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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. Related to Guns Are Worthless.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: King Bradley is so skilled with swords that he can actually cut bullets and missiles in half.
  • 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.
  • In his backstory, Souichi from Snow White And Seven Dwarfs was locked up in a room and forced to kill wave after wave of people who came after him. As Souichi only had a Blade Below the Shoulder, his opponents, who were armed with guns, were confident that they could win. Guess who won in the end?
  • A Story Arc in Sword Art Online takes the The Ace gamer, Kirito, into a virtual MMO first-person-shooter world. Our hero has generally used only swords in prior games. But there is a "lightsaber" in the game, and he decides to make it work to the amazement of all.

     Film 
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Captain Nemo easily defeats a sizable squadron of mooks armed with machine guns using only his sword and bare hands.
    • Dorian Gray does as well, but he's immortal so it doesn't matter if he gets shot. (Which he eventually does).
  • Resident Evil: Retribution re-enacts the Resident Evil 4 example below, but with Alice in place of Leon.
  • The Magnificent Seven features Britt, a quiet man with a deadly fast, deadly accurate throwing arm. Challenged to a Duel to the Death by a Sore Loser of a speed contest, he effortlessly dispatches the gunslinger with a single lethal throw.
    Britt: You lost.
    • Subverted in the final battle. After running out of bullets Britt draws his knife, and is shot and killed before he can throw it.
  • Yojimbo may be the Trope Codifier. During the big, climactic showdown, Sanjuro manages to overcome the pistol-wielding Unosuke by hurling a throwing knife into his shooting arm, completely destroying his aim.
  • The Warriors has an example extremely similar to Yojimbo during its climax. As Luther takes aim with his handgun, Swan sidesteps and throws his switchblade, getting Luther right in his gun arm, which causes him to drop the gun and fall to his knees in pain.
  • The villain in Surf Ninjas has a gun built into his cybernetic arm. The sword-wielding hero first uses Implausible Fencing Powers to parry the bullets, then cuts the arm off with his sword. At this point, the villain invokes Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight by complaining that it's no longer a fair fight because the hero is armed and he isn't. In a moment of either Genre Savvy or Honor Before Reason, the hero actually goes along with this, puts his sword away, and the two of them finish the fight in a manner consistent with the film's PG rating.
  • In the finale of Whos That Girl, the embezzling father of the protagonist's fiancée is actually able to disarm two cops using a fencing foil. (As in, the type of sword that would likely break if used against someone using a sword designed as a serious weapon. Yeah, it makes very little sense, but neither does most of the rest of the movie.)

     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:
    • Metal Gear Solid: During the Boss Battle with Gray Fox, he will automatically block bullets from every weapon in Snake's arsenal with his sword; Snake has to fight him hand-to-hand to advance the fight. The pre-boss cutscene The Twin Snakes even shows him cutting a bullet fired from Snake in two.
    • 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.
Negated Moment of AwesomeFight SceneNever Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight
Kinetic Weapons Are Just BetterWeapons and Wielding TropesPhallic Weapon

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