In one Dodge truck commercial, the guy wakes up to the sound of a cricket chirping, in the middle of the night, across a babbling brook, and silences it with a single accurate shot with a compound bow in between chirps.
An advert on ESPN America, to coincide with the first Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey, Jr. (in normal clothes but clearly referencing Holmes), had him suggest that a play where a Quarterback's pass was tipped by an opposing defender, only to land in one his team mates arms and be easily run in for a touchdown, may not have been a fluke.
Kikyo performs several impressive feats of marksmanship with her arrows, a skill that isn't passed on to Kagome at first, but by the end of the series Kagome is able to shoot moving targets while keeping herself balanced on Inuyasha's back, hit tiny shards of the sacred jewel hidden within a enemy's body with pin-point accuracy, and eventually shoot a target even if a person or wall is in the way, without the arrow hitting that person or wall
Sango also fits into this category seeing as she's able to hit a mark with her enormous boomerang with incredible accuracy, even when it is on the rebound.
In Blade of the Immortal, Habaki has a pistol-wielding marksman who manages to save Habaki's daughter/subordinate from death by arrows, by shooting all 10-20 of them out of the air. Made even more improbable, by the fact that they were flintlock pistols.
While an odd example, Ataru Moroboshi usually uses a frying pan to block Jariten's fire breath and to hit him away, usually a few blocks. In one episode, Jariten's mother visits, and he tries to get a carnation for her, only to be delayed by many bizarre circumstances that you get used to when watching this show. In an act that might be considered kindness, Ataru hits Jariten with the frying pan, who goes flying...right into his mother's lap. Please note that Ten's mother was at least a mile away, which makes Ataru more or less as accurate as a sniper...with a frying pan.
Hol Horse's Stand basically grants him Improbable Aiming Skills, as he can control where the bullet goes after he's fired it.
And yet he never manages to hit anyone (that wasn't retconned back to life) with said homing bullets.
Even further along the timeline is Guido Mista, whose Sex Pistols Stand kicks the bullets he fires out of a gun. If he doesn't feed them first they won't work and also will sometimes beat each other up.
In Jura Tripper, Tiger shoots a saddle latch, causing it to rip and release the saddle. From a flying dinosaur.
Mazinger Z: One of the Dr. Hell's Mechanical Beasts (Jenova M9) could shoot down anything as far as one hundred kilometres away. Baron Ashura decided to try out its aim -by shooting down a passenger plane.
The king of Improbable Marksmanship, however, is probably Vash the Stampede. Capable of putting a bullet down the barrel of a sniper's BFG from a kilometer or so away. Earlier in the series, he attends a quick-draw contest, and is able to ensure that every hit is non-lethal by flicking pebbles at the bullets in-flight and altering their course. In the same contest, he tries to get out of the qualifying round by intentionally missing the targets; he fails. Missing, that is.
Vash: Eh... oops. I hit them all...
Vash has the closest thing to an adequate justification for this kind of ability: He's been practicing, daily, with the same gun, for nigh-on 150 years.
Nicholas D. Wolfwood from the same series was also quite good, especially for a teenager, but he naturally pales against Vash.
Rushuna Tendo, the main character, is also a peace-loving, gun toting blonde in a red jacket. At one point, she stopped a massive barrage of bullets by firing a single bullet, that caused a chain reaction where each bullet deflected the next bullet down the line until the final bullet destroyed the machine gun firing said bullets.
In the final battle in the series, in which Rushuna faces off against her Evil Counterpart, 80% of the bullets they fired would hit each other exactly between them. In one case, rapid-fired while jumping away from each other.
Train pulls many stunts similar to Vash, including shooting down both barrels of a Dual Wielding opponent and shooting other people's bullets out of the air (after a few seconds talking about how their shots would be ineffective anyway). Maybe most improbable is when he shoots a can off a stump, then shoots it five more times while in the air, aiming at the same spot where he shot it the first time. He only hits three, gets annoyed, and is later spotted next to a pile of similar cans having wasted a lot of bullets. One can only assume he got it right at some point. He complains that he's "losing his touch" and that he needs to practice, something he apparently hadn't done in a while.
The vampire leads are extremely good (though not infallible) shots due to a sort of "third eye" superpower they have. Even more impressive is the manga's Rip van Winkle, whose magical rifle fires bullets that change course mid-flight to such a degree that they can hit multiple targets and blow up helicopters.
The fully human Integra Hellsing (in the first TV series at least) is shown as capable of shooting the exact same spot on a target repeatedly (creating a single hole in it) and rapidly shooting the shape of a cross into the face of a vampire (take into account the gun's recoil and the fact that the vampire would stagger back after each shot).
Amazing shooting skills are a key characteristic of the female assassins in the anime Noir. Among other things, one of the characters—on two separate occasions—is capable of shooting the blade off a knife being swung at her partner. She does this with a handgun at up to fifty feet away.
Gunsmith Cats revolves around high-octane gunning and driving around the streets of Chicago — and the main character's trademarked ability to shoot her opponents' trigger finger off at a generous distance. (Hence her nickname, "Thumb-Snap Rally".) She's also hit an oncoming RPG dead-center to detonate it before it reached her, put a hole clean through a target's hand from a neighbouring rooftop (although that wasn't with a handgun) and on more than one occasion has fired her gun in order to hit someone with the ejected bullet casings. Once when asked at gunpoint to disarm, she let her magazine fall on her foot, whereupon she kicked it back into place and shot her assailant (who was understandably dumbstruck at the maneuver).
Seto Kaiba on more than one occasion knocks something out of someone's hand with a piece of cardboard.
Before him, there was the Agent S5, who used poker cards as projectiles.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX takes this further with Austin O'Brien, whose duel disk doubles a gun. He's more than capable of hitting a target several hundred feet away. For whatever reason, the cards tend to explode upon impact.
Usopp tops himself in the Dressrosa arc, when he snipes someone in a castle through multiple windows from the other side of the island.
Usopp also once shot a ball from his slingshot through a crown on a weathervane chicken that essentially across most of a city. He initially didn't see it because it was so far away.
There are two other characters connected to Usopp, who, at least at the time of their introduction, actually outclassed Usopp in Improbable Aiming Skills. These are Yasopp, Usopp's father, who has claimed to be able to hit an ant between its eyes. The other is Van Auger, Usopp's obvious Evil Counterpart, who has demonstrated lethal accuracy from so far away the main characters can't even see the island he's shooting from. It is unclear whether or not Usopp has surpassed either yet, though it seems almost inevitable that he ultimately will. Van Auger shouldn't be surprising, as his clothes, gun, and aiming ability all seem to be taken directly from Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
And now we have the Mato Mato fruit, who allows the user (the fishman pirate Vander Decken IX) to turn whoever he touches into a target, so that any item he toss will chase him down forever and hit him, unless there is an unavoidable or faster-moving object in the way.
Though normally she's Overshadowed by Awesome, sometimes to the point of being a Distressed Damsel (though, to be fair, her fiance Ranma Saotome gets the Distressed Damsel treatment too, sometimes actually being a damsel), Akane Tendo nevertheless is repeatedly shown to have amazing skill with thrown or projectile weapons. In one of the earliest stories, she manages to accurately shoot an arrow laden with a bag containing about a kilo of catnip, and repeatedly manages to nail just about anyone she pleases with thrown weapons, no matter what she's actually throwing. One notable example is when Hikaru Gosunkugi tries to ruin Ranma's reputation by dressing up in costume and harassing Furinkan Girls, only to pull this on Akane, who promptly attacks him and, when he outruns her, throws an apple at him. It bends around a corner, practically at a 90 degree angle, and hits him hard enough to knock him head over heels.
Ranma also exhibits some improbable aiming skills, as he was once able to flick a stub-sized pencil from across the classroom, while jumping, and stick it point-first into the hole of the fifty-yen coin in his teacher's hand. He was also able to jam a polearm weapon perfectly into the key-like slot on a statue, while falling from several hundred feet in the air.
In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Kasai manages to snipe out all four tires of a van (think of the angles!) in under 7 seconds from a great distance. This apparently requires no resighting, reloading, or any movement on the part of the shooter.
In Rose of Versailles, Oscar is a legend with a sword, so when someone challenges her to a pistol duel, everyone thinks that she's *** ed. However, one Retcon later, she's also been practicing with guns her whole life. Who knew?
Kurz Weber is apparently one of the most naturally talented marksmen in the world, and generally handles sniping duties for his unit. This includes, at one point, making a shot from the back of a moving truck that goes straight into a Humongous Mecha's machinegun, disabling the weapon — using an ordinary sniper rifle. His personal best? A 1,620 yard kill-shot at heart, at night, during a storm, while dying of massive physical trauma including a broken back. At the time the novel in which this happened was written, the world record was 2,500 yards, with a considerably more powerful rifle, in considerably more ideal conditions (good lighting, no crosswind...).
Compared to Kurz, Sousuke's marksmanship is merely normal, but he still nails a watermelon from something like fifty paces, blindfolded, during a game of crack-the-watermelon in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. With a shotgun.
And then there was Shinji, he hit several turrets while running so he could be able to look at the girls bathing. He lands on Sousuke's crotch.
The Major from Ghost in the Shell once shot a fleeing perp in the ankle, as he was landing from a jump, at what could have been no less than a hundred meters. Justified somewhat with the Major being a full cyborg capable of acting with literally mechanical precision and has targeting software capable of calculating all aspects of the shot.
In the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG episode "Poker Face", the Major and Saito face off. It becomes a game of I Know You Know I Know when Saito is viewing the skills of The Major and realizes she does not have the software for midrange sniping skills. He attempts to shoot her before she can download the software. The Major had been fooling Saito into thinking that she couldn't shoot down his bullets midflight the whole time and shoots him in the eye.Maybe.
Vice managed to snipe the head of a Combat Cyborg who was attacking an ally, with said ally being in the way of his line of sight, through a building window, from a moving helicopter that couldn't be seen from said building. And he did this while said cyborg had previously been playing possum, so he only had a split second to react and perform the shot.
Subverted in a flashback by the same character. A gunman is holding a little girl hostage. (Even worse? Said little girl is Vice's sister, Laguna.) He takes the shot and hits her in the EYE!!! The guilt from this caused him to quit his job as a sniper and become a helicopter pilot. The girl visits him later in the series while he is hospitalized and she appears to have a glass eye.
Near the beginning of A's, Nanoha, while training, uses a guided magical bullet to hit a juice can 100 times in midair, and is slightly disappointed when the can doesn't fall into the trash bin after the final strike.
In the movie The Professional, he killed a man by aiming through the skyscraper between them. Not enough for you? The pinnacle of improbable aim comes from the chapter "Hollywood Cinderella", where he aimed at a target by watching them on TV. He could probably shoot you from another continent given the right gun.
In "Room 909", the second episode of the 2009 anime, the cops manage to get all the evidence they needed to incriminate him: they found him in the only hotel room the shot could be taken from, they found the custom precision rifle he used in the dust chute, they found the shell casing from the high-powered bullet(which a patrolman picked up when it was still warm, perfectly matching it to the time of death), etc. For all purposes, he was caught. Then... they did the math on the shot: 500 meters away(five football fields), through a two-foot gap between buildings(less than the length of an adult arm), at sundown with the sun shining on the window so the glare would render it all but opaque, with the wind blowing perpendicular to the line of fire requiring the shot to be off-center. Oh, and he put that Pretty Little Headshot right between the targets' eyes. Final assessment; the shot was STATISTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. They had to let him go, because a trial would be a waste of time - despite the reams of evidence, no jury on Earth would believe a human being could make that shot, especially one that remained at the "scene of the crime" for a full day afterwards. And he chose the room in advance solely to take advantage of this - in order to convict him, people would first have to be convinced that Improbable Aiming Skills of his caliber are even possible. The head inspector even commented "To prove that he's guilty, you'd have to prove there's a monster amongst us with the skills of a god." YEAH.
Interestingly Golgo 13's signature weapon is an M-16 assault rifle instead of the usual purpose-built sniper rifle. People tend to forget that an assault rifle is still a rifle.
Another episode of the anime has him contracted to sever a single violin string in the middle of a concert, without damaging either the player or the violin.
Lockon Stratos from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is recruited for the PMC Celestial Being because of his ability to, with the aid of his Dynames Gundam, shoot a satellite out of orbit from the ground, not to mention during the siege on the Ptolemaios, the Gundam was not calibrated and he ignored Haro's request to tune the gun and instead programmed it to manually target or else he would have been inactive for a good 10 minutes. That and he also has skill with a real life sniper rifle.
A less noticed example would be Lady Une of Gundam Wing. She managed a headshot with a standard hand gun, while the target was in free-fall and she was in the airplane she had thrown the target out of 8 seconds prior. Wing also has Trowa Barton, pilot of Gundam Heavyarms. In The Movie alone, we see him shooting missiles out of the air and fighting hundreds of opponents without a single fatality. Nothing impressive for your standard Cold Sniper, right? Well, Trowa does all this with Gatlings. On top of that, in one episode we see that Heavyarms' control system doesn't auto-compensate for the added weight of the Gatlings, meaning there's incredible resistance on the control sticksnote Heero attempts to move the arm when he's forced to use the Heavyarms in a duel, but it barely budges and he re-opens a wound inflicted earlier; on the plus side, this also means that the Heavyarms gains a massive boost in speed and maneuverability when the Gatlings run out of ammo and Trowa drops them.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Kira Yamato once he gets the Freedom Gundam. Granted, he is using a targeting computer for aid, but nonetheless, he frequently fires five beams at once, which disable (not destroy) five different mobile suits per volley. He's even better in Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, where he's got even more beams and often fires from strange angles (such as being upside down). You could maybe chalk this up to his being a Coordinator... except that no other Coordinator in the series even comes close to that level of marksmanship.
This could be due to his being claimed to be the ultimate Coordinator by Rau Le Creuset towards the end of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
In Samurai Deeper Kyo, Basara, who is a member of the Junishinsho, is able to fire countless arrows at incredible speed, and almost never miss, even when he is aiming at such tiny points like eyes or in peoples' mouths. And as if that weren't badass enough, his specialty is firing his arrows in the air so that they will come down around him at the exact moment his enemies close in for the attack. It's implied that Basara is such a strategic genius that he can predict when his enemy will close in, but it seems more like a supernatural ability than anything else.
In the manga Gun Blaze West, "Target" Kevin is a sharpshooter... with a double-barrelled sawed-off shotgun. Yeah. He's also got a twelve barrelled number for special occasions, but still seems to think of himself as an ace marksman even though it would take more effort not to hit something with that monster.
Parodied in Ninin Ga Shinobuden, where a squad of Ninja pin all of Miyabi's rogue summoning scrolls to the wall with shuriken. Then they all start expressing their surprise, as none of them had ever used a shuriken before.
While training, Itachi leaps into the air and, while upside-down, hits eight targets with his kunai, and strikes two of them in midair in such a way to divert their course to hit two targets behind a rock, while still getting those two to their targets. In an early episode, Zabuza throws some shuriken at Naruto, but Haku, who is standing between the two and off to the side, out of the way of the shuriken's flight path, throws needles at them and knocks them out of the air.
Apparently Tenten has this ability, however, this never stops anyone from just blocking or deflecting her ninja tools.
Madlax, who can kill anyone not protected by Plot Armor with a single shot regardless or whether or not she's running, jumping, or hanging upside down. Half the time she doesn't even aim. Half the time she doesn't even have her eyes open. And yes, these overlap, resulting in scenes where she literally dances through fully-automatic weapons fire with her eyes closed and picking off her attackers one by one while facing a different direction.
Taken up to major proportions in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which has Yoko in the Final Episode when she snipes the Anti-Spiral's Homeworld. Note that although it seemed like an easy hit, take into account that the fight had the Grand Zamboa and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann moving faster than the speed of light. And Yoko STILL manages to hit her target even through a hail of laser fire while her target was moving at the speed of light.
Although his excess of guns is usually just for intimidation (and laughs), Hiruma has insanely good aim when it counts with his guns or a football. The Kid, too, although he's descended from Olympic champion marksmen.
Pretty much all the quarterbacks, as expected of them, have great aiming skills, with the biggest exception being (probably) Homer from the NASA Aliens/Shuttles, who has a super long, super huge pass, but has little control on where it lands and so he relies heavily on his receiver, Watt.
Throwing a fifty-meter long lance into low Earth orbit in order to hit an Angel barely a few hundred meters across dead on? It doesn't matter if the thrower was a semi-organic Humongous Mecha with a trio of supercomputers doing ballistic calculations, that sort of thing is a bit much for your average person. Apparently, Rei can do it.
Ookami-san's Ryoshi can shoot marble-sized balls with a slingshot with remarkable accuracy. He shot a moving baseball out of the way, for crying out loud!
Revy from Black Lagoon not only hits practically every time, but she does it wielding TWO GUNS AT ONCE! And it seems like every mook she shoots dies instantly or is at least incapacitated.
In Hidan no Aria, Reki, who's signature quote is "I am a single bullet. It has no heart. Therefore, it does not think. It just flies straight towards its target", shoots the unilluminated clamp holding a bomb to the shadowed underside of a speeding bus off... from a distance of at least 200 meters... from inside a pace matching helicopter (think of the down draft on the bullet), through the siderails of the bridge that are flashing past several times a second... thus forcing the bomb to not only detach from the bus but bounce off the bridge to detonate harmless in the water. She is said to be able to shoot anything within a 2km radius without missing.
In Canaan In the first episode, Canaan takes out several enemies at long-range with a pistol.
In Death Note, when in the last episode Matsuda manages to accurately shoot a pen out of Light's hand as he tries to write down Near's name on a hidden piece of Death Note.
He pulls this off even better in the movie version: he shoots Light's watch off his wrist (note that this still broke Light's wrist and he was bleeding pretty badly from it). The movie foreshadows his skill somewhat by offhandedly mentioning that he's a sharpshooter.
Genjyo Sanzo from Saiyuki for sure. He has not only shot a single playing piece off a floating table when both of them were whirling around in a torrential maelstrom, he once shot a poison seed out of Gojyo's heart with such pinpoint aim that it destroyed the seed without killing Gojyo.
