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Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight
"Bit of advice: try using knives next time. Works better for close encounters."
— Leon S. Kennedy to Ada Wong, Resident Evil 4

You think that Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight always applies, right?

Not necessarily.

At times, either the knife-wielder is just so good, or the gun-wielder is just so bad, that the knife-wielder actually has the upper hand here.

Subtrope of Implausible Fencing Powers and Heroes Prefer Swords. Contrast Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Happens twice in a row in Noir. Mireille is a skilled assassin with a gun; the Intoccabile only has a dagger. Unfortunately, Mireille is absolutely terrified of her, having been threatened by her with that same dagger when she was just a little girl. So during their fight, as the Intoccabile runs towards her with the dagger, Mireille can only stand paralyzed with fear, uselessly pointing her gun at her but not shooting. Luckily, Kirika shows up just in time to shoot the blade in half, so that when the Intoccabile thinks she's stabbed Mireille, it turns out that the broken edge of her dagger is only pressing into her. With the other end of the dagger flung closer to Mireille, and Mireille's dropped gun lying closer to the Intoccabile, they both go for each other's weapons. Whether due to lack of experience or shaken confidence, the Intoccabile points the gun uncertainly and doesn't shoot; after a moment's hesitation, Mireille finally overcomes her fear and stabs her.


     Video Games 
  • A particularly notable example in Resident Evil 4 during Leon and Ada's brief skirmish in Salazar's castle; when Ada gets her gun knocked out of her hand, she acrobatically scrambles to get it back... but just as she starts to aim it, Leon has closed the distance and is holding his knife to her throat, at which time he provides the page quote.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Major Ocelot and his Ocelot Unit, armed with automatic pistols and assault rifles, are all thoroughly spanked by the knife-wielding Naked Snake during the Virtuous Mission in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Operation Snake Eater proves that it wasn't just Cutscene Power to the Max: he really is that good with a knife. The basic CQC stance even invokes this, enabling one to switch between a gunfight and a knifefight on the fly.
    • Part of Jetstream Sam's backstory in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is that he singlehandedly defeated a squad of ten mobsters armed with machine guns using only his sword, years before cyborg and high-frequency blade technology was publicly available.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening: During the fights with Vergil, he's able to block Dante's pistol shots by spinning his sword.
  • The Spy in Team Fortress 2 uses a knife as the main weapon, unlike other classes which use multiple forms of guns. His butterfly knife provides an instant kill on any enemy he backstabs. While he has a revolver, it is used more for a surprise attack or a cover during an escape.

     Western Animation 

     Real Life 
  • An episode of MythBusters determined that in certain circumstances, a person armed with a knife would indeed have an advantage over someone armed with a gun.
  • This trope was demonstrated numerous times in close quarter combat, especially during World War I. Having advanced to the enemy position, soldiers quickly found that their standard-issue bolt-action rifle was practically useless, too long to be easily wielded in the tight spaces, and too slow to fire to be effective. Even with a bayonet, it was clunky and awkward, and so trench-fighting became dominated with knives, clubs, axes, shovels, and handguns, but even those weren't as easy and instinctive to use as swinging a fighting-knife.
Kinetic Weapons Are Just BetterWeapons and Wielding TropesPhallic Weapon
Negated Moment of AwesomeFight SceneNever Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight

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