Is That the Best You Can Do?
Stock phrase: "Is that the best you can do?" or "Is that the best you got?" Optional responses include "Not even close" (if the first speaker's been beaten to a pulp) or "Unfortunately, yes..." (if the first speaker doesn't even have his/her hair mussed).
Often said defiantly, only rarely despairingly. Usually said by a person that abides by The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort
. If it's followed up by Now It's My Turn
, you better hope you have your legal affairs in order.
See also Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...
and No Sell
for situations where this is most often said.
Demonstrated in this Rotten Tomatoes Show clip
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Anime and Manga
- Rurouni Kenshin
Sanosuke Sagara (Zanza): [after being punched in the head with a dagger and being completely unharmed] Is that the best you can do? Even with a dagger? Man, I sure picked a boring fight.
- Happens a lot in Dragon Ball Z when the Saiyans aren't at the level of the moment's big bad...or vice versa, sometimes.
Frieza: (after laying into Goku at full strength) Well, now! Satisfied?
Super Saiyan Goku: (getting back on his feet) Is that the best you can do?
Goku: I said, is that the best you can do?
Frieza: WATCH YOUR TONGUE! (charges at Goku...right into a punch that makes him spit blood)
- The Nightmare King from the Animated Adaptation of Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland says something similar as Nemo attempts to remember the incantation to activate the Royal Scepter, the only thing that can defeat him.
- Occurs frequently in Bleach, both from bad guys to good guys and good guys to bad guys: "Is that all you've got?" Generally indicates that the loser is in dire shape, but somehow they will still triumph in the end.
- Marv's Last Words in Sin City: The Hard Goodbye: "Is that the best you got, you pansies?" This is after taking a seat in the electric chair.
- He says it earlier during his second fight with Kevin, while he takes a vicious beating waiting for Kevin to leave himself open.
- In the The Superman Adventures, Superman has this to say to Lex Luthor after his nemesis has just tried to kill him again: "Today, you thought you saw me at the limit of my power. Sorry, Luthor...I was only at the limit of yours!"
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
[Mikaela discovers Wheelie and captures him]
Wheelie: Is that the best you got, huh? Is that the best you can do?
- The Truman Show
Truman: [While sailing in the artificially-roughened winds and seas, he shouts to the sky] Is that the best you can do?
- Fantastic Four
[Johnny engulfs Dr. Doom in a huge fire cone that burns away his clothes and outer skin]
Victor Von Doom: Is that the best you can do?
- The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain
Betty: I'll try? Is that the best you can do?
- The More the Merrier (1943)
[Carter and Dingle are reading a "Dick Tracy" comic strip]
Constance 'Connie' Milligan: Is that the best you can do with your time?
- Sharpe's Sword
Patrick Harper: There must be something you can do for him, Father!
Father Curtis: I'm a priest. I pray for him.
Patrick Harper: Is that the best you can do for him?
- Mary Poppins. Bert, to Michael Banks while riding merry-go-round horses.
- Lord of Illusions: Harry D'Amour (Scott Bakula)
- Keeping The Faith: Father Brian Finn (Edward Norton)
- Vertigo: Judy Barton (Kim Novak)
- Tank Girl. Kesslee, after TG drops a bucket of water on his head.
- August Rush.
Marshall: [Backing away as Louis continues pushing him] That the best you got? Is that the best you got man?
- Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies
Tillover: How does a week in the hole sound?
Djinn: A week, is that the best you got? I was once in a hole for 3000 years, this should be a breeze.
- Treed Murray.
Shark: Is that the best you got, Murray?
- Rocky said this at least once during his climactic fight with Clubber Lang in Rocky III, and much more than that.
- Wikus during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge in District 9.
Is that all you got? Is that all you fokken got?
- The Incredible Hulk - "mere" Super Soldier Blonsky to the Incredible Hulk. Hulk responds by launching him into a tree with one kick, breaking most of his bones. After Blonsky becomes the Abomination, however, this is his reaction to the Hulk whaling on him with police-car-boxing gloves and punching him full-on in the face.
- Dragonheart - Draco says this word for word when Bowen throws a spear at him, seemingly impaling him.
Draco: "Is that the best you can do?"
- Iofur Ragnarson to Iorek Byrnison in His Dark Materials:
Is that all? Is that all?!
* Iorek rips off Iofur's jaw* Iorek:
Yes. That is all
Live Action TV
- Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The High Ground"
Kyril Finn: You haven't tasted real fear yet, Doctor.
Doctor Beverly Crusher: Is that the best you can do? Is fear the only weapon you have?
- NCIS: Los Angeles episode "Hand-to-Hand"
Kensi Blye: Crashing in the spare bedroom, is that the best you can do? You were lucky I didn't shoot you.