Mirai Nikki: Yuno is scarily good with a handgun as well as any bladed Psycho Weapons she gets her hands on. Best exemplified when she took down a police SWAT team by shooting them all in the neck, thereby avoiding their bulletproof vests and helmets.
There's also Yukiteru and his darts, which he uses as weapons against other diary owners.
Bleach: The Quincy are an entire clan of this trope with the most notable example being Ryuuken. He restores his son Uryuu's drained powers on the fly, by shooting an arrow through a chakra point 19mm to the right of the sinoatrial node of the boy's heart without damaging the tissue around it. Uryuu wasn't standing still for this, either. He was trying to dodge. Granted, Ryuuken's a gifted surgeon who knows his way around the human body but it still takes Nerves of Steel to perform unanaesthetized heart surgery on your dodging offspring with a giant flaming energy arrow.
Ryo Saeba in City Hunter is quite the crack shot. The first shot he ever fired? Right in the ear of a fighting boxer with a .500 Nitro Express elephant gun. He makes many other difficult shots with his Colt Python .357 Magnum during the series, but the best evidence of his skill came when he used a sniper rifle to shoot a rifle's barrel, a belt, a tie and the buttons of a shirt from about a kilometer away (the guy with the rifle and clothing shots could only whimper those shots should have been impossible. Being capable of shooting a person from a km away himself, he knew what he was talking about).
Juzo Naniwa in Combattler V pulls off some truly ridiculous shots. At one point, he throws a pistol into the air, runs out from behind cover and proceeds to not only shoot the trigger of said pistol, causing it to fire at a small mind control device attached to another character's neck without harming them but then shoot the airborne device. Both of these shots are taken while he's still falling from jumping over a shot from the mind controlled character's ray gun.
In Gatchaman episode "The Bird Missile of Bitterness", Koji is assigned to perform an assassination for Galactor. He's got his rifle pointed at the target, while riding his bike up the stairs of the arena and steering with his feet. Joe shoots out the scope on the rifle. From a considerable distance away.
In Fairy Tail, Gray manages to shoot Racer with an arrow from a mile away.
Detective Conan: Vermouth, despite being injured, manages to shoot out the gas tank of a car with a small handgun while driving another car and looking in her rear-view mirror. As Akai remarks, she's very good. (Akai himself is no slouch, either, able to Scope Snipe Gin from several buildings away, but he was only able to pull that off by setting a trap.)
The newest movie involves a sniper making plenty of fairly improbable shots, but the most egregious one is when the sniper shoots somebody on a very far away moving train while the laser aim is pointed on him, which would only be possible if the bullet moved at the same speed as the laser, as in the speed of light.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle's Kurogane may also fit into this as he shows himself to be capable of very unlikely feats of precision...exactly once. In Acid Tokyo he uses a stone to knock a crossbow bolt out of the air. And acts like it was nothing out of the ordinary. Comes with being a BadassNinja apparently.
Taking it Up to Eleven, one comic has him saying that the prison he's in has him on stool softeners and a liquid diet for fear that if he has a solid BM, he'll weaponize that. And he would, too.
Putting this through Serial Escalation to make a Moment Of Awesome is a two-part mini-series called Bullseye: Perfect Game. The series revolves around the fact that Bullseye is so bored, he takes an entire year off to kill one guy in the most spectacular fashion possible. The target is a baseball player, so Bullseye becomes a pitcher. When their teams face off, Bullseye creates a perfect game, by clipping his own team beforehand, from throwing a speck of dirt into an eye to cause an infection to killing someone with a thrown battery, and striking out every batter so the score is 0 to 0 in the last inning, with his target about to strike out. Too bad the umpire called the last pitch a ball.
In the film, he goes after Daredevil because he made him miss.
In Sinister Spider-Man, Bullseye uses a yapping dog to the eye to distract Venom. Even more amazingly, the dog lived afterwards.
There are two Lanterns that top him. Bedovian, a Yellow Lantern and John Stewart, a Green Lantern. The two of them are capable of sniping each other from three space sectors away. Just to give you an idea of how big a sector is, the entire universe is divided into 3600 sectors by the Green Lantern Corps. A conservative estimate would put the size of a sector in the several hundreds of thousands of lightyears.
Stewart and Bedovian weren't necessarily hundreds of thousands of light years away from each other in that instance. The space sectors into which the universe is divided are wedges, with each wedge narrowing as one approaches Oa, the center of the universe. Thus, the closer one gets to Oa, the less distance one has to travel to cross any three sectors. At the time of the sniping incident, Stewart was on or very close to Oa and, if Bedovian was also fairly close to Oa, they may have been shooting across three sectors without being all that far from each other (while not quite as incredible, the distance would still be pretty impressive).
While all The Minutemen from 100 Bullets wield handguns with deadly accuracy; Minuteman Willie Tymes never misses. His fellow agents gave him a nickname "My first shot is my last."
Lucky Luke is the quintessential Wild West example. He can shoot off the firing pin of a derringer tinier than a pinky — and do so faster than his shadow. At another point, he goes into a saloon and shoots seemingly random holes into a roll of waxed paper. Then he puts the roll and a coin into the player piano... which proceeds to play Chopin's "Funeral March" There are other occasions of improbable aiming in the comics — in one instance, two Dalton brothers shoot two bullets at each other that collide with each other half-way between them. Please note that Lucky Luke is a parody, so his skills are meant to be impossibly amazing, just like the bad guys are meant to be impossibly stupid.
From both The DCU and Marvel comics, self-trained superhero archers Green Arrow and Hawkeye, and their families of characters, can ricochet arrows off walls and into targets. And that's not even getting into "boxing glove arrows", "bomb arrows", "net arrows" or "cat arrows" (don't ask). They have, at times, been depicted as so implausibly good, some people theorize that they actually have psychokinesis and are simply using it to show off by making it look like they're the world's greatest archers. The fact that the artists and writers of their titles usually don't do very much research into how archers actually even hold their bows drives it home for a lot of people.
Green Arrow once lost both arms (he got better) and still managed to pull off a shot by bracing the bow with his feet and pulling the arrow back with his teeth.
In Marvel's Ultimate universe, Hawkeye is an expert marksman who chooses to use a bow because of the challenge. He was shown to be deadly with anything he could throw, even killing a room full of armed guards while strapped down to a chair by flicking his fingernails. (He did mention at some point that it was not only practise, but that his vision was artificially enhanced.)
At one point he runs out of arrows and starts shooting piece of rebar at people. It's such typical behavior that no one even mentions it.
The main universe Hawkeye, in the Hawkeye And Mockingbird series, fired three Pym Particle arrows - arrows whose heads were capsules filled with dozens of toothpick-sized arrows that were treated with the chemical Ant-Man uses to get bigger/smaller. When they deployed and expanded, the thugs they were facing got to fight in the shade. Every single one was taken down non-fatally. Hawkeye simply said he never hits what he wasn't aiming for. Did I mention this was during a motorcycle chase?
Not to mention in the alternate future Old Man Logan, where Hawkeye is blind, yet just as good, managing to get three gangsters in the mouth with three arrows just by listening to where they are.
Both Sin City and The Badger have featured a character throwing an object with such accuracy that it plugs the barrel of an enemy's gun. What wouldn't a darts player give to be able to throw like that?
Daredevil has also done the plugging-a-gun (and surely Bullseye too, though I can't think of any specific examples). Frank Miller really likes these feats, doesn't he?
Allan Quartermain gained access to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen mostly by virtue of his Improbable Aiming Skills. At least he's got the good grace to use a rifle. The film version did, at least; in the comic, Allan is considered valuable for his experience in adventuring more than anything else, and his signature weapon is an elephant gun and, later, a custom-made double-barreled shotgun — firearms that are very hard to miss with.
In the film, he also manages to teach Tom Sawyer to shoot just as accurately, which proves useful in taking out the Big Bad. Interestingly, the film also shows that Quartermain's vision isn't what it used to be. He needs glasses, but can still shoot just as precisely.
Blade is pretty damn handy with, you guessed it blades. Tossing his daggers down the barrel of guns or pinning people to walls by their clothes is a breeze. When sneaking up on a vampire about to bite a woman, Blade threw a stake that knocked the vampire's teeth clean out of his mouth! And Blade claims he can amputate insects with his knives.
The Saint of Killers from Preacher has magical (they were made from the sword of the Angel of Death) revolvers that cannot miss, never run out of bullets, never jam, never inflict anything less than a fatal wound, and can be drawn faster than the eye can see. Given that he's also completely invulnerable, getting on his bad side (or, for that matter, getting close to him) is not recommended. In the final issue he kills God with his guns
Deadshot, a gun-wielding assassin and sometimes Antihero from The DCU, has a long-standing reputation for never missing his shot (unless he happens to be aiming at Batman). In a Suicide Squad miniseries, he took out six targets scattered around a room while blindfolded. Not only this, but he has ricocheted his bullets off poles, while turned around, and hit each target with perfect accuracy.
Earlier in the same series, he failed to shoot a target in the bullseye while blindfolded...because Captain Boomerang Jr. had hit all his bullets in mid-air, using bent paperclips. (Admittedly using Super Speed, but still.). In The Outsiders, while in a prison riot, Captain Boomerang Jr. had grabbed and thrown something, bouncing it off the walls, to hit and knock out a fellow prisoner.
One of the only times Deadshot did miss, it was in his youth, a tree branch he was standing on snapped under him, and what should have been a disarming shot became a kill shot. The person he unintentionally killed was his beloved older brother.
Superman, in one comic, pretends to be a villain named the Golden Dart, kidnaps Lois Lane, and throws darts at her. His Improbable Aiming Skills allow him to keep himself from hitting Lois, instead missing her by "scant inches".
Kid Twist, a particularly slimy individual from Joss Whedon's run on Runaways, has this as a power: once he sets eyes on a target, he never misses. This includes casually firing his gun behind him, and having the bullet turn corners.
In an early issue of Cable & Deadpool, while Wade (Deadpool) is casually conversing with Nate (Cable) about how he no longer feels the urge to kill, he rolls a pebble around between his fingers. When Nate's not looking, he lets it fly and nails a dragonfly so that the pebble knocks the body dead-center, leaving the wings on either side. (Really.)
The Archer Strongbow of ElfQuestnever misses, to the point that when he does it's an obvious sign that he's in a bad way psychologically. And shortly after recovering from that, he gets the ability to hit a target without even seeing it, though he's assumed to owe that to magical help.
Since Cyclops of the X-Men is using Eye Beams, you'd expect him to have very little trouble hitting whatever he can see. That doesn't explain his ability to pull off such shots as precision-stunning Professor X after ricocheting the beam around three corners or destroying six fast-moving targets, at least two of them behind him, with a single shot.
In old comics, this was attributed to his spending most of his training time in the Danger Room practicing how to pull off ricochets and other trick shots with his eyebeam. It even joked that he's one hell of a pool player.
The X-Men Noir series recasts him as an ace gunman, thus having him play out a more typical version of this trope. Not only that, but he's an actual Cyclops, sporting a possibly blind, possibly glass left eye.
Kris de Valnor from Thorgal is reputed as a deadly archer and proves it many times through the series. However, Thorgal himself can top her feats when pressed. In one instance he won a Duel to the Death by firing two arrows at once. One of them hit the villain while the other collided with his crossbow bolt in mid-air.
Arrowette of Young Justice, who is probably not a member of the Green Arrow Clan, was once shown having a conversation with her mother (the first Arrowette) while playing darts. The camera pans back to show a line of darts driven into each other point to tail, Robin Hood style, from the first, dead center on the target. The ladies decide they really need to find a different game to compete with.
In a Donald Duck classic, one of the nephews manages to deflect Donald's golf ball into a hole-in-one by rapidly firing several shots at it. With a toy airgun. Which he just happened to bring with him. To the golf course.
Wolverine has demonstrated this by first throwing a dart, and hitting a perfect bullseye, turning away from the dartboard and sitting down at a table, throwing his remaining two darts behind his shoulder, where they both managed to hit the bullseye as well. When challenged to get 3 bullseyes again, he stood up and stacked the darts on each other. He has also thrown a katana with his left hand (he's right handed) at an attacking stuka plane, hit the pilot in his side, causing him to crash and burn. He has said that he can put six shots through a quarter, and still have change left for a gum machine.
Though, in early issues of the Avengers, the "coming back" part was explained by little magnets on the shield and on his gloves!
This was later retconned into simply being the product of lots and lots of practice; when John Walker was brought in to replace him as Captain America, it took weeks of training with the Taskmaster for him to even be able to throw it reliably; he never figured out how to get it to ricochet or hit multiple targets or come back to him after being thrown.
Tony Stark later noted how embarrassed he was for bragging about the magnets he'd put on Cap's shield, and how Steve was enough of a gentleman to never say a word about it.
The only other person who could match Steve's ability with the shield including the ricocheting was the previously mentioned Hawkeye.
The Great Ten's Celestial Archer is capable of freaking ridiculous feats with this. He can shoot out the sun and hit a target on the other side of the world. In his defense, his bow is a weapon of the gods and thus is inherently capable of doing that kind of thing.
In his first appearance in the pages of JLA, the villain Prometheus fired a bullet at Catwoman from one of his gauntlet-guns. The Huntress shot the bullet out of midair with a crossbow bolt. This is a woman who, when introduced, was just a schoolteacher who worked out a lot.
In Wanted, the Killer, who is clearly a Captain Ersatz of Bullseye and Deadshot, is so great a shot that he decides to pack it in the first time he misses a target from less than a half-mile away. His son, Wesley, inherits the power, which allows him to shoot flies out of midair, deflect bullets with a knife, and shoot people between the eyes without looking at them.
In an early episode of Usagi Yojimbo, the hero is attacked by a ruffian who is so dirty that flies swarm around him. That is, before the attack. A second's worth of flashing steel later all the flies are lying on the floor, split in half. Except for the last one that's been filleted.
In another issue at a carnival, samurai Usagi cannot hit a target while Rich Bitch turned Defrosting Ice Queen Kiku gets a bull's eye on her first try. She explains that she "just aimed everywhere except the target."
Jeremy from Zits once gets really, really, lucky in a story arc involving him making a twice-in-a-lifetime, back-handed-courtlong-backwards-eyes-closed shot in a game of HORSE with his friend, Hector. Of course, the jury's out at the end of the story on whether the shot counts if the ball goes through their neighbor's driveway's hoop instead of their own...
Former Green Arrow sidekick Roy Harper, aka Speedy aka Arsenal aka Red Arrow aka Arsenal again, boasts that he never misses — boasts that he can back up. During the Rise of Arsenal storyline, Roy, in a fit of rage, stricken with grief, addled with drugs, and handicapped by his unfamiliar cybernetic arm, breaks his bow, throws it at a bullseye — and hits it dead center. Even when doped up, handicapped, and mentally unbalanced, he never misses.
Note that right before this he had missed every actual shot he took with the bow. The point at the time was to recast Roy back into his non-archer gun/knife nut phase. Or to show that he was so messed up he was overthinking his shots.
Resident Action Girl Dani Moonstar of the New Mutants, with her arm broken, uses her one good hand and her FOOT to shoot her tormentor in the throat with an arrow.
Oxbow from Marvel: The Lost Generation is capable of hitting his target every time - including the time he went to the moon, where it took him exactly one arrow to get accustomed to the different gravity!
Best Tiger, a new member of Image Comics' Guardians of the Globe, is by a wide margin the greatest marksman to ever live. Which is why he wears a blindfold so his work will remain challenging. He is introduced using a single bullet to take out several dozen men via ricochet; he intentionally inflicted superficial yet disabling wounds so the bullet would be able to keep up its momentum.
DV8 once contended with a mercenary calling himself Dirge. When Dirge first met Frostbite, he bragged that he once shot nine teeth out of a man's head in nine different shots without hurting him otherwise. The tenth shot killed him, but it wasn't Dirge's fault the guy couldn't keep still.
Amy Rose in Sonic the Comic who uses a crossbow, in issue #44 she fires an arrow from a moving plane at a tiny little button that destroys an entire bridge.
Sonic also deserves some mention. While free-falling from the Death Egg II, Sonic steals a EggRobo's laser gun manages to fire one laser shot and perfectly hit the EggRobo carrying the Master Emerald (which is also moving and is about the size of a large boulder).
There's an Elseworlds comic in which The Flash (Wally West) has lost his legs. His contribution to battles is now as a gunslinger, since he has all the time in the world to aim every shot. (For some inexplicable reason he's shown using ordinary handguns. He could probably aim every shot with a machinegun on full-auto.)
While most characters in The Walking Dead have remarkable skill at headshotting zombies, Andrea's marksmanship is acknowledged and lampshaded In-Universe as being absurdly good. Whether she's fighting zombies or other humans she's virtually never shown landing anything but perfect headshots. The most impressive part is that Andrea never even fired a gun before the Zombie Apocalypse.
Andrea: I'm really good with a gun. Very good. It's kind of ridiculous.
Domino, a not-too-picky mercenary who ended up joining up with Cable in X-Force takes this trope literally. Her mutant power is is to subconsciously alter probability in her favor, so if there's a trillion-to-one chance of her making a shot, she's going to make the shot. Any time she misses is due to an outside force affecting the bullet after it's fired, or her target being just that fast.
In the Death Note fanfic Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, Dark buys a sniper rifle with which to assassinate Near, and aims at him from the top of the "Eyfal Tower". The implication is that he could have killed Near with a single bullet and didn't need to buy a box... if Near hadn't used a Nerf gun to shoot out Dark's bullets and scope. Later, in what might be due to a typographical error, Dark manages to kill 1000000 (one million) Stormtroopers with 100000 (one hundred thousand) bullets, which requires killing on average, ten people with a single bullet, and only misses once.
And then there's Haloid. The Spartan soldier in that video is simply put, an insane marksman with just about ANYTHING. Ricochets from sniper fire hitting moving targets and ricoheting off of OTHER moving targets, insane levels of accuracy with rapid-fire weapons at a full run, THREE TON VEHICLES, SHOTGUN FU. Seriously. It's like watching every action movie hero's specialty with a weapon crammed into a can of complete fuckwin.
