else.
- Westley pulls a minor version of the same trick in the scene more famous for To the Pain. As Humperdinck loudly proclaims he's won because Westley can't even stand up, Wesley does just that. This, plus a "Drop. Your. Sword." command, is all it takes to win the final battle. It's made even better by the fact that, the instant Humperdinck was safely tied up, Westley promptly collapsed, having been bluffing the entire time.
- The fist fight at the end of Commando.
- Chariots of Fire: Don't you believe it-his heads not back yet.
- The Matrix franchise:
- The climactic battle between Neo and Agent Smith at the end of The Matrix, in which Neo rises to conquer despite having had an entire magazine of ammo emptied into his chest. To a lesser extent, "My name is Neo!" in the subway is another example.
- And once more in The Matrix Revolutions — after Smith delivers a truly exemplary Nietzsche Wannabe speech, he asks the beaten Neo why the hell he even bothers to keep fighting. Neo stands and says, "Because I choose to." Cue asskicking, trope subversion as Smith rejuvenates and beats Neo to a pulp again, double subversion as Neo gets up again, triple subversion as Smith manages to infect Neo, and finally quadruple subversion as Neo uses his defeat to provide a link between Smith and the computer that created him, allowing it to simply delete him.
- Subverted (sort of) in Wild Hogs. Ray Liotta and his bikers beat the heroes to a pulp, do it again when they get up and are shocked when the Hogs try and get up for a third time. In the end they are shamed off.
- Although Spider-Man is famous for doing this in general (see above), the climax of his first movie provides a particularly good example of this.
- The Chinese film The Warlords has a particularly powerful example (albiet, slightly subverted). Wu Yang, is attempting to take revenge his adopted brother Qing Yun for killing his other brother Er Hu. Even while Qing Yun beats his ass down with repeated blows and breaking his arm and leg, Wu Yang continues the fight, declaring that "The brother who kills the other brother must be killed by me!". However, at the most dramatic moment, when Wu Yang makes his final attack, Qing Yun is shot in the back by an assassin hired by his corrupt superiors. This allows Wu Yang to get past Qing Yun's defenses and make the final killing blow.
- Though he never actually goes down, Sin City sees Hartigan dispose of an entire unit of elite guards but take some serious damage himself in the bargain, to the extent that when he appears at the barn the Yellow Bastard is holed up in, he can barely stand or lift his gun. The Yellow Bastard gleefully points this out, and gets shot for it, although that's the least Hartigan does to him.
- Star Wars:
- In The Fall: although the final fight is a genuinely beautiful and tear-jerking moment, Odious is knocked out with a single blow as soon as the Masked Bandit finds the strength to fight back. And subsequently randomly falls onto a spike, because these kind of occasions call for blood. And proceeds to drown, messily, because... well, why not?
- Justified in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. After the T-800 is incapacitated by a metal bar through its power source, he uses a secondary power source to gain a second wind. However, he is noticeably still weak, and only uses his energy to reach the T-1000 to blast it.
- The first and last Rocky films had this as the central theme in the big fight. It's also very much used in the way Rocky beat Clubber Lang in Rocky III.
- Subverted in Fellowship of the Ring. Boromir takes an arrow, goes down... gets back up and keeps fighting. Four times before he can no longer get up again, taking out at least two orcs each time..
- Played and subverted in the ending of Hot Fuzz, when Skinner, fist-fighting Nicholas, pulls the lead out on his strength and takes the advantage with "Get... out... of my... village!" only to have Nicholas counter with one of his own: "It's not your village anymore!"
- In Kill Bill Vol. 1 the Bride manages to kill wave after wave of goons, only to be bested in her final duel with O-Ren Ishii. The hero seemingly fallen, O-Ren makes a few victory quips... but not so fast! The triumphant music swells, the Bride rises to her feet and defeats O-Ren.
- At the end of The Karate Kid Part II when the battered Daniel finally realizes the answer to the riddle of that little "secret of karate" knick-knack, rises slowly into a new stance with cold determination now in his eyes, and removes any doubt as to Chozen having any remote semblance of a chance from that point on. A similar moment happens at the end of Part III, in a weird way.
- In Ip Man 2, Ip has been knocked down by the Twister once more and is barely holding on when he remembers Master Hung's words, which gives him the determination to get back up and win.