- Beverly Hills 90210 episode "Scared Very Straight" [concerning a bag full of drugs]
David Silver: I was thinking we could take it down to the beach somewhere and bury it.
Dylan McKay: It that the best you can do?
- Monk episode "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall"
- Married... with Children episode "Buck the Stud"
Peggy Bundy: [off-screen, implying they're having sex] Come on, Al. Is that the best you can do?
- Red Dwarf episode "Thanks for the Memory"
Lister: What time is it?
Rimmer: [drunkenly crawls over to the alarm clock] Saturday.
Lister: Is that the best you can do?
Rimmer: There are some numbers next to it but they could be anything.
- Johnny Ringo episode "The Assassins" (1960)
Johnny Ringo: Go ahead, Chet. Go ahead and draw!
Chet Tomstedter: Sure. I shoot an unarmed man and you and that fancy shot kid gun me down for murder legal. Is that the best you can do, Ringo?
- Smallville episode "Exposed". Jonathan Kent, "Is that the best you got?" variant.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, "Changing of the Zords"
Tommy: Is that the best you can do?
Lord Zedd: You're going to be sorry you said that!
- Power Rangers S.P.D. - Doggie Cruger, after he cuts his way through more than half of a 100-mook army without breaking a sweat. "Is this all you've got, Benaag?"
- Saying this line is often Tempting Fate in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Warren: Is that all ya got? (archway collapses on top of him)
- Deadliest Catch
Cornelia Marie Crewmember: Is that all you got?
(A few minutes later, a rogue wave washes over the aforementioned boat's deck)
Mike Rowe: It's not wise to taunt the Bering Sea.
- Accidental subversion: Christopher Lee appeared on the 1950s live BBC show Kaleidoscope as a police officer scolding an underling for not handling an investigation well. Unfortunately, the poor actor playing the underling had just let loose a very audible fart on scene, making the line "Is that the best you can do?" unintentionally hilarious— especially since, as it turned out, it wasn't. To quote Sir Christopher, "He must have been filled with the four winds of heaven."
- The Protomen song "Vengeance" has Mega Man give the "Is this the best you've got?" version when making his way through Wily's hoards. And it is AWESOME!
- The godmodder in Destroy The Godmodder does this a lot. What makes it worse is that it often times ends up being justified.
- Other entities with plot-significant roles will do this too when players try to insta-kill them.
- The Ben10 episode "Last Laugh". Frightwig to Ben: "Is that all you've got?" Never a good question to ask a superhero.
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "A Creep from the Deep":
Wheeler: We're gonna try to tickle the clam open? Is that the best you can do?
- Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, "Johnny Storm And The Potion Of Fire: a Brainwashed Johnny Storm.
- In Martin Mystery, when the gang is fighting a really evil baddie, Martin dodges a really nasty fireball.
Martin: Is that the best you've got?! (Quietly) Because that was pretty good.
- The Penguins of Madagascar, "Crown Fools":
King Rat: That's the best you got? Bird, that is some weak sauce!
- Teen Titans: "Robin, is that the best you can do?"
- Spoofed in the Halloween Simpsons episode where Groundskeeper Willie is killed off in every story. During "The Shinning", he comes running into the house after Homer goes crazy.
"Alright, loony! Show me what you've got!" (Homer sneaks up behind him and axes him in the back) "Ach! Is that the best you can do?" (dies)
- Transformers Animated, "Mission Accomplished"
"Is that the best you could do, Starscream
? And to think, you actually believed you could take over as leader of the Decepticons." (Powers up fusion cannon)
"You couldn't lead a parade." (Va-voom)
- Gargoyles, Most episodes with Macbeth
"You'll have to do better than that!"
- "Static Shock" had in the two-part "A League of their Own" crossover with the Justice League the showdown between a Brainiac (who was using mind-control circuity on the League) -controlled John Stewart (who was the last of the Leaguers yet to be freed) where Static just tossed all he had at John who'd had his energy shields up:
John Stewart: That all you got, kid?!
Static: (nervously) Unfortunately...Yes!!
- Which has a Big Damn Heroes by the freed Leaguers a moment afterwards when John's felled by Hawkgirl's mace.
Hawkgirl: You can remove the circuitry now, kid.
Static: (undoes the circuitry) Is he okay? (John groans as he comes to.)
Hawkgirl: Yeah, that was just a tap.
- The Heckle and Jeckle cartoon "Log Rollers" has Heckle taunting Powerful Pierre:
Heckle: You're not so tough, chum. You're muscle-bound. Why you couldn't punch your way out of a paper bag. (Pierre punches Heckle in the face) Ha-ha! What'd I tell ya? I didn't even feel it! (Suddenly goes catatonic and falls unconscious)