Later on, a Nod Commando disarms a thrown grenade by shooting the fuse off it with her laser pistol. Admittedly, she's a cybernetic killing machine that has hyper-advanced technology crammed into her body, but damn.
Lieutenant Fullerton, a GDI Commando, twists this around. With some careful setup using an air vent, a remote camera, and his helmet computer, he's able to calculate the precise angles to fire through a wall to kill every Nod soldier in the next room with his railgun.
In the Poké Wars 'verse, Dawn (yes, thatDawn) becomes an amazing sharpshooter after her dampeners are disabled. Her key highlights:
In The Coalescence she lands "headshots" from a pistol on a swarm of Cloyster. Their "head" (actually the black pearl) is small relative to their body, they are leaping up and their shells are open only for a short time. She doesn't miss a single shot.
In Dawn of a New Era she kills three Fearow, one after the other, with headshots... from three kilometers away.
In The Pokémon They Carried, it is implied that all the snipers defending Groudon's Wall can easily make two kilometer shots. Dawn is the best of them all.
Jun-A266 in Halo A Fistful Of Arrows gets some pretty good shots, like sniping an abductor holding a hostage from a helicopter. But he's also shown struggling to snipe a Hunter, and one improbable shot turns out to have been a Gone Horribly Right for him.
Ferris: The main feature of the alien Infiltrators, which are this fic's Thin Men. And that's before one gets plasma sniper rifles.
Films — Animated
Joked with in Treasure Planet, where Dr. Doppler (who doesn't appear to have held a gun before) manages to shoot and hit his mark exactly.
Captain Amelia: Did you actually aim for that? Dr. Doppler: You know, actually, I did.
In Disney's Robin Hood, Robin splits his opponent's arrow. With an arrow he deflected mid-flight with a second shot (after his first was interfered with). With both the deflected and the deflecting arrow being improvised bits of stick half-broken in the middle. And a bow made of a green stick and pieces of skin. And standing on stilts with a giant fake beak strapped to his face. While singing the Chinese National Anthem backwards (actually this last part is not true).
Films — Live Action
In Mystery Men, the Blue Raja can hit pretty much anything with a fork
Also the Spleen demonstrates his keen sharpshooting. If you want to know what he uses for ammo, just pull his finger.
Pretty much any Hollywood depiction of Robin Hood, ever.
Robin was no doubt relatively handy with a bow, but in reality you can't shoot a hangman's rope with a longbow and wooden arrows from 50 metres away on demand (no, nor can they split an arrow every single time, sorry). The longbow was fearsome as a weapon of war because of its range and armour-penetration, not its accuracy — for that, the English had tens of thousands of peasants shooting at armies of Frenchmen.
It's not just Hollywood: several of the ballads have Robin performing feats such as splitting willow wands in two or shooting a fleeing man at a distance of a mile while on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. He is also depicted as having the ability to fire an arrow at a bullseye, then to fire a second arrow at the exact same spot resulting in the second arrow splitting the first arrow into pieces...At over 500 meters away. Such a thing has been performed by a few people nowadays but only at close range. Anyone who's tried their hand at archery can tell you how difficult it is to even fire an arrow straight, and how improbable it would be to even fire an arrow over 50 meters, let alone 500 meters, or a mile.
In the Star Wars movies, Padmé and Leia both apparently never miss their target. Definitely raises some questions regarding George Lucas' attitude towards women (not bad, though). Of course, Leia has the Force working for her. Her mom? Authority Equals Asskicking.
As noted in the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy page the protagonists display a level of technical competency (Or luck) that most mooks look completely incompetent by comparison, even though they often aren't.
In Star Trek: Insurrection, the crew need to shoot down small and fast flying drones that are teleporting the Baku. They almost never miss. Phasers being directed-energy weapons and thus effectively Hit Scan probably helps.
Other places in the Star Trek canon have mentions of Federation phaser rifles having various targeting assistance features, such as stabilizers, scanners, and other features (which tend to make them unreliable in extended field service, but are damn sweet for short ops like this one). All that technological aid in hitting the target makes you wonder how they ever miss.
Referenced in the reboot when Scotty compares the concept of transwarp beaming (i.e. transporting to a starship moving at warp) to "trying to hit a bullet with another bullet, whilst wearing a blindfold, riding a horse." And Prime!Spock pulls it off, using the equations Scotty developed in the prime timeline.
Legolas also demonstrates a truly astounding aim with his longbow in The Lord of the Rings — of course, improbable skill with a bow is a feature commonly credited to elves in most fantasy settings, and since they usually live for a long time, with aging not being (much of) a problem, it usually makes some sense. In both the movies and in the novels Elves have spectacular vision: at one point, Legolas apparently has no problem spotting a band of Uruk-Hai which are out of eyeshot for Aragorn (and the viewer).
The couple of times he's shown pulling a multishot on screen, it's at point blank range against a large target (presumably because a larger beast needs a larger wound).
Subverted during the Helm's Deep siege when he inexplicably fails to kill one lousy Uruk torch-bearer twice, both times hitting his shoulders. The Uruk kept running.
This is taken to even greater extremes in The Hobbit. In the second film, one elf is seen shooting another arrow fired by an orc right out of the air
There have been at least three cases (specifically The Magnificent Seven, Blake's 7 and Firefly — the latter two are probably homages to the first) where are a character is commended for a good shot only for them to say they were aiming somewhere else.
The Mel Brooks send-up Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Robin has the noose around his neck, but gets saved when Achoo the Moor (Dave Chappelle) fires an arrow that slices the noose from the gallows, allowing him to escape. We later find out that the target was the hangman.
In Farscape, D'argo at one point throws his sword and impales a Peacekeeper mook through the heart at impressive range for using a heavy blade that was by no means designed for throwing. When complimented he replies that he was aiming for the Peacekeeper's head.
On one early episode of Criminal Minds ("LDSK"), while in a hostage crisis, Spencer Reid shoots the crook and mass murderer dead center of the forehead. Not only was he said to have failed his firearms qualification that the start of the episode, he claimed he'd been aiming for the guy's knee. At a distance of about six feet, that's a spectacularly bad shot but he was joking. See the Accidental Aiming Skills trope entry about it on the Criminal Minds page.
Also seen in Sinbad the Sailor (with Maureen O'Hara and a very acrobatic Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) wherein the mostly useless comic relief stuns everybody by felling a threatening Bad Guy with a crossbow. Afterward admitting he did it by aiming "at everything else"!
In the film Geronimo, the titular character manages to shatter a jar of whiskey just as an opponent is taking a drink from several yards away. When he's commended for a good shot, Geronimo unabashedly admits, "Not so good. I was aiming for his head."
Ridiculously fast and accurate shooting was one of the standard features of Spaghetti Westerns and one of the things that distinguished them from standard American films of any quality. Ironically, Clint Eastwood's ability to Quick Draw a handgun, shoot, and kill any number of men in any fight without missing a shot — or being hit in return — was seen by some critics as making his films more realistic ("gritty, rugged") than the plausible shooting skills of a John Wayne, Glenn Ford, Jimmy Stewart, or Randolph Scott film.
This was subverted in Unforgiven, where Gene Hackman's character explains that a true gunman must sacrifice speed for accuracy. In the end, Eastwood's character wins only by shooting carefully at close range.
Speaking of John Wayne, in his final film he specifically disavows this trope, noting that he owes his reputation as a shootist to an unflinching readiness to kill his opponent, not fancy quickdraw skills or even accuracy.
Parodied in Blazing Saddles, when The Waco Kid shoots the guns out of the hands about ten Mooks in two seconds.
In Hitman, the film of the game series, Agent 47 scores an impressive streak of headshots with his pistols during the hotel escape scene.
Used heavily in Shooter, especially the helicopter scene. There are snipers good enough to find a target, adjust for wind and drop, and fire in less than a couple seconds, but there aren't any live ones that would try to hit the rotary blade on a helicopter.
He was aiming for the engine/motor housing for the rotary blade, a pronounced feature on most heavy helicopters, and after several shots he hit it. It still boarders on improbable but it's closer to reality than the scenario described above.
Shoot 'em Up is basically an entire film dedicated to this trope.
Dawn of the Dead (2004) offers a borderline example with the character of Andy, who proves to be very accurate with zombie-killing headshots. Of course, the man owns a gun store, and is shooting from the safety of his roof using a high-powered rifle with a scope. And there's the fact that there are so many zombies, it's like trying to drain the ocean with a teaspoon...
Averted in the original movie, where the two SWAT guys are accurate shooters whereas the civilian helicopter pilot is inaccurate and panicky, until he has time to practise under the tutelage of one of the SWAT men.
Subverted in Shaun of the Dead, where the gang has to team up in order to reliably use a rifle "that actually works". The scene plays out exactly like the earlier one when Shaun and Ed are playing TimeSplitters at home. Their aim does improve, though.
In Land of the Dead, Charlie, the mildly-retarded sidekick, has a "good eye," as he puts it. He can shoot a dwarf in the head behind cover from across a room in the middle of a riot. And he nails a zombie in the face by firing inches past a teammate's head, though he does complain that it was a little off-center. When offered an automatic weapon that can fire 14 rounds per second, he just says "I don't normally need that many."
The Bourne Supremacy features an instantly-fatal shot against a human target at around 200 meters. The target is not only moving away, she's inside a car travelling at about 20 mph, the shot is through traffic and the sniper hits on his first shot from a standing position.
In The Bourne Legacy, Cross' skills surpass the aforementioned shot. When he's up againts a Predator drone about half a kilometer away, he manages to down it with nothing but a rifle. The drone's operators are rather shocked when they're told that the man they're trying to take out is only armed with a high-powered rifle. Of course, legacy makes it clear that Bounre and the rest of the Treadstone agents, along with the other projects' agents, are explicitly enhanced both physically and mentally via retroviral engineering.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger movie True Lies is full of this trope and enemies who attended the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy as well. One scene in particular stands out: Arnold's character is escaping down a snow covered hill by sliding down it on his back and using a pistol to take out pursuing enemies on skis, at night; the aforementioned enemy marksmanship can be seen here as well.
Commando had a scene when Arnie's storming the villain's mansion and is picking off henchmen with seemingly no effort.
Parodied when The Nostalgia Critic reviewed the movie. When covering the aforementioned scene, the Critic demonstrates how this trope is in effect when he joins in with his gun, and continues killing henchmen no matter how random the shots he makes are, even when he's just flailing the gun around wildly. It finally culminates in the Critic putting the gun against his own head, pulls the trigger... and kills another henchman.
In House of Flying Daggers Jin fires off four arrows in quick succession at the four soldiers attacking Xiao Mei. Not only does each of them hit the target, said target is a spot where the arrow will stick in their clothes without hurting them since the whole thing is a setup for him to earn Xiao Mei's trust.
They also all manage to impact at about the same time, which is pretty unlikely.
In this movie, anyone who throws the flying daggers never misses the mark. They even went through the trouble of using Wanted style improbable physics.
Wanted. Improbable Aiming Skills: The Movie. How bad? Throwing a curveball with bullets, shooting the wings off of insects, shooting down an enemy's bullet intentionally, and on and on. The fact that the ads showcase this and tell nothing about the plot... well, be afraid. Be very afraid.
It's out now, and it's worse than you feared. Bullets fired from guns don't need to go in straight lines. With a flick of the wrist, an assassin can get a bullet to swerve around an obstacle and hit a target directly behind said obstacle. Yes, that means they can shoot around corners without relying on ricochets to change the trajectory. The most egregious example, hands-down, comes in the climax. A member of the Fraternity (a secret society of assassins that decides who to kill by studying textiles) has decided that the abilities wielded by the assassins are too dangerous in the hands of mortals. This rebellious member fires a single bullet that travels around the room in a circular path, killing most of the remaining members, and comes back around, hitting the person who fired the bullet. Rule of Cool and all that.
In the original comic series, Wesley is an impossibly good shot beyond any rational measure (it's a superpower). In the first comic he is forced to shoot the wings off of flies, in the end he does so by closing his eyes and shooting wildly around the room. Needless to say he succeeds. His father is also murdered by an unseen gunman who shoots him from "two cities away". Like the movie the plot of the comics is based entirely on Rule of Cool.
It's just because Timur Bekmambetov does what he wants. (If you're curious, he directed the movies Night Watch and Day Watch, both of which were also largely founded on Rule of Cool.)
This is taken to its logical extreme in the comic. Wesley and his father are literally perfect shots; at the end of comic, Wesley's father forces him to execute him, because a few weeks ago he missed a target (with a pistol) at about half a mile, chalking it up to old age. He can't imagine being less than the absolute best.
In Support Your Local Sheriff James Garner is asked to demonstrate his gun handling skills and manages to both subvert and play the trope straight. He begins by tossing a washer into the air and shooting at it with his pistol, then claiming the bullet went through the hole. The skeptical townsfolk ask him to repeat the stunt, although for the second shot a piece of tape is applied to the washer. Guess where the second bullet goes?
"(gulp) I hope you didn't take no offense at anything we may have said earlier.."
Later on he drives a nail into a board by shooting it.
Inverted in the other direction as well. Iron Man relies on a super efficient targeting system to headshot multiple badguys holding Human Shields rather than just eyeing it.
Played straight in Iron Man 3 with Rhodey nailing some difficult targets using just a pistol, such as a distant light and some cables.
Played straight in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in which Arnie manages to hold off an entire army of cops... with a minigun... without even injuring one. His kill counter even has a decimal place that shows 0. After all, John Connor told him not to kill anyone.
This was ironic, since in the original The Terminator Arnie seemed to have flunked from the Imperial Stormtrooper Shooting Academy; he needed a target-pistol with laser-sighting, just to hit someone at point-blank range; and he took out an entire bar-full of other people with his Uzi while missing his intended target, since his aim was so bad. Of course it was a different timeline, so perhaps the Terminators became more accurate; but still he was exactly the same Terminator to all other appearances.
Averted in the original RoboCop (1987). Robo can pull off all kinds of amazing feats of ballistics, including neutering a would-be rapist by shooting through his victim's skirt, but it's all programming — the original Murphy couldn't shoot for beans, and after a Directive 4 malfunction takes his targeting systems offline, neither can Robo.
In the TV series, he has a habit of using ricochets to hit people.
Spoofed in the comedy Bullshot (1983). "By rapidly calculating the pigeon's angle of elevation in the reflection of your monocle, then subtracting the refractive index of its lens, I positioned myself at a complementary access... and fired. It was no challenge at all."
Quigley from Quigley Down Under. Partly justified by his being a marksman and his enemies being a little too into flashy quick draws and the like.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: In the climactic car-chase/shoot-out (which involves a coffin containing the body of the victim, a delivery truck, and an overpass), Harry, the coffin, and a revolver go skidding over the bridge: the coffin snags on the railings, partially open with the victim' hand hanging out; Harry manages to grab the corpse's hand and save himself, and then, with the other hand, plucks the gun out of midair and shoots the big bad right in the heart.
Last of the Mohicans does this near the end of the final battle. Hawkeye charges into a small group of the enemy, shooting two Kentucky rifles simultaneously from the hip — and hitting a separate enemy with each shot.
Earlier, he made some highly accurate long-range shots on running Hurons, when protecting the messenger. But of course, he is the"Longue Carabine".
In a similar vein, Batman manages to completely miss the Joker while strafing him with twin mounted machine guns earlier in the scene.
The Grammaton Clerics in Equilibrium are masters of Gun Kata, which the film states is in part a mathematical system for determining aiming angles with the highest probability to hit. Cleric Preston displays this repeatedly, usually taking out a half-dozen or more opponents with robotic precision.
In the movie version of I, Robot, Bridget Moynahan shoots a robot attacking Will Smith with her eyes closed. He's less than happy when he finds out... but, "it worked, didn't it?"
Not to mention Will Smith pulling out two guns and hitting his targets while jumping off the back of a moving motorcycle.
Enemy at the Gates, although it's justified in that the whole movie is about two exceptional snipers. The Nazi major in particular has some insane skills, including the ability to shoot through a piece of string the hero is trying to use to retrieve his out-of-reach rifle.
Subverted in Inglourious Basterds. One lone Jewish girl escapes the Nazi soldiers who kill her family and starts running towards the hills. Colonel Hans Landa sees her, and aims a small pistol at her. He carefully takes aim, even though by then she's much too far away for him to hit, and just before she runs over the hills and out of sight, he yells BANG!, and puts away his gun.
"Au revoir, Shoshana!"
McQ. At the beginning of the movie the title character shoots a hitman fleeing from him at an impressive distance with a six-inch magnum revolver, much to the awe of a witness. However this crack shooting is not carried on in other scenes, where admittedly he's being shot back at. However when McQ gets his hands on an Ingram MAC-10, the question of accuracy becomes moot.
The Boondock Saints: Immediately after the Dynamic Entry into the Russian mobsters' hotel room, the Sibling Team happens to get caught up in some rope, and then draw weapons and outfire nine mobsters. Of course, they do this all while dual wielding 9mm pistols, upside down, and spinning, after having a good eight foot drop. And they don't miss. Lampshaded, multiple times, afterwards.
In Dragonheart, Brother Gilbert finds out that he is naturally a perfect shot with a bow and arrow. This puts him directly into a moral conflict as he's a priest and abhors killing, but the villagers need to be protected from the evil soldiers. He eventually gets around this by using non-lethal shots and triggering traps.
Gilbert of Glockenspur: [shoots a man in the rear end] Turn the other cheek, brother.
In the second grade Marc Dacascos movie, DNA, the movie's climax involves the main character diving off a cliff into the water, holding a small rocket launcher, turning around mid-air and blowing the monster to pieces with one single shot. Granted, it was from point-blank range, but considering the circumstances, it's still pretty impressive.
Relentlessly spoofed in the Austin Powers movies. There are some scenes where Austin fires around two or three shots, resulting in around 20 bad guys falling down dead at once.
In Tombstone, despite most of the fight scenes featuring close range shooting still resulting in misses,on both sides, Wyatt Earp manages a shot to the throat while both are on horseback, Wyatt leaning off his saddle and shooting from under the horse's neck. This is achieved with a single bullet from a pistol that in an earlier scene required six shots to hit one of the Cowboy's once.