- Malcolm Reynolds battling the Operative in Serenity. The Operative thoroughly whoops Mal, and would've taken him out entirely if not for that conveniently moved nerve cluster. The Operative begins, but doesn't get to finish, his speech, which Mal actually calls him on: "Expect you'd want to say your famous last words right now. Just one trouble. I ain't gonna kill you."
- The climactic duel in Rob Roy ends with one of these. Worth noting that an opponent grabbing your sword really is a major risk in rapier fighting.
- In the final showdown scene of The Last Dragon Leroy realizes that he is the master and lets Shonuff know this fact the proceeds to kick his asymptote. It happens again when Eddie Arcadian shoots Leroy, who appears to be dead but in reality had caught the bullet with his teeth.
- This goes back and forth in Street Fighter The Movie. First Guile kicks Bison around in hand-to-hand with only moderate resistance from Bison, then Bison powers up and starts shooting lightning and flying around, knocking Guile around like a rag doll, and finally Guile rallies and jump kicks Bison into a TV.
- Noticeably averted in Equilibrium and Ultraviolet, where the hero kills the Big Bad without breaking a sweat, and the only concession to show that the Big Bad is a credible threat is that he doesn't die instantly, unlike everyone else that came before. In the commentary for Equilibrium the director even mentions this trope, and states he thinks it's stupid and unnecessary for the hero to lose to the Big Bad in round 1 because the audience already knows the hero is going to win anyway.
- In Nacho Libre, during Nacho's fight with Ramses, the latter has Nacho pinned down with a foot on his neck, and everything slows down to show Nacho seeing Sister Encarnacion enter the stands, followed by Chancho and another orphan, both of whom are wearing luchador masks. Reminded of just why he's in the ring, he pushes Ramses off him and proceeds to kick some ass.
- In Bloodsport's climactic battle, Frank Dux has the upper hand, so the deceitful Chong Li throws poweder in his eyes and blinds him. Though initially incapacitated and completely unable to hit Chong Li, a flashback involving his friends and old master reminds him why he is fighting, and after calming his mind, he recalls his blind fighting training. He then receives a Theme Music Power-Up and defeats Chong Li soundly.
- In Aliens, Ripley desperately searches the xenomorph lair for Newt, using the tracker she gave her. But her homing device only points to the slime-covered tracker itself, and Ripley breaks down and cries over her apparent failure. However, she soon hears Newt screaming nearby, and immediately hurries over to gun down a facehugger before it gets out of its egg to latch onto her.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is this trope stretched out across an entire movie, where Kirk and the Enterprise have to overcome a mid-life crisis and a total drubbing by Khan and the Reliant in order to stop him from using the Genesis Device to cause unknowable amounts of damage.
- Done for decidedly unheroic reasons in Man of Tai Chi. After being soundly thrashed by a pair of fighters, hero Shen gets an Armor-Piercing Question from Big Bad Donaka who asks if Shen's only losing because he's afraid of what he can do. Shen then manages to get up and soundly beat the pair that beat him so easily.
- Sunshine: Physicist Capa is wounded and terrified, but has no choice but to suit up (a process which usually cannot be completed without assistance), make his way to the physics package of his ship, and set it off. Worse, he knows the madman who wounded him is probably already there and must be defeated first. An example of #4 above, since failure to do so will eventually result in the extinction of the human race.
- Engineer Mace is faced with a similar problem when he tries to get the ship's overheated computer back into its cryogenic coolant bath. He is forced to resort to actually jumping into the coolant to attempt the repair, which he knows will almost certainly kill him regardless of success or failure. It's Mace's admission of failure which brings home to Capa just what's required of him.
- The climactic fight in the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Wrong Bet ends this way.
- In Godzilla (2014), Godzilla manages to gather enough strength to get back up on his feet after suffering many severe injuries from a terribly long battle and being crushed by a skyscraper.
- In Rush, Niki Lauda starts the Italian Grand Prix poorly with several Impairment Shots because of still-healing facial burns from the Nurburgring crash. He even goes off the track at one point and the commentators wonder out loud if he's a danger to himself. Then there's a crash right in front of him, he somehow evades the wreckage, and his blurred vision clears up. He finishes the race in 4th to an outpouring of admiration from the crowd.