In Crocodile Dundee, Mick Dundee can hit just about anything he wants precisely. Shown by his knife throw against one of the punk kids and later killing off a security camera feed with a stone.
The knife was a bit risky, but he lined up the stone for several seconds before throwing it. Unusually good, but not magically so.
Sue Charlton in the climax of the second film, shooting dead a drug lord from some distance away, on the first shot, when she's probably never touch a gun in her life.
In fact, she uses a rifle in the first movie, firing a shot at Mick's feet to show him that she knows how to use it, and isn't afraid to do so.
At the end of the first movie, the limousine driver downing a crook with an improvised boomerang
In one of his movies, Charlie Chaplin throws a rock after a fleeing badguy and knocks off his hat from three blocks away.
In the 2005 version of King Kong, Jimmy, who has never handled a gun before, manages to shoot several huge wetas off of Jack, who is moving. With a Tommygun. And he didn't kill Jack either. The characters didn't look nearly shocked enough.
Subverted in Orphan by the end of the movie when Max picks up a gun that Kate had dropped earlier and aims it at Esther, but ends up shooting the ice they're standing on instead.
Subverted in Starsky & Hutch when Hutch is held at gunpoint Starsky offers to take a shot at his captor with Hutch's permission. Despite the fact that Hutch vehemently refuses to give permission, Starsky spins around and takes the shot but misses wildly and hits their boss instead.
His Hashashin counterpart with a wrist-mounted launcher also counts.
Parodied in Top Secret! with Scary Black Man Chocolate Mousse, who at one point manages the extraordinary feat of firing a machine gun at full-auto into a melee and hitting only the bad guys.
Parodied later in Hot Shots:Part Deux, with Topper throwing a grenade right into the mouth of a Mook, and some Mooks carrying marksmanship targets over differents parts of their body, and the Robin-Hooded chicken and ...
Jason Voorhees. Tends to prefer melee weapons, but give him a crossbow or something like that, and prepare to be called "Snake" the rest of your life. In Freddy vs. Jason, he actually throws his machete through a guy's chest as he's running away from him (and it somehow travels completely straight, like a Peyton Manning bullet pass, even though it's almost, if not completely, impossible to throw a blade like a football). All in all, it must suck to know you basically got sniped by a literally-retarded zombie.
In the 1954 Davey Crockett On The Mississippi Crockett subverts this. Crockett is challenged to a trick shooting contest in a tavern. Crockett walks around, carefully lining up pans and pictures and other objects, then takes a shot with 'Becky' his famous long rifle over his back with a mirror. It does bounce around until he apparently catches the bullet with his teeth. He later reveals he had the bullet in his mouth the whole time and wasn't really worried about the ricochets.
Major Dallas displays exceptional aim when taking out sundry Mangalores on the flying hotel, starting with a triple headshot from across the auditorium, proceeding on to take out at least seven bad guys with a single burst of full-auto, without harming any civilians, and finishing up with a William Tell style headshot of the lead mangalore, over the head of one of the hostages. To be fair though, he actually appeared to have to aim that last one.
Robot Jox: Subverted: Tex, a retired Jock, is famous for a match where he defeated a technologically far superior Russian opponent with a shot that precisely hit a weak spot he had no way of knowing about. When asked about this, he dismissed it as being pure blind luck. note It is later revealed that he did aim for that spot: The Russians bought him off and arranged for him to win that fight to give him credibility.
The Matrix: Agent Smith manages to shoot Morpheus's ankle though a wall. (A minute earlier, he missed Neo in a helicopter at short range, but at that point he was still thrown by Neo firing a minigun at them.)
Christie in Alien: Resurrection has a knack for ricochets... and spectacularly fails to hit an alien climbing towards him in a straight line.
In the Disney Channel Original MovieThe Luck of the Irish, Kyle is a popular teenager mostly due to his incredible knack at basketball. He never misses the basket even if it's a deflection shot with his fist as he's flying through the air. It turns out he's incredibly lucky due to the fact that he's a half-leprechaun and wears the family's lucky coin on his neck. After his coin is swiped by one of the Big Bad's Mooks, he finds out that he absolutely sucks at basketball... and then he gets better at it by the end without the coin.
He also hits a sliotar (ball used in hurling) with the hurley as if he's playing baseball and manages to knock the sliotar into the opposite goal. However, he's wearing the lucky coin during this, so it's justified.
The 1931 Academy Award winner Cimmaron, being a Western, has a lot of this. The hero frequently shoots his enemies from the hip and never, ever misses.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Quite literally as Scarlett's crossbow has the ability to take video of her opponent, and from that image is able to select where she wants the target to be hit, so that no matter what she aims at, it will hit that exact spot on the target. She doesn't even have to aim in the right direction; they're rocket-powered arrows!
In the sequel, Snake Eyes can shoot thrown shuriken with an uzi without missing a shuriken or hitting the thrower, despite the fact that they're in a straight hallway and Storm Shadow is at best four meters away.
Sebastian Moran in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is called one of Europe's six best marksmen, and makes good on that description. For example, the Meinhart assassination took place at 650 yards, with a 7-8 mph side wind. He also manages to graze a moving man at about 100 yards with an unfamiliar rifle, while at a dead sprint, and kill another at 150 with an open wound in his gut.
In Now You See Me, when cornered by Rhodes, Jack Wilder fights him off first by flinging burning flash paper at him and, when that doesn't work, throwing playing cards.
In Sukiyaki Western Django the leader of the Whites hits the leader of the Reds in the torso several times from well beyond the effective range of his revolver. He does it by shooting it well into the wind (he's firing at almost a right angle to direct line of sight) so that the bullets will arc back.
In Elysium, one of Carlyle's bodyguard droids throws a grenade almost carelessly to the side and still lands it under one of the cars Max's crew use.
Doctor Kaufmann, a Professional Killer in Tomorrow Never Dies claims to possess this, boasting that he could shoot James Bond from the other end of the room and make the bullet wound look like Bond had committed suicide. Bond outwits and kills him before he has a chance to demonstrate his technique.
Kaufmann claims that his experience as a professor of forensic medicine is how he is able to make a far-away shot look like suicide. How that helps his hand-eye coordination is unclear, although, presumably, he could add powder burns after the fact.
The Bible records Israel's war against their own Tribe of Benjamin. Within it, we get a description of some very talented Benjamites: "Among all this people were seven hundred select men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair's breadth and not miss." (Judges 20:13 NKJV) Though we aren't given a description of the distance across which the stone would have to fly, it's safe to assume that it would be a distance short enough for the travelling stone to kill a man, and also long enough to be an effective talent against an incoming army.
Legolas in the Lord of the Rings: though not as evident as in the film, he's never depicted as missing his target.
In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Copper Beeches," Watson shoots a vicious dog in the head — while said dog's teeth are still buried in the throat of the man it was attacking, without taking the man's head off too. Being Watson, he doesn't mention what an incredibly difficult shot this must have been at any range.
In the novel Drakon, Gwen Ingolfsson intentionally shoots a running man in the knee, at long range, on the first shot, with a notoriously inaccurate and ungainly "handgun"that she's never even seen before as she's just arrived from an different universe. Yes, she's a genetically-engineered superwoman, but that incredibly loud explosion was the Willing Suspension of Disbelief undergoing spontaneous combustion. The same author's Dies the Fire series features a number of improbably good archers, though at least all of them are explicitly described as practicing constantly and having been at it since childhood.
Parodied in the novel Pyramids. The main character is on his final exam for his Assassination class and decides he can't kill the person sleeping in the bed, even if it means his teachers may kill him for disobeying. So he defiantly shoots his crossbow at the wall, and it happens to ricochet off several surfaces and into what turns out to be a dummy. He passes the final exam, but his instructor chides him for using showy, over-the-top methods in his assassination.
Parodied again and deconstructed in Guards! Guards! wherein Colon's claims to amazing feats of archery lead to his friends talking him into trying to shoot at a dragon's Achilles' Heel while wearing a blindfold, standing on his head, and so on, in an attempt to get the shot to be exactly a Million to One Chance... because million-to-one chances always work out, right? It turns out he doesn't even hit the broad side of the dragon.
Jason Ogg used one of Binky's old horseshoes (the thing) to play horseshoes (the game), and never missed.
Somewhat justified in the fact that Binky is the legendary Pale Horse. When you play a game with horseshoes from Death's horse, you have to expect some strange things. Later, one of these horseshoes is called the iron that goes everywhere and the fact it won't miss if thrown is rather important to the Elf being threatened with it.
In Snuff, Sam Vimes's butler Willikins manages to hit a woman's broom from in the middle of a mob, without injuring the woman herself.
In the Halo: First Strike, Master Chief is getting help in a battle from Linda, another Super Soldier like him, armed with a sniper rifle. During the course of the fight, Linda makes a number of difficult shots, often shooting enemy pilots right out of their fliers while in flight (and in at least one case, using a ricochet to do it). When he finally grabs a flier of his own to go pick her up, he finds her hanging from a cord, and realizes she's been doing all that shooting one-handed. Her shooting skills are helped by the fact that she wears a Power Armor that responds to thoughts, not muscle movement.
Honor Harrington puts 4 rounds into a guy, straight up the center, within centimeters of each other, before he even falls down, from the hip, before raising the gun and putting a fifth one between his eyes. From 40 meters away (over 120 feet, to us Americans not in the military). Over the span of about three seconds. Somewhat justified: a) She practiced all the time, b) She practiced intensely for the duel for weeks, c) She had time to line up all her shots, and d) the telescopic vision mode of her artificial eye effectively gave her a sniper scope built into her head. The second duel however, is this trope to a "T" - she was wounded, had rolled on the ground and STILL managed to make the shots that obliterated her opponent's heart.
The Gaunt's Ghosts novel Honour Guard includes a passage where the character Lijah Cuu effortlessly shoots tiny critters that even the eponymous regiment's marksman Larkin would hesitate about going after. Unfortunately, he's also the regiment's Ax-Crazy...
In For the Emperor Amberley Vail accuses Cain of "showing off" when he scores a headshot with his laspistol at range. He shrugs it off by saying he was going for a torso shot and the target ducked. However a footnote reveals that Cain is, in fact, uncannily accurate at long range with his sidearm. He attributes it to his augmetic fingers, but nobody else with augmetics has that level of skill.
Subverted in Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser, where the title character participates in a duel; because Flashman has rigged his opponent's gun, the opponent misses, and Flashman decides he will not shoot his opponent, instead firing a harmless shot aimed well off to one side... which ends up blasting the top off of a bottle of alcohol some distance away. Everyone takes this as proof of incredible marksmanship, giving his reputation a major boost.
Good old Sharpe has this a few times. Hagman, a former poacher, is an amazing shot, and proves it repeatedly by shooting Frenchmen at just the right moment. The only time he misses is the first time you see him... because he's trying to shoot a rabbit at 200 meters with a blackpowder rifle, without aiming. And he still almost hits.
When he's not recovering from torture, Stephen Maturin of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series is a crack shot with a pistol, much to the shock of a few people around him.
In Stephen King's series (whose first novel just happens to be called The Gunslinger), Roland of Gilead is the embodiment of this trope, with improbable aiming skills demonstrated any time he draws (which is generally done at lightning speed). In fact, Roland is so adept at reloading his revolver he describes it as his "..fingers doing their reloading trick," as if they aren't even under his control.
The other three main characters (Eddie, Susannah, and eventually Jake) all may qualify — Eddie manages to pull off an impressive display of gunslinging with no significant experience...in the buff...just after traveling from another dimension. Granted, may have had something to do with his Berserk Button being pressed.
"I have never needed more than one .25-calibre bullet to kill. I shoot at the right eye, Mr Bond. And I never miss."
Considering everyone was forced to read this book in high school, how can we forget "Deadest Shot in Maycomb County" Atticus Finch?
The Executioner. Cold Sniper and Vigilante Man Mack Bolan uses his marksman skills to psych out his Mafia enemies, on one occasion shooting a perfect cross through drawn drapes while talking to a man inside the targeted room on the telephone. Another trick when sniping at long-range is to predict where the target is going to run to once his comrades start dying and fire a bullet into that space. Subverted on one occasion when Bolan realises he's missed because the man is actually crawling away, using a flimsy plastic sunning board for cover. As Bolan is firing a .460 Magnum rifle this does him no good at all.
Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. She spent years hunting with a bow and arrow, and in the second book during training for the second Hunger Games, she hits five birds tossed into the air at once, before they hit the ground. The other Victor-tributes are noticeably stunned into silence, and several of them request her as an ally that evening.
In Sojourn Drizzt befriends Moochie, an old, blind ranger who teaches him the trade. Among Moochie's tricks is to have his owl companion fly near a target and hoot, so that Moochie knows where to shoot. He never misses.
Catti-Brie. She doesn't do anything very spectacular, but as soon as she happens to find a magic bow, the others can count on her sniping anyone from any distance, even though we've never seen her so much as practise shooting.
Eddie Drood, hero of Simon R Green's Secret Histories, has a magical gun specifically designed to allow him to do this. The Colt Repeater never runs out of bullets and will automatically hit what you want it to hit as long as you point it in the right general direction. Unfortunately, not everything he meets is vulnerable to bullets.
Kincaid displays this kind of accuracy, firing off dozens of shots with perfect accuracy while dodging wildly, but Harry claims that Kincaid can't be human because of his ability; all humans sometimes miss. Kincaid denies this, indicating that he's just that good. He's lying through his teeth. He's centuries old, and apparently half-demon.
Johnny Marcone, Fool Moon. Hangs upside-down, tied up, slowly spinning, throws a knife at and hits/cuts the rope tied to a tree so Murphy, Harry, and the Alphas can get out of the pit and beat loup-garou butt. Did we mention this was at night?
Sword of Truth: Richard Cypher develops this ability around the second book, apparently a sign of his magical powers becoming evident.
In Shogun, the samurai Buntaro nails a gatepost that is behind him with an arrow fired from inside a house. Admittedly the walls were only paper, but still...
Not only does he hit the gatepost several times, the arrows are stated to all go through THE SAME HOLE in the ricepaper walls. He's also been drinking heavily.
Raj Whitehall from The General owes his Improbable Aiming Skills to the computer he's telepathically linked to. The sequel novels that take place on other planets have the same for their telepathically-linked to computer protagonists, although the degree to which this comes up in the story varies.
Percy Jackson pulls off an incredible shot nailing a monster through all three hearts with one arrow, all the more incredible because he is the worst archer at Camp Half-Blood. This is because he prayed to Apollo and Artemis to improve his shot. We later find out it actually was Hera who helped his shot.
A better example would be the children of Apollo or the Hunters of Artemis, who shoot projectiles straight out of the air. Neither of which require the direct assistance of the Goddess-Queen Hera.
In Prince Caspian, Susan demonstrates her skill as an archer in a contest by piercing an apple at such a distance that her opponent, another excellent archer, claims it looks like a cherry, not an apple. Justified in that while she's good at archery, she's also using a magic bow, given to her by Father Christmas.
In The Wheel of Time this is the hat the Two Rivers. One of the main characters almost ends up in a fight with his foreign wife when she jokingly asks him if all of his people are as skilled as he is, and he honestly answers that no, the older men are much better.
In Codex Alera, woodcrafters are incredibly accurate and powerful archers, able to thread arrows between inch-wide gaps in Legion shieldwalls and accurately put arrows into the crewmen of enemy ships moving at full speed on rough seas at three hundred yards. note By comparison, three hundred yards is the maximum arcing range for a composite longbow intended to be fired in massed volleys to harrass the enemy. Woodcrafters are sniping people with near-horizontal shots at that range.
In One Shot the hero realizes that the Improbable Aiming Skills of a sniper are really too improbable. The guy was only an average sniper in his army days and had only sporidically practiced in the years since. He was cheating by shooting his practice targets from short range and then claiming that he did so from 600 yards. In turn another shooter who had below average scores on the shooting range was really an amazing sniper. He 'cheated' by not actually aiming at the bulls-eye but another spot on the target. He always hit what he aimed at but no one else realized that. Both men only used the shooting range when nobody was around to witness their deceptions.
Wax, in The Alloy of Law, is such a good shot that he's able to fire one bullet, then fire another bullet, and have the two bullets collide in mid-air, ricocheting off each other in order to hit a man who was hiding behind a human shield. In that example, he did have some help from Wayne slowing down time, giving him a moment or two to calculate his shot. But even without that help, Wax never seems to have trouble shooting people's guns out of their hands.
Every member of the Ranger Corps from Ranger's Apprentice can fire off five arrows and have a sixth at full draw before an enemy could draw their sword. Halt has managed on two occasions to imagine where a target will be, fire without fully seeing where it is, and hit it dead on both times. From the day they start their apprenticeships to the day they retire, Rangers practice their aim whenever they get a moment, meaning that they're expert marksmen in months and uncanny shots in a year. The Temuji are just as good or even better than the Rangers.
Ayla from the Earth's Children series once hit four clods of dirt thrown in the air with her sling before any touched the ground, and in general has better aim than anyone else in the series.
Lasko from the Paladin of Shadows books. In Unto the Breach he turns a Chechen commander into Pink Mist from almost three kilometers away. In A Deeper Blue he goes four-shots-four-Kneecaps-four-seconds from a helicopter, then destroys the gun one of the terrorists attempts to reach for.
There aren't too many of these in Animorphs as the heroes use their morphing ability to fight while the villains mostly attend the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. However, The Arrival subverts this very nicely with two characters: Aloth-Attamil-Gahar and Arbat-Elivat-Estoni. Aloth's a top Andalite sniper noted for scoring the highest target impact rate in the history of their military academy while Arbat is a Badass Bookworm and The Man Behind the Man of Unit 0.
Subverted in Chasm City - legendary marksman Tanner attempts a trick shot which hits two friendlies, killing one, and misses the intended target entirely.
The primary weapon of the Matadors is a spetsdöd, a pneumatic dart-thrower attached to the back of one's hand and with an effective range of about thirty meters. The Matadors rarely miss, and their celebration upon graduation from Matador Villa consists of the graduates throwing a handful of empty spetsdöd cartridges into the air for the audience to shoot.
The book takes its name from the legend intentionally cultivated by Emile Khadaji, who is a near-perfect shot with a spetsdöd, but would replace the few misses he did make with darts from a hidden supply so that it looked like he never missed at all. He snarked to a Confed officer in The Machiavelli Interface that "the man who only missed a few times" isn't as inspiring.* He was trying to create a legend of one man standing up to the Confed and making them look impotent, in order to create a focal point for a revolution.
In the framed narrative that takes up most of the book, the man who taught Khadaji to use a spetsdöd told him that you're only as accurate as you try to be. As an example, he used a target of a woman with a gun and asked Khadaji what he was aiming at: Torso? Left nipple?
Live Action TV
Angel: Downplayed with Fred, but her shooting skills were enough that she was able to shoot Angel through Jasmine. She's also been pretty handy with a crossbow in other appearances, but this takes the cake.
Paul from Auction Kings doesn't make any impossible shots, but he's fairly skilled for someone with no professional training.
Shooting the gun out of Bad Guy's hand was a routine shot in the kiddie TV Westerns of the 1950s. The title character in Annie Oakley never shot anyone in any other way. It made her even nicer as a heroine.
In the Red Dwarf episode "White Hole" Lister displays Improbable Aiming Skills when it comes to driving a planet into a white hole by stimulating a solar flare. While this sounds like a mindbogglingly complex procedure, it's basically the same as playing pool. Apparently. (He was even able to make it a trick shot!)
Note that the actor who played him, Craig Charles, also has them, as he actually did make the pool shot.
Improbable Aiming Skills are spoofed when the crew enters a Western VR environment in "Gunmen of the Apocalypse". Both the Cat (as The Riviera Kid, gunfighter) and Lister (as Brett Riverboat, knife-thrower) were able to do things that were clearly completely impossible... until the special skills were erased from the databank.
In LOST, Locke is scarily accurate with throwing knives, in one early episode planting a knife in a chair right next to Sawyer's head, from a good 15 feet away, just to make a point.
Jack is also a good enough shot to shoot a rope, despite having no discernible experience with weapons.
The Others are also excellent shots, the anti-stormtroopers.
The mercenaries on the freighter in season 4 know their jobs (and guns) well, as shown in "The Shape of Things to Come" when they fire three instant death shots in a row. Then again, when the group turns their collective attention from extras to Sawyer immediately afterward, they start to fail.
Parodied/Subverted in the first episode of Buffy season 3. While trying to take down a vampire without the Slayer's help, Oz, Willow and Xander get beaten and the vampire starts running away. Oz stands dramatically with stake in hand, the music swells and he throws the stake only to have it clatter harmlessly off a nearby gravestone. He sighs and says "That never really works."
In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Never Never Affair", Napoleon Solo demonstrates extremely Improbable Aiming Skills when, bound to a chair, forced to hold a pistol with his hands tied behind his back pointing the pistol behind him, and while having to look into a mirror to see his target, he nonetheless warns a THRUSH agent that any attempt to detonate an explosive booby trap in the face of other U.N.C.L.E. agents arriving at the scene would result in Solo shooting the THRUSH agent. The THRUSH baddie pooh poohs Solo's threat, and makes for the detonator, only to be shot by Solo. Solo then hangs a lampshade on it by looking surprised and muttering, "Well how about that!" when he sees the THRUSH agent go down.
Several episodes of MythBusters had segments addressing splitting arrows with other arrows at range. They handily busted it, twice. Sure its possible and damage an arrow, but a complete Robin Hood style split can't happen.
In Brimstone, Detective Ezekiel Stone has no problem shooting out the eyes of the escaped souls.
Justified in that in Brimstone, a soul escaped from hell gains supernatural powers related to the individual's history and/or mental condition. As a former cop, it's entirely conceivable that superhuman shooting accuracy is Stone's power (though this is never stated outright, as the series didn't last long enough to make a point of it.)
In one episode, he gets infected with a supernatural disease that affects his balance and eyes. He still manages to hit the escapee in the eye.
Firefly runs rampant with this. A lot of shots are pulled from the hip, but nonetheless hit targets quite precisely; Zoe even manages to shoot a man's gun out of his hands from a good fifty meters off in "Safe," and Mal's quick-draw shots are legendary.
Zoe's shot is even more remarkable given that she does it as soon as the man draws the gun - from another man's holster.
Also, River killing three of Niska's men with one shot each, while her eyes are closed, and the bad guys are hiding behind cover...Jayne's disbelief is understandable. So is his line, "She killed them with math, what else could it be?", heavy on the sarcasm. Being a subject of a Super Soldier project, she only took a one-second look, memorized their positions, and shot them by remembering where they were and working out the math of how to angle the gun.
Also, one particular Noodle Incident: Jayne once hit a man in the neck at five hundred yards, with a bent scope.
Early in Serenity, Jayne gets hit with a harpoon fired by Reavers, and Mal shoots the rope to free him. But it takes him three tries.
Interestingly, it only serves to reaffirm what we know of Mal's skills. The first two times, he aims and fails to hit the rope. The third time, he's almost hit by a shot from the Reavers, and then fires at the rope without aiming, hitting it. So, yes, he's better of shooting from the hip than trying to hit something.
Beckett: Hell of a shot, Castle. Castle: I was aiming for his head.
Also in the episode "Home is where the Heart Stops", Rick Castle, in order to win access to jewelry photos"
Beckett: If you put any of the next three in the 10-ring and I will give you the files... Castle: Yeah? Beckett: Yeah.
Castle rips off 3 rapid-fire shots, taking out the X with a perfect cloverleaf.
Castle: You're a very good teacher.
The pilot shows him to be a crack shot at a gun range, although it is believable that in Real Life he would have trouble properly aiming at someone who is about to kill his Love Interest. Adrenalin would also be a major factor.
Averted in an episode involving an apparent duel with antique musketball pistols. The supposed murder weapon is tested at the gun range... and it never hits its target, even when its stabilized to reduce recoil and has a laser sight added. The only target it hits is the one in another lane, completely by accident. This results in the detectives deciding that this couldn't be the murder weapon. In fact, the "murderer" reveals that the whole duel was done deliberately to satisfy honor, knowing that there wasn't a snowball's chance in Hell that either of them would be hurt. The real murderer fired a musketball from a modern weapon.
Earlier, in "The Sontaran Strategem", the Tenth Doctor disables a Sontaran by hitting a tennis ball with a racket so that it ricochets around the room until it strikes the Sontaran's probic vent, in the back of its head.
The Fifth Doctor once shot out a dungeon door's padlock with a flintlock pistol.
Tegan: You missed!
Doctor: I never miss (nor had he).
The Fourth Doctor's companion, Leela, kills a Sontaran by throwing a knife into its very small probic vent from across a room in the serial The Invasion of Time. Earlier, a Time Lord had told her that a Sontaran could theoretically be killed that way, but of course, no one could throw a knife with such accuracy. Leela then throws hers at something equally small, hitting it perfectly.
Leela: Why not?
Leela shoots the dragon's eye with remarkable accuracy in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", given that she was unfamiliar with the type of weapon used. (We never see her using a handgun prior to this episode.)
In "The Face of Evil" the Doctor passes the test of the horda, shooting a descending rope with a crossbow. Most of the time he's not even concentrating on the rope, then he abruptly turns around and shoots. It turns out he learned his archery skills from William Tell.
Sergeant Benton once hit a rooftop windvane across the village green and the Brig shot a man off a prison wall at about the same distance.
The same archer later shoots the Sontaron in the probic vent from across the room. May not be as impressive as his previous shot, but you can tell he's had some serious archery training.
River Song also displays some remarkable aiming skills, at one point, blindly spinning in a circle as she fires her handgun, and managing to kill all the enemies in the room - despite there being plenty of objects for them to take cover behind.
She follows up by shooting one of these enemies, without looking, when it pops up behind her. The reason this is particularly significant is these creatures are "memory-proof", meaning you don't remember anything about them if you're not looking at them. Meaning River Offhand Backhanded a monster she could not possibly have even known was there.
Sarah Jane displays a very mild example of this trope in "The Pyramids Of Mars". She's a newspaper reporter, and a companion to the Doctor, so there's no evidence she's ever used a gun before, but she still manages a slightly difficult shot on the first try.
The newest 11th Doctor takes the Robin-Hood-Arrow-Split Up to Eleven in the season 8 episode Robot of Sherwood. Robin splits The Sheriff's arrow, then The Doctor splits his arrow, and the pair proceed to split several more of each others arrows in turn until The Doctor gets sick of it "Well, this is just getting silly" and blows up the target with his Sonic Screwdriver. He confesses later in the episode that he planted homing chips in his arrows before hand, subverting the trope for himself while proving Robin Hood's legendary skill even more.
The Comic Strip Presents spoofed this in Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown. A detective from the gun-toting cop shows of The Seventies shoots at a Nineties-era suspect at a hundred yards and misses, because reality has now taken over the genre.
Charmed has a few instances of this, but many may be justified by the fact that they're witches. However, in the eighth season, Billie manages to throw a potion bottle in the partially-open mouth of a demon, while she's lying on her side after being thrown to the ground, about ten minutes after being beaten up by said demon. Since she doesn't seem to use her powers and is pretty much just winging it, I have to call it this trope.
Olivia Dunham from Fringe almost constantly shoots people right between the eyes, regardless of how quickly they're moving, whether they're inside a car, or even if she just picks up her gun and fires (seemingly) at random.
Interestingly, when she is in the Alternate Universe, and Walternate implants Fauxlivia's memories in her head, she suddenly becomes a crack shot and claims she normally sucks. Apparently, memories equal hand-eye coordination.
Torchwood's Captain Jack Harkness uses this trope to establish his pure awesomeness at the beginning of series 2.
There's also a few instances where Gwen pulls this off, namely shooting at a car repeatedly without changing stance and then running off when the driver realizes she's been shooting at the wheels and they've gone flat in Children of Earth.
Interestingly, a Season 1 episode has Jack teach Gwen how to handle a gun, as she has never done it before. When Jack incredulously reminds her that she's a cop, Gwen replies that she's a PC, and Police Constables aren't issued guns.
In the pilot episode of Psych Shawn Spencer displays this ability at the police shooting range where after watching a female officer slowly and carefully fire a number of shots he rapidly fires the same number of shots at the same target with each of his bulletholes overlapping one of hers.
Near the end of "Shawn Takes A Shot In The Dark" Shawn manages to shoot out the engine of a moving vehicle with just four shots. While laying on the hood of another moving vehicle. Both of which are moving at high speeds. While he's injured from being shot himself.
These are actually kind of Justifiable seeing as how Henry has trained him with every cop skill possible. It's not totally implausible that Henry would have started him at the gun range as soon as he could safely hold a gun and would have taught him how to shoot accurately in almost any situation.
Juliet O'Hara shoots a machete wielding crazy, in the HAND, during a wind storm at night with limited visibility while he was attacking Shawn. "Tuesday the 17th"
In addition to making awesome (but plausible) shots with a sniper rifle, Gibbs and his NCIS team are routinely capable of shooting bad guys in the forehead with a handgun — even from behind a hostage (but DiNozzo did shoot off the hostage's ear in that instance), from the trunk of a car, or while running at full speed.
Tony misses sometimes, but usually he always bull's eyes whatever he is aiming at with whatever is at hand. Examples include the knife when Ziva is trying to teach them knife throwing skills, the straw paper war, McGee's food.
Hotch on Criminal Minds is acclaimed, in-universe, as the BAU's best shot. He rarely misses, and once, while traveling in a moving SUV, shot an UnSub off of a moving freight train. The quality of JJ Jareau's shooting talent has a smaller sample size, but she *did* once shoot a guy between the eyes, from across a room, through a plate glass door. (Through the FBI seal, no less.)
However, there is debate over whether Reid's headshot of Phillip Dowd at the end of "LDSK" subverts this trope or plays it straight. The episode's subplot had revolved around Reid's lack of shooting acumen; however, when he gets a chance during the climactic hostage situation, he plugs Dowd between the eyes. The veracity of the following statement is dubious.
Hotch: Nice shot.
Reid: Actually, I was aiming for his leg.
Morgan, Prentiss and Elle are also pretty good shots in their own right. Elle, for her part, once got an UnSub to talk just by aiming her gun at his groin.
Averted in a late 3rd season Burn Notice episode "Good Intentions". The bad guy has Fiona at gunpoint a long distance off, and Michael draws his weapon, only to be talked out of it by Sam, who points out he'll never hit his target at that distance with a pistol.
Of course, Sam himself was capable of drawing a martini glass on a target at maximum range with a handgun.
Sam: Did you notice the little olive?
Both Fiona and Jesse are pretty good with a sniper rifle. Jesse is able to shoot through Michael and kill the guy behind him, while only wounding Michael. Fiona makes a kill shot from afar while standing up.
In a darker turn of events one of Team Westen's enemies displayed this when he killed Anson and Michael's brother with the same bullet. When Michael interrogates this assassin he reveals that he was over a mile away looking at his target through the scope of a 50. caliber sniper rifle. At a distance like that a sniper would have to adjust his rifle to the left or the right to adjust for the direction of the wind so the bullet doesn't go off target, adjust for the rotation of the Earth, and raise his scope above the target by dozens of feet to account for bullet drop. The assassin actually mentions that he felt rather proud of himself for even managing to make a shot like that at all. Given who he killed though Michael is not at all amused.
Green Arrow is an impressive shot on Smallville, able to shoot a specific country on a globe or into the opening of a soda can. Clark Kent also hardly ever misses, whether he throws a football, basketball, bowling ball, knife, can, anything. He even shoots a bullet out of the air with his heat vision. It is implied that his talent comes from his powers, as in one episode where he was Brought Down to Normal, he found that he now sucked at basketball. Heat vision is also hard to miss when you are faster than the speeding bullet and all you need to do is look directly at your target...
Deadshot, naturally. He once shot two officers simultaneously, with the bullets curving past either side of Chloe's face.
Played jarringly straight on a recent episode of White Collar, when Agent Peter Burke uncannily shoots the radio out of a mook's hand, with no damage to anything or anyone but the radio.
It is, sort of, a Running Gag on the show that Burke often exhibits abilities that impress everyone, even Neal, such as when he charms a Black Widow with a tango, while Neal and his partner are shouting in his ear to abort. These abilities usually come with no warning.
Neal has also exhibited impressive aiming skills. Most notably when he shot Keller. The bullet went through the leg of Peter's pants and never touched his leg.
Misfits. The mysterious Super Hoodie is able to throw a paper airplane across Southmere Lake with enough accuracy to twat Kelly in the eye. After Super Hoodie's identity is revealed, Simon demonstrates that he is beginning to develop his superhuman aim by throwing a peanut in the mouth of the allergic Villain of the Week's mouth, all while being strangled.
Eliot Spencer in LeverageDoes Not Like Guns. However, in one episode, the team is ambushed by a group of armed Mooks in a warehouse. In order to let the others escape, he grabs two guns and proceeds to distract the enemy. This distraction involves moving quickly through the warehouse in a hail of bullets, while picking off Mooks with well-placed shots. One memorable scene involves him sliding on his knees in a puddle, while making precision shots. Apparently, just because someone Does Not Like Guns, doesn't mean he can't use them.
In NewsRadio, Dave puts on a knife-throwing act for a talent show as "Throwgali". He impresses his co-workers beforehand by turning off a light switch fifty feet away by throwing a knife, and then turning it back on again by throwing a knife even though the room is now dark. There is another knife thrower in the talent show called "Throwdini". He and Dave salute each other, saying, "To the sharp arts!"
On Alphas this is Hick's special power. He can analyze the environment and then make the perfect shot. In the pilot he kills a man in a windowless room with a sniper rifle by shooting though a grate, down a ventilation shaft and then cliping a second grate in such a way that the bullet tumbles just enough to hit the target sitting under it. Later on when faced with a hostage taker he ricochets a bullet off a sign so it hits the bad guy in the back since it is the only shot he can take without hitting the hostage. He can also shoot the hinges off a door using two pistols Guns Akimbo from across a street. He can also use his power for throwing object and to execute incredible feats of acrobatics.
Also of note is Marcus from one of the first episodes. His power is a more extreme version of Hicks' (which has more psychological side effects than Hicks' does). In the first few minutes of the episode, he flicks a quarter and hits it on the precise spot on a bar that would cause it to fall and set such a chain of events moving that he would be able to escape the ambulance he was in. His aim is so naturally perfect that he can't understand how other people can do things accidentally and not see the repercussions.
While playing darts, the Sheriff/The Huntsman hits the bullseye three times in a row, then throws the fourth dart at the door right next to Emma's head. When Emma points out that he could have hit her, he claims that he never misses.
Prince Charming has also exhibited this, saving Snow White by hitting a guard on a galloping horse from a relatively long distance. In another episode he intercepts an arrow midflight with a sword.
In an episode of Arctic Air a drug trafficker and a hitman are both killed during the same night by long range rifle shots. The difficulty of the shots is magnified by the fact that it happened during a major snowstorm with heavy winds. The police suspect that the criminal group the men were working for hired a sniper to kill them. It turns out that the shooter was a young Native kid whose life was threatened by the criminals. His grandfather was a legendary hunter and marksman and he taught the kid everything he knew. Nobody suspected him since he never had a chance to demonstrate his skill since he left his village and came south to work for the airline.
In the first episode of Sherlock, we are introduced to John's aiming skills when he shoots the cabbie through two windows and just over Sherlock's shoulder, one handed. It's even more awesome in the unaired pilot.
In episode 5, John is the one who manages to shoot the hound. Keep in mind that Lestrade misses three times.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: When Bashir was revealed to have been genetically engineered all along, among the many other Marty Stu abilities he was immediately given were Improbable Aiming Skills, the most ridiculous of which was him walking out of a bar with his back turned towards the dart board (and at an angle because the door wasn't perfectly aligned with the dartboard), tossing the dart over his shoulder without looking and still perfectly hitting the bullseye.