- When in The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass by Stephen King, Eddie Dean realizes with gradually mounting grim satisfaction what he has to do to beat Blaine in the riddle contest and destroy it, saving all their lives, and the despondent others, having lost their hope, look over at him (he has been apparently nigh catatonic and useless for hours) and see that he's trying as hard as he can not to burst into laughter as he says, "Blaine?...* I* have couple of riddles..." What follows is both the Crowning Moment of Awesome and the Crowning Moment of Funny of the whole seven-book series.
- Subverted rather cruelly by the ending of the original book, The Princess Bride: all of the instances listed above still happen, sure, but moments after that "perfect kiss", Westley relapses into a "mostly dead" coma, Íńigo passes out from blood loss, and Fezzik spots a platoon of Humperdinck's men pursuing them from the castle. Everybody scatters, and their actual fate is left up in the air. The movie didn't change the ending, really, the Grandfather just didn't read that far. I mean, the Kid was already sick, and pretty involved in the story; it only would've made him feel worse, y'know?
- Happens repeatedly in The Dresden Files. This could be due to Harry being ridiculously stubborn, and very powerful. Though they tend to be more drawing on hidden reserves than anything else.
- Occurs during the climax of the Warrior Cats first series of books, when Firestar fought Scourge. Scourge actually kills him once, and assumes he's gone forever, but since Firestar has nine lives, he comes back later. Firestar's triumphant return is somewhat of a shock to Scourge, and he comes back apparantly fighting with the power of StarClan. However, Firestar's I Surrender, Suckers is the actual deciding factor in the battle.
- Done constantly in Harry Potter. Seriously, pick any book. It almost always happens in the fights.
- Sort of subverted in Half-Blood Prince, where Harry, facing Snape, gets up once, twice, but the third time he's too late for stopping their escape.
- Happens several times throughout The Count of Monte Cristo.
- In Return of the King, Frodo is literally half-dead and dragging his body up Mount Doom when he almost hears someone calling "Now, now, or it will be too late!". He drags himself to his feet and walks up the rest of the way.
Live Action TV
- Firefly: In the episode "Out of Gas," Mal Reynolds announces his second wind with a classic dramatic gun cock as he gets the drop on the ship thieves who've just gut-shot him.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- The climactic battle in the episode "Becoming, Part 2". Angelus has Buffy cornered and disarmed and takes his moment to gloat (Spike even comments that Angelus is going to kill her), at which point Buffy kicks his ass.
Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends... No hope. Take all that away... and what's left? (thrusts)
Buffy: (catches his sword) Me.
- Buffy has another one in the series finale. She's stabbed by a random ubervamp, but after some taunting from the Big Bad, dramatically rises to her feet and carries on kicking ass.
First Evil (in the form of Buffy): That was a nice trick. You came pretty close to smacking me down. What more do you want?
- Those are the biggest examples, but this happens with a lot of the single-episode villains as well.
- Buffy also does this during her fights with The Master and Glory.
- Angel does this a lot. It's really just a matter of him getting mad enough to vamp out, at which point, you're kinda screwed.
- In the most recent season finale, Chuck is getting beat down by a now-Intersected Shaw until he remembers his childhood and how he had already downloaded a prototype Intersect and possibly because of the horrible things Shaw will do to Sarah, if Chuck loses, at which point Chuck does a fancy Kung-Fu pick-me-up move to get back to his feet and starts kicking ass.
Chuck: Sorry, just had to reboot.
- Worf made a fine showing of this trope on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Detained in a Dominion prison camp, the Klingon was forced to fight a near continual series of one-on-one fights with progressively more skilled Jem'hadar. Finally, he reaches the lead Jem'hadar, who beats the unholy hell out of him. However, Worf refuses to admit defeat, and rises to go another round. In a subversion, it's clear that the Jem'hadar could easily finish and kill him at this point, but instead...
Ikat'ika: I yield. I cannot defeat this Klingon. All I can do is kill him. And that no longer holds my interest.
- The Jem'hadar's superiors disintegrate him on the spot for his noble sentiment.
- The Doctor gets in one of these every so often on Doctor Who:
The Doctor: I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky!
Dalek: But you have no weapons! No defenses! No plan!