A season earlier, Bashir managed to clip Garak in the neck so that while the shot was close enough that it looked like he'd been trying to kill him, it was Only a Flesh Wound. You may argue that Cardassian necks are different from humans (and they are), but he still shot a decent-sized chunk out of someone's neck without hitting anything vital. YMMV whether or not this was foreshadowing.
Jim Ellison in The Sentinel can shoot guns out of people's hands (by having the bullet enter the other gun's barrel) and hit a perp on a helicopter from another helicopter far away... with a standard-issue police 9mm. This is Hand Waved by him having all 5 of his senses be "hyperactive". Somehow, perfect vision translates into perfect hand-eye coordination, especially since it also somehow stabilizes a bullet fired from a handgun over long distances. When another cop (who isn't in on the secret) asks how the hell Jim can do that, Jim simply answers that he eats a lot of carrots. Then there's the episode of Jim facing off against a Russian sniper.
In the JAG episode "High Ground": Gunnery Sergeant Ray Crockett shots the rear mirror of a moving car at 1 000 yards distance.
Root gains the extreme version, courtesy of The Machine, even the ability to shoot behind her.
Arrow, being based on Green Arrow, naturally has this. At one point he faces off against Deadshot, who actually averts this trope as his bullets are laced with a poison so deadly it doesn't matter where on someone's body he hits for him to kill them. Ollie takes cover behind a wall in the final confrontation. Deadshot starts shooting the cover (possibly averting Concealment Equals Cover), so Oliver draws in arrow, pops out of cover, lets the shot fly and quickly ducks back in. After not hearing anything, he glances out and sees Deadshot on the floor, dead with the arrow clean in his aiming lens.
At another point, Detective Lance has the drop on Arrow, slowly inching closer with his gun drawn. Arrow has no weapons at the ready. Then he suddenly lashes his arm out, and the gun flies out of Lance's hand, pinned to the wall behind him by a throwing dart.
Other members of the Queen family also display this ability:
Moira is one of the very few people in the entire show who has actually managed to hit the Vigilante when shooting him with a gun.
Thea knocks a mook unconscious by hitting him on the back of the head with a bottle thrown from at least 20 feet away. She even lampshades it.
Roy: Where'd you learn to do that? Thea: I guess I have wicked aim.
The Walking Dead follows standard zombie story protocol of the main characters usually scoring perfect headshots at the first attempt. The season 2 finale really pushes it though, with characters managing to nail several walkers while leaning out of the windows moving cars, in the dark.
Averted spectacularly in an episode of The West Wing. A group of white supremacists open fire with the intention of killing Charlie Young, because he's a black man dating a white woman who also happens to be the president's daughter. They miss their target (who is out in the open and in plain sight) and instead they hit the President of the United States as well as the deputy chief of staff, who was at least fifteen meters away and up a flight of stairs.
"The Even Chance": Captain Pellew shoots one Dirty Coward who was cheating in a duel and tried to stab his opponent In the Back with a dagger. In real life, the musket might not be even effective for such a distant range, or he could have easily killed anyone who stood in the group. His aiming skills are lampshaded though.
Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies. In an episode where she's gotten angry with Mr. Drysdale for whatever reason, he shows up to try to arrange a truce. She shoots his hat clean off his head from the end of the driveway. Afterward, when he tells Jed "She shot at me!" Jed calmly replies, "Naw, she shot at your hat. If she ever commences to takin' shots at you, you'd be castin' a polka-dot shadow!" In another episode, he reveals that the whole family is like that, saying of Jethro, "I'm the only one that can outshoot him. Except for Granny and Ellie May."
On another episode, Jed is made a vice president at the bank so he can shoot in a skeet-shooting competition against a rival company. He does flawlessly in practice. Then Granny does just as good with a rifle. Then Ellie Mae does the same with a slingshot.
On The Dukes of Hazzard, Daisy was being tested for a job with the sheriff's office. She was given 5 bullets and told to hit the target as best she could. After firing all five rounds, she was told that she hit the bulls-eye once and missed four times. When checked, it was one hole but five bullets.
The Musketeers constantly has the characters pull off ridiculously accurate shots with smooth-bore weapons. Often this is at distance, but there's a glaring example where a character shoots a villain who is holding another character as a human shield, in complete confidence of not hitting the hostage.
On Turn Benjamin Tallmadge fires a flintlock pistol while galloping on horseback and hits his target in the chest from a fair distance. Robert Rogers, a good marksman himself, is really impressed despite the fact that it was Rogers's friend who got hit by Tallmadge's shot.
Sparadrap from Noob inverts this, by having a tendency to hit enemies rather than teammates with his healing spells... and manages to flip this over the few times he's actually asked to deal damage. The consolation is that he choose to play a MMORPG that has Revive Kills Zombie.
Invoked in Data East's RoboCop, as the player must successfully make multiple shots at Target Practice to enable the million-point bonus.
Also invoked after loading the Uzi in Lethal Weapon 3, where a villain appears on the display and the player must pull the gun trigger and shoot him... while the ball(s) on the table are still in play.
Zen Archery and Zen Marksmanship in GURPS divide range penalties by 3 when used successfully. The Precision Aiming technique is meant to be a more realistic version, taking much longer to do and requiring special equipment for a more modest gain.
Imperial Assassins are all trained to a ridiculous degree, each and every one of them qualifying as a superior shot to the best master-snipers in the galaxy by the time they are ready to be sent on actual missions. And then there's the specialist sniper school of Assassins, the Vindicare Temple, where the end goal is an entire army of guys who shoot like everyone else on this page. They specialise in making headshots through active forcefields, at ranges of multiple kilometres, just to silence one recidivist governor or heretical demagogue before he can do enough harm to require an intervention in force. In-game, it translates to having the ability, unique among all people in the 40k universe, to specifically single out a specific target in an enemy squad.
The Eldar Exarch skill Crack Shot eliminates enemies' benefit from cover, to the point that Maugan Ra has close to a 50% chance per shot of killing a Space Marine in a fortified bunker.
The Deadlands spell Kentucky Windage removes all penalties to the target number. Called shot to the head, shooting from the hip, watching the target in a shaving mirror while your back is turned? No problem!
Exalted: load enough points into Archery and learn enough relevant Charms, and you can reasonably shoot an arrow through a keyhole on the other side of the country. Mind you, this is small potatoes given that one martial arts combo allows you to destroy the world in one mountaintop kung fu move.
In Aberrant, all Novas with Mega-Dexterity have improbable aiming skills, but those that take the "Accuracy" enhancement are even better. They get three bonus dice for any aimed attack, in addition to the bonuses they get for having Mega-Dexterity in the first place. It has to be a pretty tricky shot for such a Nova to miss. Those who take the new Golden Gunslinger martial arts style from "The New Flesh" sourcebook, can things such as shoot bullets out of mid air, make holes in cover and then shoot through those same holes to deny cover, and expand rifle range by about 10 times normal range.
In Adventure!, the daredevil Knack Trick Shot halves most difficulty penalties, while adding the value of the original difficulty penalties in bonus dice (up to the rating of the character's relevant ability).
In Strike Legion, some of the gun skills gives you the ability to do things like bend bullets and laser beams in mid-flight, redirect automatic fire between multiple targets (i.e. firing a burst of bullets and directing each bullet to a different target) and become even more accurate while wielding Guns Akimbo than with a two-handed weapon. This is before using things like biological and cybernetic implants to further amplify accuracy. The Imperium's elite supersoldiers also have some pretty crazy accuracy, including power-armored, wall-running gun priests dual-wielding laser pistols.
A core Fate spell in Mage: The Awakening is called "Sharpshooter's Eye," which eliminates penalties (except cover penalties) to the caster's next ranged attack. With enough successes, it's possible to shoot a small object held by a moving target in a driving rainstorm in the dead of night.
BIONICLE classifies this as an actual superpower, with the Mask of Accuracy giving the wearer the ability to turn any object into a projectile that will always hit its target. Many characters have Improbable Aiming Skills without the help of a mask, however.
The game mechanic of "Hitscan" weapons in shooting games revolves about this. Instead of rendering every bullet as a moving entity (which would make the game lag a lot, expecially when lots of characters are on the screen), the program simply draws a straight line out of the character's gun, and assumes the bullet hit the first target the line encounters, disregarding distance, gravity and such.
The entire point of behind an aim-bot is to replicate this. An aim-bot is a program that lets an AI with lighting-fast perfect marksmanship take control of your aiming duties in a first-person shooter, and an extremely obvious telltale sign that someone is using one is when he pulls off absolutely mind-blowing feats of speed and accuracy. Players using one will constantly pull off impossible feats like a complete 180 turn to instantly headshot a target behind him with speeds far beyond human reflexes, then turning back around to headshot another two other guys in the blink of an eye, and capping that off with shooting someone within the absolute very first frame that he becomes visible after disabling his cloaking device. The only limitations to how fast this can be done is how fast the weapon can fire. It should go without saying that using an aim-bot is universally considered cheating.
The hallmark gestures of an aim-bot is a constantly erratic jittering as the program tries to find players to lock on to, following by an inhumanly-quick jerk to a different area than he was originally looking at.
As you can imagine, fantastic players (or even mundane ones) can be expected to be accused of using one by the more butthurt members of any given FPS community.
In City of Heroes, all attacks are determined whether they hit as soon as the animation starts. Basically, the animation just determines how long the attack takes to carry out. But it can take a few seconds to get to the part where you appear to attack. Which can lead to a mellee attack hitting an opponent 30 feet and around a corner by the time your character actually swings, and the same goes for the computer hitting you.
In Duke Nukem 3D, the eponymous player character will automatically aim at enemies within a certain radius from the crosshair as long as he is not looking up or down. This means even the pistol has near-perfect accuracy at extreme range.
Dante from the Devil May Cry series is a pretty damn good shot even in the game proper, but only demonstrates truly ridiculous levels of skill in the cutscenes, such as as the intro of Devil May Cry 3, where he — among other things — kills several Mooks with a single bullet by sending a bunch of billiard-balls into the air, and then shooting one of them in such a way that it starts a chain-reaction, sending the balls flying in all directions like gigantic, colorful buckshot. This is due to the fact that he's a human/demon hybrid using magical, demonic handguns.
In Devil May Cry 4, Dante puts a round through the Mad Scientist Agnus' papers. When Agnus picks one up to examine the damage, Dante puts another round through the exact same hole to kill him.
In the same game, in the boss encounters with Dante, he rarely uses his guns, unless of course Nero tries to shoot him, at which point Dante will begin to shoot the bullets out of the air.
Also in the same game, Dante manages to pull off "stacking" five bullets on the end of the handle of his sword (a la Robin Hood, just with bullets), stuck inside the Big Bad, each landing perfectly behind the other, with the final one thrusting it into its core.
Final Fantasy XIII deserves some mention. While free-falling from a jet, Lightning manages to fire one bullet and perfectly hit Fang's Eidolith (which is also moving and is about the size of a large pebble). Did we mention that Lightning's weapon of choice, the Gunblade, has no ironsights or aiming method to speak of?
The player can invoke this in Deus Ex. Weapons in which you are untrained or only slightly trained have very bad aim. Although the player can start off with very good aim in one type of weapon or decent aim in several, they'll still have a few really inaccurate crappy ones for most of the game until enough skill points are gathered to push them to Advanced or Master training level.
Enter the Matrix has numerous examples, but one instance in particular is quite noteworthy; in the airport level, Ghost is tasked with shooting out the nose wheel of a Gulfstream jet to prevent it from taking off; Ghost being in a control tower and the plane being about a hundred yards away or so and beginning its takeoff roll. Granted Ghost is armed with a Barrett sniper rifle, but even the best snipers would be hard-pressed to make that shot.
Revolver Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid is another rare villainous example. Though wielding a revolver (and never, ever using his other hand to steady it), he's got unerring accuracy, on-par with even Sniper Wolf. He can even richochet bullets off of walls. When Cyborg Ninja cuts off his right hand, he just starts shooting with his left instead, without any perceptible drop in accuracy.
Metal Gear Solid 3 subverts this; the future Big Boss, then known as Naked Snake, gave Ocelot the idea of using a revolver as his weapon of choice, after noticing that with his previous gun (a Makarov PM handgun), he twisted his elbow to absorb the recoil, which actually worsened his aim with it.
Later in the same game, Ocelot adds a stock to the revolver to steady his aim for a long-range shot. And misses.Does he, though?
In MGS3, the first time we see Ocelot, he displays Aiming Skills, managing to fire a bullet that ricochets multiple times before killing a Mook. When Snake later gets one of the revolvers, the bullets still ricochet, so he could concievably do the same if the player was good enough.
Also subverted in The Twin Snakes, where, during the torture scene, Ocelot is spinning his gun on his left hand and drops it by accident — lending a bit of credibility that his left hand isn't quite as accurate as his right. He later goes on to shoot the PAL key out of Snake's hand near the end of the game.
Ironically, in Twin Snakes, the legendary sniper villain character Sniper Wolf also subverts this trope by submitting to certain real-world sniping necessities of behavior: her accuracy suffers unless she's lying down, she takes an elevated position and plans ahead to hold that superior position throughout her battles. The irony comes from nearly every other villain in the game embodying a trope in order to make themselves unique, while Wolf's more conventional sniping ability is soundly trumped by Solid Snake's employment of two tropes multiplied together. In the cutscene in which Wolf is defeated (following a player-controlled sniper-fight boss battle in an outdoor snowfield in Alaska, against an enemy wearing all white, in the midst of a blizzard), Snake is suddenly disarmed by Wolf shooting the PSG-1 sniper rifle from his grip and taking a bead on his forehead. She is undone, however, when Snake suddenly performs a perfect backflip, lands with his heel against the rifle's stock to propel it into the air, executes a full 360 turn to grab it, aims, and fires the killing shot straight into Wolf's lungs from more than a hundred yards distant. In Wolf's defense, she does recover from surprise in time to return fire simultaneously, but without the power of being the primary focus of the cutscene, her shot harmlessly misses. The combined power of Improbable Aiming Skills and Cutscene Power to the Max has a resonance, it seems, rendering the protagonist briefly perfect.
Altaïr, the main character of Assassin's Creed I, also displays an unbelieveable level of accuracy with his throwing-knives. His knives always hit, even on a moving target that changes direction unexpectedly, and ALWAYS kills instantly, without even giving the victim a chance to cry out. Well, unless it's one of your 'Targets', in which case they just basically ignore the throwing-knives for no apparent reason.
Ezio is the same with throwing knives in Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. He also has a small pistol, which is extremely accurate for those days. In Brotherhood, Ezio gets a crossbow, which will hit (and instantly kill) anyone he aims at. In fact, Stealth Based Missions become really easy once the crossbow is introduced.
In the trailer for Assassin's Creed III, Connor is able to hit his mark in the chest with an arrow while in mid-jump. Granted, he wasn't very far from the target to begin with, but still.
Gordon Freeman in Half-Life. He's not shown to be supernaturally accurate, at least compared to other First Person Shooter heroes. However, unlike almost all other FPS heroes (who at least have some form of military background), he's a theoretical physicist who's never picked up a gun in his life prior to the events of the game. This makes incredibly impressive his ability to rapidly learn to use an assault rifle well enough to fight off both an alien invasion and a battalion of highly trained special forces soldiers.
Lampshaded in the sequel, in which Breen, through his "Breencast" system, berates his mook army for being completely unable to impede Gordon's progress: "This is not some agent provocateur or highly trained assassin we are discussing. Gordon Freeman is a theoretical physicist who hardly earned the distinction of his Ph.D at the time of the Black Mesa Incident... The man you have consistently failed to slow, let alone capture, is by all standards simply that, an ordinary man."
The Female Assassins in Half-Life count as well. It's unknown who they're working, they're never mentioned by any characters in Half-Life, and the only game that puts focus on them is of debatable canon. Of all we don't know, one thing is for certain, an Assassin with a 9mm pistol will never miss a shot. Dispite their weak weaponry, Assassins are a higher threat than the Special Forces you spend half the game fighting, largely in part because of their pin-point accuracy and quick trigger fingers.
The Lone Wanderer in Fallout 3 takes this trope to ridiculous extremes, being able to shoot a switchblade out of someone's hand and follow it up with a perfect headhsot. From fifty metres away. With a sightless (I shit you not) hunting rifle. He can still miss with a shotgun at point-blank range, oddly enough.
The sniper rifles and repeater are nice, but they just don't provide the satisfaction that decapitating someone with a BB gun does.
The mechanics behind weapon spread can be somewhat interesting, being a sum of the weapon's minimum spread, spread caused by injury (0 if uninjured), and spread based on skill, stance, and ironsight use. Because level 100 skill with a weapon changes the last value from .005 to 0 and the effects from ironsights and crouching are multiplicative on the skill value, that single skill point makes both of them completely irrelevant.
Fallout: New Vegas retains the ridiculous extremes mentioned above for the player. Also notable is Craig Boone, one of the companions in the game. He's a retired NCR 1st Recon sniper and his "Guns" stat is maxed out. In-game, if one finds the Sniper's Nest overlooking Cottonwood Cove, (where it is implied that Boone gave his pregnant wife a Mercy Kill after she was captured by Legion slavers, you'll note that it's too far away from the Cove for the NPCs within to load, much less be visible to the player, even through a gun scope. It's not only improbable, but impossible for the player to make a similar shot.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance makes use of arc trajectory algorithms for Archers/Hunters/Snipers/Assasins with bows and line-of-sight algorithms for Gunners to see if a projectile would be obstructed by an obstacle or the terrain itself due to tiles with varying heights to make it seem more realistic... but this all goes out the window when you order your bowmen/gunslingers to use specials, which ignore those algorithms and just check to see if the target is within weapon range. This leads to cases where you can have an archer shoot at something that's pretty much 2 tiles away and 10 storeys above, or have a gunner SHOOT THROUGH A MOUNTAIN FACE AT POINT BLANK RANGE and hit the target on the other side, 7 panels away.
It's amusing to think that a bullet backed up by Ultima Charge would behave this way.