The Doctor: Yeah. And doesn't that scare you to death?
- And a couple seasons (and a regeneration) later, we get an example that isn't delivered to a villain, but it's the same principle, the speech o' determination given by the hero when things look bad:
Passenger: Who are you?
Doctor: I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I'm nine hundred and three years old. And I'm the man who's going to save your lives, and all six billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?
- The Brigadier almost gets one of these in Seventh Doctor story Battlefield. Faced with The Destroyer of Worlds he knocks out the Doctor, grabs a gun with silver bullets and walks into a situation in which he is totally outmatched.
Destroyer of Worlds: Pitiful. Can this world do no better than YOU for its champion?
Brigadier: Probably. I just do the best I can.
- In the Season 2 finale of Supernatural, Dean Winchester engages in a fight with Azazel, the Yellow Eyed Demon while the gates to Hell are open and spirits and demons are escaping. Azazel telekinetically tosses Dean into the air and he hits his head on a headstone (and his bloody forehead indicates that he has sustained a concussion at the very least). His dad's spirit breaks out of Hell, wrestles with Azazel, and then Dean aims the Colt (the magical Kill Anything Gun) at the Yellow-Eyed-Demon and shoots. It hits YED in the chest and he dies. When the rest of the battle is over, Dean walks over to the corpse of the Azazel's host.
Dean: That was for our mom, you son of a bitch.
- On Leverage, Eliot does this fairly often in fights with equally strong opponents, most notably in the season 1 finale against Quinn.
- It happens a lot in both Power Rangers and Super Sentai.
- Happens once in every series in the Ultra Series, starting with Return of Ultraman. It has escalated to the point where road shows literally have the audience participate when the performing Ultras are down in battle against their villain of the show.
- Stargate SG-1: In his second episode, Colonel Mitchell pulls a sword out of a stone and has to fight a holographic knight in armor. When his teammates realize he's getting his ass beat and no one else can wield the sword, Daniel suggests they all retreat. Mitchell then remembers being injured rescuing SG 1 two years prior and the sheer Heroic Willpower that helped him regain the ability to walk. He then proceeds to kick the knight's ass.
- Gottlieb's Rocky pinball machine has "On the Ropes", a kickback chute in the middle of the table that can take a ball that's about to drain and immediately shoot it back into the game.
- Likewise, The Champion Pub has a kickback chute labelled "Second Wind".
- Hulk Hogan, who would always call upon the power of all the Hulkamaniacs watching when it looked like he was going to lose a match. You could tell when he was drawing on their power because he would start shaking and the opponent's strikes wouldn't hurt him anymore. Because Hulking Up almost always lead straight into Hulk Hogan's Five Moves of Doom, he might as well have been invincible. Others who used a similar gimmick include...
- Carlos Colon's comeback sequence would usually be preceded by a cartwheel, which his son Eddie and daughter Stacy also took up, but not Carly, who rarely cartwheeled and when he did, was a heel.
- The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan after he Hulked Up by Hulking Up himself and drawing on the power of all his fans in the audience. The Ultimate Warrior's cue would be slowly using the ropes to stand back up while ignoring any offense the opponent threw at him then violently shaking the ropes before cutting into his five moves of doom.
- Sebastion Rose on the American Indy scene emulates the Ultimate Warrior's sequences.
- Dragon Gate's BXB Hulk has his own Hulking sequences, naturally but his usually wears off long before the match is over.
- Alundra Blayze/Madusa would seemingly be exhausted and crushed, the opponent would lackadaisically do a lateral press only for Madusa to impressively kip out of it and roar into a flurry of offense. It was understandable the first time but wrestlers really should have hooked her leg after seeing it twice.
- Most times The Undertaker simply no sells or sells the bare minimum because he's a zombie and mortal attacks shouldn't be hurting very much. When he was with Paul Bearer though, Undertaker wouldn't really start no selling until Paul demanded him to with his urn. At one point, Undertaker substituted the urn for the energy of the audience, blatantly copying Hulk Hogan.
- Eugene was mostly a good sport and timid by professional wrestling standards but sometimes he would go into an unstoppable rage and seemingly become immune to pain. This was most commonly triggered by bashing his head into a turnbuckle, which he seemed to hate and would signal it by repeatedly bashing himself in the head while staring angrily at the offender.