Compared to other AI allies throughout the series, Captain MacMillan from Call of Duty 4 is a deadshot. Within a second of killing your first mook (as Lieutenant Price), his partner is killed by MacMillan, regardless of who you choose. Despite his skills, he's only there to supervise your preemptive assassination attempt on The Man Behind the Man. During the hectic escape from the operation, you're hard pressed for cover and ammo while MacMillan patiently urges you on, and turns his side of the field into a graveyard.
Sometimes a common occurence in FPSes, especially if The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, but played straight in TimeSplitters, as the Phlebitonium for much of the game, and in fact the concept itself, is plain and simply Rule of Cool. Of special note is that the computer tends to be completely suck with normal shotguns at long ranges, but does quite a few headshots with the BLUNDERBUSS. Speculation has it that this is due to a couple of the set patterns of blunderbuss firing arcs, and the height at which the computer naturally aims. If you require evidence, use all zombie characters, while playing one yourself, and take note of the amount of headless people running around in some all blundie games.
Also see: any oldschool 2d sprite FPS, where so long as you can see the creature in the distance, if he has a bullet-type attack which deals instantaneous damage, he can hit you very easily, even if he's a few pixels high. Averted with the Spider Mastermind in Doom due to the chaingun's naturally random 'spray'.
The assault rifle in Left 4 Dead has laser-like accuracy that gives it essentially infinite range. This can be a bit annoying when playing as the infected on versus, as Survivors will be able to spray bullets at you from halfway across the map and still get a headshot.
Arcade Light Gun shooters take this to a ridiculous extreme, for both you and your opponents. Not while using their guns, though, oh no. This trope is only invoked when your enemies throw something at you. Whenever anything is thrown at you, from a knife to a 55-gallon drum, it will hit you with 100% accuracy. Yes, for some reason a thrown baseball is more likely to kill you than an assault rifle in these sorts of games. For your part, however, you're quick enough on the draw to shoot whatever's coming at you out of the air with a single shot. Here are a few highlights of the genre:
Area 51: You can shoot grenades, oil drums, and RPGs out of the air with one shot from a pistol.
Target Terror: You can shoot groups of dynamite (complete with timer) out of the air with a single pistol shot. Apparently they must have set said timers for 4 seconds, as they will explode the instant they hit you. Not only that, but one of the bonus levels involves you doing this while terrorists throw a non-stop string of dynamite bombs attached to frozen turkeys at you!
To neutralize the hijacker, you must shoot out his rather small Dead Man Switch remote, otherwise he blows up the plane.
Silent Scope: Sniping from a moving vehicle? Check. Shooting out the rotor of a helicopter from said vehicle? Check. Sniping a boss with a meat shield in another erratically-moving vehicle? Check. Sniping searchlights while parachuting? Check. Shooting knives and grenades in midair? Check. Destroying a tank by sniping down its barrel? Check. Shooting the handcuffs (or bomb detonators) off a hostage? Check. Sniping underwater? Check. The player himself needs to have extraordinary sniping skills and dexterity to beat the game.
Batman in Batman: Arkham Asylum. In melee combat Batman always hits — often with multiple batarangs — his targets if he's facing towards them. But then, hey, he's Batman.
Batman: Arkham City has a side-quest featuring Deadshot, who manages to kill one of his targets by ricocheting the bullet of a metal shutter first. Batman also comes to the conclusion in his investigations that he killed a target by firing THROUGH a water tower.
The boss fight against him results in an instant kill if he so much as glances at you. You have to wait 'til he faces the other direction entirely to sneak up on him.
In Batman: Arkham Origins this is Taken Up to Eleven by Deadshot again. In the trailer, he shatters the sword in Deathstroke's hand several time in rabid succession from several miles away, right before shooting a single chain-link holding up a large crate. In his introduction, he is seen killing three enemies in one shot while said enemies were spaced out! In the actual gameplay, he is able to shoot a SWAT sniper, then ricochet the bullet off of his head and into the tail of a GCPD helicopter, causing it to spiral out of control and crash. When you actually face him, he can literally ricochet his bullets off of three different surfaces (even plywood) and still hit you...while you're swinging between gargoyles!
The archer units in Stella Deus The Gate Of Eternity can shoot anywhere as long as the target is in weapon range. This includes around corners, up hills, and through obstacles.
Borderlands in Playthrough 2 and 2.5, BadMuthas and Superbads gain HUGE advance in terms of accuracy. For example: You're 40-50 meters away from BadMutha enemy, that said enemy has a shotgun with 20 accuracy. However... It still manages to get most of the projectiles to hit you, when you couldn't hit them with same shotgun from that range.
Surprisingly for enemies that are DemonicKamikazeSpiders in close combat, Psychos have perfect accuracy whether they're twenty or two hundred yards away. It wouldn't be nearly as absurd if not for the fact that they're throwing axes at you.
Also used in Mordecai's back story. He apparently won a sharp shooting contest while he was 17 against several professional snipers with much more experience. The kicker? They all used sniper rifles; he used a revolver. The snipers then chased him off and called him a cheater.
The Mark & Execute ability from Splinter Cell Conviction allows Sam to One-Hit Kill, depending on the equipped weapon, up to four enemies in rapid succession even when they're in rather different locations. You'd be hard-pressed to find a Real Life marksman who can do so with his speed and accuracy, nevermind as consistently.
Sync shots in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier are the successor to Mark & Execute - while it takes a little time to line up a shot, once you're on target your shot is guaranteed to kill him in one hit. On top of that, AI teammates can shoot through anything to get them once they're lined up, while human players can take advantage of the Bullet Time after a successful sync shot to kill any extra targets before they notice what's happening; and in either case (though it's easier for humans) the bullets will also kill anyone else lined up with your target.
Mooks in inFamous will not miss you if you're standing still. This includes the Bagmen, which is an army made up of homeless men who armed themselves with automatic weapons who will hit you if you so much as peek your head out of cover from 100 meters. It's theorized that the protagonist's Shock and Awe powers make him a literal bullet magnet.
Prototype allows you to pick up any shouldered weapon and start leaping tens of meters into the air while always maintaining an accurate aim on any target, moving or still, that you've locked on to.
Locking on to a specific target isn't actually required to demonstrate this trope in its full glory. Pick up a gun with high-velocity projectiles(in this case, either the rifle or machinegun). With significant upgrades to the jump ability, leap across the street with plenty of human class targets with substantial threat ratings like normal soldiers near a hive or base. While still in air, tap the fire button rapidly. Voila, dead soldiers lying flat, all taken one bullet each in the span of about what, 2 to 3 seconds?
Subverted somewhat in that automatic firing will cause a decrease in accuracy the longer the trigger is held no matter the player's stance.
Even more spectacular, is the throwing of objects(even while moving in the air). Should the moving target change velocity or direction slightly, the thrown object can mildly compensate mid-flight, making it look like the ambulance you've just hurled is homing onto the Apache chopper trying to dodge your attack. Improbable aiming taken to the absurd degree.
The AI in Worms is an incredible shot. Infact they seem to feel the need to rub it in, ignoring targets directly next to them to shoot at things a long distance away that they wouldn't be able to physically see or know exist if it wasn't for the side view.
Let's see - using a bazooka to shoot an enemy on the other side of the map. If that's not badass enough, the AI always relies on wind, so even if a straightforward shot at maximum power will still hit, they'll settle for firing in the opposite direction with somewhere between 10 and 50% of power and the shot will still do max damage. That's to say that the AI frequently does shots that could be classified as improbable at best, then there are the shots that go through a gap that by all accounts should not fit a bazooka and that's while the said bazooka is doing a turn under the influence of a very strong wind. Not badass enough? The AI using a bazooka is the preferred option for you; if the enemy pulls out a grenade, you can only pray it doesn't target the worm that will actually die by taking maximum grenade damage. Their favourite tactic is to make the grenade ricochet a bit (say, at least 3-5 times) and land on the head of your worm at the same time the fuse time runs out.
And this is on all difficulty levels; the only real difference is that lower AI levels will either sometimes miss (on purpose) or just be really bad at picking targets.
The "Cocky" AI in Worms Reloaded does this on purpose. It chooses to do the most difficult (but still viable) shots possible in order to show off.
Kevin Ryman and Alyssa Ashcroft in Resident Evil Outbreak can both take a little longer to aim a handgun to receive a much higher chance of a critical hit.
In Valkyria Chronicles, all the guns used by the player's squad start off mediocre and are gradually improved, and all start off with low accuracy, indicated by a huge possible firing space, even sniper rifles. Later in the game, the line of fire on the sniper rifle is small enough to target soldiers on the other side of the map, especially if using Marina Wulfstan, who thanks to a particularly useful Potential, is given a cross-hair the size of a small dot, meaning she'll hit dead-center any target at any distance ten times out of ten.
Anybody who has fought Selvaria on the ramparts of Selvaria's Last Stand can attest to her Improbable Aiming Skills, sniping your troops with deadly accuracy with a heavy machine gun, no less. From the other side of the map.
Displayed by your enemies in ''Will Rock: They can hit you from every possible distance with: Fire Ball shots, arrows, javelins, axes, knives, morning stars, acid, tridents, fiery stones/pebbles, fiery bullets and lightning bolts.
In the Medal of Honor series, Nazis have near-perfect accuracy when blind-firing behind cover (ie what is supposed to be suppressing fire).
Enemies with automatic weapons in Soldier of Fortune II are implausibly accurate at long range, while the player suffers from A-Team Firing with the same guns.
A nameless, fameless Mook proves his serious chops in Final Fantasy XII's opening movie. The Imperial Trooper who kills Rassler does so by shooting him with an arrow. Through the one unarmored spot on his body (a one-inch gap between his breastplate and his neck/shoulderguard armor right over his collarbone.) While Rassler is mounted on a chocobo and jostling about erratically. In the din and chaos of a pitched battle. Across the span of a bridge. At night. If it wasn't for the fast Basch kills him with an equally improbable shot (albeit with an armor-piercing arrowhead, so he didn't need to aim at a weak spot,) the man would probably be deserving of a promotion.
The Zelda games—and any games that have auto-targeting—use this when you can lock onto an enemy and let loose with arrows or whatever weapon you have. It only gets really absurd when, in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a mini-game requires you to shoot an arrow at a post on a guard tower a hundred yards away, but the arrows don't drop at all and there is a targeting sight. The mini-game wins you the Hawkeye, an item that functions like binoculars, or a sniper scope when combined with the bow, giving you even more improbable aiming powers!
Falmer archers in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are neither better nor worse at archery than the other races, which is damned impressive, considering that they're all completely blind.
Improbable aiming skills feature heavily in the various archery "skill books" found in-game. One such story describes a revenge-driven archer firing an arrow from up on a hill, across a castle moat, through the keyhole in the castle's front door, and into a portrait of the owner. Repeatedly. Without missing. The notion that he could even see what he was aiming at takes this trope to a ridiculous new level. In another, an archer out for a shooting practise session with his friend fires a shot that goes wide of the target... and ends up hitting the archery trophy on display in the hall of his friend's house in the valley below.
On Hard difficulty in Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 1, enemy infantry aims inhumanly fast and always scores headshots when they hit, essentially reducing the player character to a One Hitpoint Wonder.
In Dark Souls, because The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard and the game hates you, you can actually see enemy projectiles curve in midair to hit you, while you'll never be able to do the same, there's also significantly less arrow drag when they shoot, which means their homing arrows will follow you for absurd distances if you don't dodge them.
Snipers in XCOM: Enemy Unknown actually get more accurate as the range increases. A sniper with Squadsight (in other words, capable of shooting not just targets she herself can see, but targets that other troopers can see) has effectively unlimited range.
The addition of the 'Opportunist' ability completely removes the aim penalty for Overwatch shots, the penalty designed to simulate the difficulty of shooting a moving target compared to a stationary one. The end result is that a Sniper can potentially hit an enemy from the other end of the map through a ridiculously tiny gap while the target is traveling at full speed via jetpack.
Max Payne 3: Both Max (Single-Player) and the gangs (multiplayer) have deadshot accuracy when using anything but automatic/burst guns or melee attacks. And even then, gang members can level-up their guns and gain attachments that give the first shot pinpoint accuracy. There are basically four kinds of cursors: A white dot means the ranged attacks will always shoot towards the target when it turns red, a crosshair/circle means that the weapon is somewhat accurate but loses accuracy with each shot, four quarter-circles means you are using an automatic gun and should probably get in close before firing, and a dot with two quarter-circles means that you are using a shotgun and should level them up to 10 and then forget about them(they are weak in multiplayer). On default, max has only a white dot, but gun-accuracy rules still apply.
At the end of Chapter 2's helicopter sequence, Max has to shoot down enemy RPG's while hanging upside down from the chopper.
The Targeting System implant in E.Ψ.Ǝ.: Divine Cybermancy allows its users to temporarily fire any weapon with perfect accuracy - such as firing the HS010 submachine gun at 3000 rounds per minute at someone's skull from 100 meters while soaring through the air, hitting them with every shot.
In Terraria, you have to contend with spiked slimes. Not can they shoot spikes which can cause considerable damage to your health, but they tend to be annoyingly accurate. And worse, the jungle variety of spiked slimes tend to appear alongside hornets, who have similarly annoying accuracy.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni gives us the four Chiester sisters. Their first apperance is for them to shoot down two people running away from them with a single arrow. After the people have turned at least one corner. And that's their most basic shot. They go on to do things like firing an arrow from the other side of a forest, through an open window and then through a keyhole into a locked room to kill two people.
Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai has Miyako and Yoichi (one of the new characters in the sequel), who are both members of the "Five Bows Under Heaven". Less improbable but still impressive is the Prime Minister with a rifle.
A comic of 8-Bit Theater had Black Mage and Red Mage discussing on who'd win in a fight: Bullseye and Green Arrow, based on either's Improbable Aiming Skills. RM then said Green Arrow could shoot several arrows precisely at once. BM argued — and was pinned to a tree by such an attack...
Jacqui: (in utter amazement) "Wow! That's impressive!"
Melissa: (irately) "Jacqui!"
Jacqui: (still impressed) "Well, IT IS!!"
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Gordito's late father, the Flying Shooting Juan, was a sharpshooting trapeze artist with amazing skill. This was exemplified by a circus act in which he dove into a small pool of water while shooting a playing card chosen by an audience member, a Queen of Diamonds, out of a deck of cards thrown into the air. When the cards came down, the volunteer couldn't find the Queen of Diamonds and the show was assumed to be ruined. A quick phone call later, it was found that Juan did, in fact, shoot a Queen of Diamonds — in the pants pocket of the burglar who robbed the volunteer in a different part of town.
Mitzi's speciality is precisely aimed demolitions. She uses this skill to land a treasure chest on Dark Smoke Puncher, and get the Doc's katana back to him. And she did this before she knew where they were going to be standing.
Soldier 1: Hey, it worked. Soldier 2: .... you've been doing this for too long.
A few pages earlier, the same sniper shoots the air hose on a guy's gas mask, then the filter off a different guy's gas mask. Then he shoots a fuel drum and Stuff Blows Up.
Soldier 2: Bored? Soldier 1: Yeah.
Runners: Cember, the Candy Bandit, bets a substantial amount of money on his own ability to shoot through a finger-sized hole. And wins.
Selkie: The title character gets a pair of bullies who have stolen Moonsong's ball to throw it to her. She then throws it back in such a way that it bounces off both bullies' heads and lands neatly in Moonsong's hands. Selkie's father Todd assumes it was an accident.
As soon as Jade has a chance to make her own weapons, she immediately goes for More Dakka and big guns
also, in the second gun minigame with jade, (and the one in act 5 with the imp) you can shoot anywhere, but jade always aims at a specific spot, like the eye. (or in bec's case, wherever the eye WOULD be.) she would probably to a really good job if not for all the teleporting.
Fey Winds gives us this one: Four ricochets for a possession gem dangerously close to her brain.
morphE features Amical, a mage who uses an enchanted flintlock pistol which is incapable of missing. In one strip he shot five bullets in half a second and each one of them came to a freeze an inch from the target's faces.
Sire has Emile who inherited improbable aiming skills from his Sire, Jarvert. He can make any shot he attempts but has to shoulder his Sire's harsh morality and crippling failures as a trade-off.
The Order of the Stick#936 has Haley shoot two arrows straight at Tarquin's eyes using her foot to point (her left arm is broken).
A Survival of the Fittest example is Trish McCarroll. Using an AK (notorious for recoil) that she'd never fired before (or any guns for that matter), she managed to hit Sloan Henriksenfour times in the heart and six in the lungs in a single burst of fire. It's put down to luck, but still, for somebody who has never used a gun it was an incredible feat. Amusingly, given that SOTF is a play by post game, it was actually Sloan's handler that caused the Improbable Aiming Skills. (by mentioning which places the characters was hit in the death post)
Along similar lines is Reika Ishida who was shot in the heart or where her heart would have been had she not been a mirror-image twin by Kris Hartmann who not only has no gun experience, but was turning around at the time of firing. The killer later shot Amber Whimsy in the heart as well, this time while lying on their back and not bothering to set up the shot. This can be somewhat forgiven, however, as both characters were relatively close to one another.
Clio Gabriella was able to shoot Chris Davidson in the face despite the fact that not only did the character have nerve damage to their hand, but they hadn't been intending to pull the trigger.
Chaka. It's part of her superpowers. She can use her Ki to throw just about anything wherever she wants. Knives, shuriken, throwing spikes, you name it. She has a 'dartboard' that is the size of a quarter, and she throws sewing needles at it. She still hasn't missed the bullseye.
Also, Hive and Deadeye have superpowers that let them be unbelievably good snipers. Okay, Hive had decades of experience as a U.S. Navy sniper before getting those powers.
Red Eagle, Briar Rose, The Bowman, Obsidian Arrow, Yeoman, Artemis, and Warpath are all "super archers", and are able to skim the wings off flies in mid-flight with their arrow-shots.
In the horror tale ''Melon Heads'', female lead Sarah Haley is surprisingly good at hitting the titular monsters with thrown rocks. Elaborated in an "interview" with the character, who reveals a softball background.
Inverted with Church in one of the later seasons of Red vs. Blue. He unloads his entire magazine at someone less than two feet away... and misses every single shot.
Jason Teller of ASH has very low-level telekinesis and a superhuman grasp of angles, resulting in this.
Circus, from the web original Worm, has this alongside the rest of his/her abilities.
Later, The Number Man demonstrates this skill using a sniper rifle-thanks to his Awesomeness by Analysis powers, he can perfectly predict the path of a bullet and even cause them to ricochet.
Pyrrha has these, as shown in her Establishing Character Moment. (Pinning a person- who's falling through the air several dozen meters away- to a tree, with only a minute or so to aim her shot, and leaving said person completely unharmed.) Given that her weapon is a combination rifle/spear, she'd have to.
Zero Punctuation has Yahtzee frequently complaining that the AI enemies in modern FPS's that aren't completely stupid are frequently granted aiming ability that far surpasses his own.
The Yuyan Archers from Avatar: The Last Airbender can literally shoot the wings off a fly (or at least pin it to a tree from a hundred paces away — without killing it), or at least that's what Zhao said. Though this was most likely hyperbole, they are able to pin Aang to a log by his shirt and nail someone hiding behind a human shield in the head, from a great distance in the middle of the night.
Mai has also demonstrated impeccable and deadly accurate knife-throwing skills. Although sometimes it's shuriken. She keeps several dozen in the sleeves of her robe.
The ARC Troopers from Star Wars: Clone Wars possess impressive powers of accuracy, almost every shot blasts a droid's head off and a single trooper takes out a Trade Federation armored tank in less than 5 seconds by running up the side of it, blasting the top off, shooting several shots from the inside of the machine and running like hell.
Averted in Code Lyoko, where Odd and Yumi miss quite frequently, especially when the shot would be difficult in real life (i.e. shooting at a moving target). Then again, since often the enemies simply dodge, and Odd's arrows are often shown moving as fast as a real arrow, this might be a case of The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. Played relatively straight with Aelita (after she gains her Energy Field in season 3), who only misses when she's distressed, though her attacks have the added advantage of being deadly wherever they touch the monster, with no need to aim at their weak spots.
Ferb in Phineas and Ferb. In "Ain't No Kiddie Ride", as Candace is falling into a canyon on a coin-powered rocket when she run's out of quarters, Ferb casually does "The Robot" for a couple of tourists, who give him a quarter. Then he proceeds to slingshot the coin straight into the slot and save his sister's life.
Played with in South Park: Butters hits his target every time, without looking — but only in the guy's crotch.
In King of the Hill, Bobby has very few talents, but at a carnival after picking up a BB gun at a shooting gallery, he finds out he's an excellent shot. Later, when taken to a shooting range, he shoots off his rounds pretty quickly. Hank is disappointed that Bobby didn't listen to him, only to discover all of his shots hit the target dead center.
Used in M.A.S.K. episode The Golden Goddess to a ridiculous degree. Alex Sector (never previously known for his aiming skills) disables an elephant with laser cannons without harming it. He fires the cannons the elephant's feet such that the elephant steps/falls into the blast craters... which are the size of its feet. Alex accomplishes this feat:
¤From above and behind
¤While parachuting from a plane in a semi truck
¤With the giant laser cannons mounted distally on the truck
¤Hitting beneath all four feet on both sides of the elephant, without hitting the elephant
¤Missing only one set of three paired shots
¤With the "camera" noticeably rocking to convey how unsteady a platform he's shooting from
¤This just after commenting "... if I can just keep this blasted truck steady enough."
In one episode of Class of the Titans, Atlanta splits an arrow Robin Hood style. Then splits that one. While upside down. On a rope.
One episode of Kung Fu Panda Legends Of Awesomeness shows a particularly high-level kung fu feat; the practitioner must throw three needles in the air in such a manner that one needle passes through the eye of another and splits the third from tip to tip.
Real World Examples: A number of competition and professional shooters, over a number of decades, have performed incredible feats of gunplay. These include:
going from a standing rest position to drawing and firing an killing headshot in 0.26 timed seconds — and being even faster than that, being able to throw a handful of eight clay pigeons behind them and promptly shoot all of them in the air with a shotgun,
setting up two targets and using a sword in between and in front of them to cut the bullet and strike both targets accurately,
being able to fire sixty rounds from ten revolvers and put every shot into a four inch circle in 17 seconds, picking up and putting down each revolver in succession,
firing eight rounds from a revolver in 1.00 timed seconds (480rpm, matching a machinegun's rate of fire!) with all rounds hitting the target,
and many, many more.
It should also be pointed out that these shooters practice daily, going through tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition per year, and are the absolute top masters of their respective field at an Olympic level of skill. Look up folks like Bill Munden, Ed Cantrell, Elmer Keith, Jerry Miculek, or Rob Leatham for starts... or, for that matter, Annie Oakley.
The Discovery Channel series Time Warp aired an episode titled "Sharpshooter", which featured (among others) super-slow motion photography of a professional rifle shot shooting at and hitting an ordinary playing card edge on!
Ed McGivern was the living embodiment of this trope. In addition to five shots at five yards into a silver dollar in 45/100ths of a second (with a stock DA revolver), he could shoot six hand-thrown clays, centerpunch washers, fire revolvers akimbo at separate targets with equal effectiveness, and score hits at 600 yards (again, with a stock revolver). In one chapter of his book, he says (paraphrased), "anyone can do this. I pulled it off by standing in a field in Montana and burning up 30,000 rounds to master this one trick (shooting aerial targets)."
Getting away from handguns and shotguns, three notable sniper shots: the legendary Carlos Hathcock, 2,286 meters, the current record is 2,475 metres by Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison, a British infantryman in Afghanistan. This is especially impressive as he did it twice, using a gun not designed for that range (though still a sniper rifle). He is followed by Rob Furlong, at 2,430 meters. The difficulty of these long ranges is pointed out by the facts like Furlong's shot, at a moving target, took 4 seconds to go from the gun and had a bullet drop of about 146 feet. Beating even that was Royal Marine Matt Hughes. Although his shot at an Iraqi sentry was a relatively short 860 meters, the gale-force crosswind meant his bullet curved 56 feet sideways.
Simo Häyhä. Of particular note is that Häyhä did all of his work without a scope. Yeah. The greatest sniper in history killed 546 Soviet soldiers using only iron sights. He may not have matched other snipers in sheer range, but you have got to respect a sniper so skilled he hunted with only a pair of very fine-tuned bits of metal telling him where his shots were going to go. The Russians were flat fucking terrified of him by the end of the Winter War; they called him the White Death for a reason.
He was eventually presented with a higher-quality rifle, but removed the scope because 1. the shine off the lens could give away his position to enemy snipers and 2. he didn't need it, as noted above.
Rifleman Thomas Plunket. In 1809, using a black powder rifle over an open sight, he shot a French general dead at a range of 500 meters. Then he shot the first man to come to the general's aid, just to prove it wasn't a lucky shot.
Billy Dixon. He and a group of Bison hunters were defending the settlement of Adobe Walls from Comanches. Dixon, armed with a Sharps rifle, knocked a Comanche off his horse at a surveyed range of 1,538 yards.
Even as Billy Dixon was (most possibly) one of the best long-range riflemen in the entire world, he did not give much credit to his shot and did not attempt to duplicate it.
Military snipers in general. US Army snipers average one confirmed kill for every 1.78 bullets fired. Add in the probable kills, and the accuracy goes up to one kill for every 1.32 bullets fired.
Craig Harrison not only hit a target over 8,000 feet away with a rifle designed to have an effective distance of 5,000 feet, but decided that wasn't badass enough and did it twice.
Not reported in that link is that with his third shot, Corporal Harrison disabled the machine gun his targets were using. As they say in America, three up, three down.
An unknown Australian commando (there were two people shooting simultaneously at a single target and it isn't very clear who out of the two made the shot) hit an enemy commander from a GPS-confirmed distance of 2815 meters/3079 yards, which is more than 9000 feet away.
It should be noted that modern military snipers use computers to calculate bullet drop and wind effects and secondary spotters to feed them distance and wind information before taking their shots; making the shooter mostly a steady hand on the trigger. Where as Vietnam era and earlier snipers were 1 man, 1 gun, and real skill.
In 2005 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, a patrol was on a rooftop in the eastern part of the city scouting out sniper positions. A member of the patrol was killed by a terrorist sniper from the city hospital, over half a mile away. An impressive enough shot, but the Army sniper, SSG James Gilliland, with the patrol was better. Within seconds of the shot, he turned, acquired the terrorist's position, and returned fire, killing him with one shot. A within-seconds snap-shot kill at over 1,000 meters. Not to mention he somehow found the spot the bad guy was firing from amongst the many windows of the hospital.
He even made The Other Wikias the 7th longest sniper kill in history and, more interestingly, the longest sniper kill made with 7.62mm ammunition, a fairly "typical" round rather than the .50 caliber anti-material round or one specially designed for extreme range sniping like the .338 Lapua Magnum.
During an eight hour battle between US Marines and Taliban fighters, a Marine marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. What makes his actions even more impressive is that he didn't miss a shot, despite the enemies' rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position.
The memoir Sniper One tells of the exploits of a UK sniper platoon in Al-Amarah, one of the most dangerous and least-known battlefield cities in the Iraq War. They have a number of feats such as these.
In the 17th century the kickass soldier/scientist/artist/bucaneer Prince Rupert Of The Rhine shot a hole through a weathervane from 200 yards using a flintlock pistol. When King Charles I, who was watching, claimed it was a fluke, he did it again. The weathervane was still in place, with its two musket holes, 200 years later.
In the vein of Simo Häyhä above, in WWI a brigade American Marines engaged a German division at Belleau Wood, sniping targets at up to 800 yards (which is far enough you don't hear the rifle's report before the bullet) with iron sights. The fire was so devastating the German commanders thought the Americans had machine guns.
A similar feat has been attributed to a British rifle platoon at a bridge in 1914. The British trained specifically for this pre-war with the "Mad Minute" training exercise in which riflemen had to put at least 15 aimed shots into a 12" target 300 yards away within 60 seconds — with a bolt-action rifle. And many riflemen could average over 30. To illustrate how impressive this is, the United States Marine Corps trains for between ten and twelve aimed shots per minute with semi-automatic fire and thirty-round magazines. British soldiers would have to fire ten shots, manually cycling the action after each shot, reload, and do the same thing, reload after the next five shots, and so on to get thirty rounds within a minute.
Otto Carius, one of the best tank commanders of WW2, had this to say: "My gunner, Unteroffizier Kramer, can take credit for a deed that was probably unparalleled on the Eastern Front. That is, he succeeded in shooting down a Russian fighter with a tank cannon ... Kramer, upset by the unrelenting nuisance of these guys, elevated his cannon along the approach route. I talked him in. He took a chance and pulled the trigger. On the second attempt, he hit one of the ‘bees’ in its wing. The Russian crashed behind us."
An un-named American anti-tank gun crew (90mm) repeated the feat during the Battle of the Bulge, knocking down a German fighter that made the error of flying in a straight line across the gunner's line of sight.
The first M26 Pershing tank to be knocked out was done in by a shot through the hole for the coaxial machine gun.
Hans-Joachim Marseille, the most accurate fighter pilot in history; until his death from hitting the aircraft he was bailing out of, he expended an average of 15 rounds of ammunition per plane he shot down. On 1 September 1942, he took off in his Bf109, shooting down three Kittyhawk fighters out of ten attacking a Ju-87 formation, and on his way back to base he was attacked by a group of Spitfires, shooting down six. When reloading the plane, his armorer discovered that Marseille had expended only 20 cannon rounds and 60 machine-gun rounds to shoot down all nine aircraft.
This is a slightly unfair way to measure aiming skill, however, as the Bf109 armament included a pair of 20 mm cannons, while the early war Spitfires it was facing of with were equipped with 8 .30 caliber machine guns (which are practically pea shooters in air-to-air terms). One 20 mm shell did a lot more damage than ten .30 caliber bullets.
It is not unfair when you compare it to the ammunition used by other pilots flying the same type of aircraft. Also, the Bf 109-F and Bf 109- G airplanes which Marseille flew in North Africa only had one cannon, which fired through the hollow axis of the propeller. As the two machine guns were mounted on top of the engine, the projectiles from the three guns hit very close to each other. The guns of a Spitfire were mounted in the wings, which made more for a kind of scatter-gun effect.
But while talking about Spitfires, Canadian pilot Buzz Beurling became legendary flying out of Malta for his obscene skills in deflection and long-range shooting. Initially considered a braggart when he was flying out of England because his gun camera didn't record the hits he claimed he was making, it was later realized that he was so good at calculating trajectories of bullets and enemy planes that he'd fire before the aircraft came in view of the camera. Once he reached Malta, he had his mechanics remove tracer rounds from his ammunition because he didn't need them to know where his rounds were going (and so the enemy didn't know they were being shot at), and made the longest recorded kill with a Spitfire, taking down another plane at 800 yards.
The best part of it? His gun's optical equipment had been destroyed in the initial attack. He aimed through the barrel before pushing the shell inside and closing the breech.
Pvt Vilho Rättö, Finnish Army, earned his Mannerheim Cross (highest Finnish military decoration) by destroying six Soviet tanks single-handedly with a captured anti-tank gun in the same manner.
Dersu Uzala Arseniev is about one native friend whom he met while exploring Far East. The protagonist shoots so ridiculously well, done in a fiction, this would make eyebrows rise, but it's a memoir. A typical example: two of his men on rest tried to shoot a duck, missed, it flied a bit away and this somehow turned into sport, until it was at least 300 steps away by the author's estimation. Enters giggling drunk Dersu. "Your shot well. Now my want chase duck." He raises the gun and fires almost without aiming. The bullet hits water, its splash showers the bird. It squeaks in panic and flies farther. Next shot — another close hit. Now most of them have to use binoculars. One tried to compete and shot. The ricochet made the bird dive for a moment, but that's all. Dersu aims carefully — yet another very close hit. The duck flies away for good.
York's aim was so spectacular, when a group of six German soldiers fixed bayonets and charged him, York took out his pistol and shot them all back to front, so the ones in front would not know their fellows were dying until too late. Again, without missing a shot. York believed that God protected and guided him; given what he accomplished, it doesn't seem entirely unreasonable.
Finnish Army Corporal Olaf Lagus, son of General Ruben Lagus, was a Sturmgeschutz III gunner in the Continuation War just assigned to combat duty. He shot a total of four rounds in the war (before he was wounded in action and hospitalized), and each round destroyed a Soviet T-34. His efficiency was full 100%.
Finnish Air Force Lieutenant Antti Tani destroyed a Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik - a heavily armoured ground attack plane dubbed as "flying tank" in 1944 with just one round before the guns on his Messerschmitt Bf 190G jammed.
A famous example on the reverse side of this: Union General John Sedgwick, at the start of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in July 1864, complained as his staff and artillery ducked for cover from snipers about 1000 yards away, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Seconds later, he was killed by a bullet just below his left eye. In his defense, the shooter was closer than "They" were.
Lieutenant James Launders DSO* DSC* commanding His Majesty's Submarine Venturer sank the U-864 using a three-dimensional firing solution he worked out on paper as both submarines were submerged at the time. This is the only time in history that one submarine sank another while both were submerged. It was also considered impossible until he did it.
The world record for benchrest shooting (custom guns firing custom bullets) is a 1.2cm group of five shots at 300 yards, an area a fraction the size of a AA battery.
Trick shooters make it a point of devising the most ridiculously impossible shots they can think of and mastering them for their public performances.
Finnish conscripts are trained to get 10 rounds out of 10 to hit on target diameter 10 cm at 150 m with assault rifle on iron sights. The bullseye corresponds to a life-size human face, and it is printed on the target as well. Successfully scoring the three shooting qualification tests will grant a three days' leave. Those conscripts who are trained to become snipers or sharpshooters must be able to do the same at 300 m on assault rifle with iron sights.
10 cm at 150 m equals 2.29 arc minutes or 0.667 milliradians. At 300 m it is 1.24 arc minutes or 0.333 milliradians. The weapon used is the standard Finnish Army assault rifle, RK-62, which itself is an AK-47 clone. The bullets used are the standard 7.62x39 mm stock ammunition.
The All Blacks have improbable aiming, and especially catching skills as shown here.
In a more general sense, humans are this compared to many other animals. Our ability to throw accurately, and with a modest bit of practice, hit moving targets, is something we take for granted but few creatures can do anything like it. And, now that there are few things left that will try to eat us, we use it most often to play games.
On the other hand, the human eye is in fact very poor at judging distances compared to many in the animal kingdom, making certain animals this compared to humans. Many species use projectiles with frightening accuracy, and they do it quickly and instinctively unlike humans who must learn and train to be accurate. Examples include: Frogs, Salamanders and others, which fire their tongues at lightning speeds to catch prey; Archer Fish, which use jets of water to knock insects off plants and out of the air; certain blind Termites which fire sticky fluid accurately over many centimeters; Pistol Shrimp, which fire bubbles to stun larger fish using enough force to break glass; other primates which regularly throw rocks, sticks, and feces; the list goes on.
Legend has it that some country boys the US conscripted during the Great War, accustomed to hunting game, could knock German hand grenades out of the air with their shotguns. According to the Other Wiki's page on the M97 trenchgun, some historical documents seem to show that skilled trap shooters were posted along trenches with these weapons to deflect grenades with shotgun fire.
Although he may not be an example of "real life" to many people, Robin Hood is said in tales to have had improbable aiming skills. For example, having the ability to fire an arrow at a bullseye, then to fire a second arrow at the exact same spot resulting in the second arrow splitting the first arrow into pieces...At over 100 meters away. Anyone who's tried their hand at archery can tell you how difficult it is to even fire an arrow straight.
American militiamen during the Seven Years' War, American Revolution and the War of 1812 were legendary for the accuracy of their Kentucky longrifles, with some feats of marksmanship measured at ranges of over 250 yards. One story of the latter conflict tells of British officers directing an assault on an American fortification from well outside the range of even the American marksmen, only for one lone American shooter standing atop the battlements to headshot one officer after another anyway.