- The Eugene example is based on the Missing Link. Someone would drive the Link's head into a turnbuckle, Link would No Sell and just to prove how hard his head is he'd grab the back of his own hair and ram himself into the turnbuckle a few times. (Eugene was a Wrestling Savant who took random portions of gimmicks from older wrestlers - a kind of one-man Call Back.)
- Parodied by Santino Marella, who has a shoulder raising, heavy breathing, super powered comeback born of rage...that almost always wears off before he can hit the cobra.
- Also parodied on Sunday Night Heat by Charlie Haas, who would turn invincible after he put on a mask but the mask couldn't cure his fear of heights so he still lost after he climbed to the top rope.
- Magnum TA occasionally had an unstoppable rage variant, best seen in his United States Championship defense against Kamala, after he got sick of the Ugandan hitting him in the head the strikes stopped staggering him, even as he bled.
- Kamala himself had a variant, he wasn't as big as many other giants or as monstrous as other monsters but try to hurt his friends and he would become one of the most dangerous men on the roster, as a face anyway.
- Father Time, the oldest rookie in the history of professional wrestling, has a Hogan like comeback but it isn't explicitly drawing from the audience.
- You can't powerbomb Billy Kidman. Every time somebody tries he reverses it and almost always goes into a sitout facebuster and/or Shooting Star Press for the win.
- A strange example is Curryman, who usually started off his comebacks by force feeding his opponents curry.
- Tatanka would sometimes do a second wind routine by starting to do a Native war dance in the ring, (mostly) ignoring his opponent's offense. The word is mostly; at least once Bam Bam Bigelow was able to stop the 'wind dance' cold by enzigiri-kicking Tatanka in the back of the head.
- Inverted in Fighting Opera Hustle, where Himalayan could get a villainous second wind by being dosed in ice cubes. Not completely inverted though as Big Foot was more of misguided pawn than "evil".
- Daffney Unger discovered she could trigger a second wind in Solo Darling by having her sip some punch.
- John Cena, after he became a Face would usually get kicked around the ring in a manner reminiscent of child abuse for the majority of the match, then start to No Sell and hit his opponent with his finisher and win the match. Unlike the those listed above, there is no kayfabe explanation or audience cue to show when it will happen.
- The "Heroic Comeback" Signature Move from the Hong Kong Action Theatre! supplement To Live and Die in HK is made for those characters who make miraculous comebacks to turn the tables on the bad guy and come out on top just when it looks like they're down for the count. In order to use it, the character must have been either beaten to shit in an earlier scene by the guy he's using it on, or been reduced to half his Form and Focus by damage. When the character uses this signature (often during the movie's climax), he gains a complete replenishment of his Chi pool or a + 5 bonus to hit the guy who kicked his ass for the rest of the movie.
- The "Second Wind" action in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition uses a healing surge to give yourself 1/4 of your HP back and a temporary boost in defenses once per encounter.
- Also in 4th Edition D&D is the Epic Trickster class, with Epic Trick. Any class can take this as their final class change, assuming they have appropriate Dexterity and Charisma. Using Epic Trick completely restores HP, or restores all daily powers (except Epic Trick), or all magic item uses, or all action points. Whichever you pick, you get a huge power boost. Give it to a Wizard, and the phrase "Nothing up my sleeve" because infinitely more terrifying/badass.
- In fact, most Epic Destinies grant you this trope. They usually activate once you are reduced to 0 or less HP. The effect? Instead of helplessly bleeding to death on the floor, you stand up and fight. With healing and usually some bonuses to attack or defense.
- And parodied via exaggeration with the availability of a "Third Wind" feat.
- The Star Wars RPG has Second Winds as well. Once per day, you get a certain amount of HP back based on your Constitution. You have to be a heroic class, though (or have Extra Second Wind - heroics get an extra use, nonheroics just get to use it).
- Exalted, of course, has this in Final Ray of Light, a high level Integrity charm for Solars. If you know this charm, and you get wounded to the point of incapacitating injury/death while defending or championing those weaker than yourself, then those who need him, whether they want to or not, give rise to him rising again after a few minutes, restored to half health, essence, and willpower, and ready to fight again. You can't do it often, and it costs a permanent essence dot, but nothing can stop them from standing back up.
- Games that reward players for accepting setbacks with plot points/tokens/whatever which can then in turn be cashed in for (usually temporary) action bonuses or other benefits when needed lend themselves to this trope — the player character(s) may well endure a beatdown, but in the process harvest enough points to then turn the tables and stage a dramatic comeback. Examples include anything FATE-powered like Spirit Of The Century or The Dresden Files, but also Mutants & Masterminds and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.
- Marvel Heroic Roleplaying also features an explicit "Second Wind" special effect that a character may have as part of a power set. This basically allows the character to simply clear out all stress of some type (usually physical) that he or she may have suffered so far and boost a power from that set for the next action to boot...with the price being that the stress die, rather than just disappearing in a puff of heroic grit and determination, goes straight to the doom pool, i.e. the Watcher's special "trouble" dice pool from which it can be used back against the player(s) in some fashion. (Example characters from the basic rulebook who have this exact trick in their repertoire include Captain America and Spider-Man.)
- Hamlet, Act V, Scene II: "Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane!" spoken while a) stabbed (twice!), b) dying of poison, c) emotionally distraught at the deaths of ... well, everyone.
- Used in a particularly psychological variant at the end of A Miracle of Science, when the hero, with a decidedly unpleasant hole through his liver, faces down the Mad Scientist. All he actually manages to do is stand on his own, but that's also all he NEEDS to do...
- Used straight in the fan webcomic The Last Days of FOXHOUND where Liquid is impaled through his chest with a katana. As he bleeds to death, he is taunted in his mind by the voices of his team mates, the ninja that impaled him, and his dead father about how much he sucks. He then proceeds to stop the bullet-evading ninja singlehandedly.
- Of course, Liquid's ability as a FOXHOUND member is that of the Determinator. Much like in the game, he just simply refuses to die.
- Bob and George:
- Happens here in the Endgames world of Megatokyo; true to the trope, Largo is severely wounded and "T3h 3vil" gloats before the final blow, but Largo manages one last strike that takes him down. But soon after, it becomes a subversion; Piroko heals both of them, and the bad guy kills Largo before he can get up.
- Linkara did it in his fight with Countdown to Final Crisis turned alive. He even made one of the most stupid sentences in a history of comics sound badass while doing it.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- In Dexter's Laboratory any time Monkey seems to be down for count his adoring fans will begin chanting "monkey, monkey" at which point he will begin to regain power and jump back in the fight.
- The "Justice Friends" short "Dial M for Monkey" from Dexter's Laboratory did a complete remake of Marvel Two in One Annual #7 (see above). With "The Champion" renamed "Rasslor" (and voiced by pro wrestler Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Oooooh, Yeeeeah!), The Justice Friends filling in for the rest of Marvel's line-up, and Monkey filling the shoes of Mama Grimm's blue-eyed boy. Played completely straight (Rasslor's final speech — "I could break your body, but I could never destroy your spirit" — is lifted verbatim from the comic, as the original writer gets a writing credit), which just makes it funnier.
- Bugs Bunny: "Of course you realize this means war."
- Two Words: Popeye. Spinach.
- Always presaging that long, drawn out note that lets you know the hero's theme music is about to start. If it then segues from that into The Stars and Stripes Forever (or Columbia, Gem of the Ocean, or Yankee Doodle), somebody's going to get a better than average beat-down.
- Danny Phantom: The Ultimate Enemy, where the hero owned his evil future self by unleashing the Ghostly Wail with the lives of his family and friends as his ultimate gumption.
- A Ghostly Wail that his future self got only prior to the movie starting, makeing it that much more dramatic and badass.
- Transformers Animated Final episode "Endgame, Part II":
- Also the 1986 animated Transformers: The Movie, when Optimus Prime is lying as a crumpled wreck at Megatron's feet, and Megatron gloats "It's over, Prime." (Prime's response? "NEVER!", co-delivered with a two-handed haymaker. He was still badly injured afterward, though.)
- In Transformers Cybertron Optimus Prime's final showdown with Galvatron. At first Galvatron gets the upper hand, then Optimus gets back up and finishes Galvatron off with Vector Prime's sword.
- Monsters vs. Aliens: Susan's Pre-Asskicking One-Liner, "My name is Ginormica!"