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One-Man Army
aka: Army Of One
One Man U.S. Army, that is.

Loki: I have an army.
Tony Stark: We have a Hulk.

Sometimes The Hero will face a large horde of Mooks and tell their leader he's going down. The leader will often say, "You and What Army?". Then discover that the hero doesn't need one. This one man can go around and kill thousands of enemies.

The One Man Army does far more than pull his own weight. Villains tend to underestimate this person at first, considering him Just One Man. They are quickly proven wrong. This is often justified by making the character a Super Soldier against mundanes, possessing far superior weaponry, or otherwise tremendously advantaged.

The damage to the psychological state of someone like this is not always considered. It certainly would be affected by taking so many lives away. The impact of this is lessened if the character is explictly a Living Weapon and/or if the enemies are Faceless Goons or don't register as human beings and therefore exist solely to provide a Mook Horror Show.

In a series aimed at younger audiences, they may simply defeat large masses of people rather than outright kill them. In playing this trope, it is useful to have The Evil Army try to Zerg Rush said character in The War Sequence. This trope caters to everyone's inner Munchkin; 99% of First Person Shooters ever made fall under this.

Often goes hand-in-hand with It's Up to You. When the One Man Army is intentionally sent out to take care of the problem by himself, its a case of One Riot, One Ranger. Compare and contrast Person of Mass Destruction, who's symbolically treated like a weapon by the setting, and Omnicidal Maniac, who is all too willing to push him- or herself into this territory. In the latter case, the Omnicidal Maniac often gains his/her/its kill-count through using WMDs on hapless civilians rather than personally fighting enemy combatants.

Being one of these qualifies you as a Badass and Crew of One. However, very few people will respect your ability, or worse, seek to abuse it because "We Do the Impossible" is in effect. Contrast with the Badass Army where each individual could be considered this but are part of said army, as well as the Easily Conquered World where it's the severely, severely outnumbered enemies who are kicking ass and taking names. If one man makes the army, then you have The Minion Master. Likewise, if one man becomes the army, it's Me's a Crowd.

Compare Showy Invincible Hero. See also Conservation of Ninjutsu, which postulates that being outnumbered is what gives the character the advantage.

While Real Life examples do exist, this is generally not a good idea in Real Life.


Examples:


Other

Manhua
  • Multiple characters in Ravages Of Time are able to hold their own against whole armies, such as Liaoyuan Huo and Zhang Liao. A special notice goes to Lu Bu who, with his daughter strapped to his back, tried to break through the siege of Xiapi; he was severely out-numbered but managed to take out all of Cao Cao's generals and was only defeated when he was absolutely exhausted.

Pinball

Theatre

Toys
  • Played oh-so-straight when Sgt Slaughter joined the ranks of G.I. Joe. The commercials were something else...
  • In BIONICLE, Toa usually work in teams, but there are occasions where they manage to demolish small armies. One particular example that stands out is Kopaka defeating three dozen Zyglak offscreen. What makes this even more impressive is that Zyglak are almost immune to Elemental Powers which Toa usually use as their primary attack.

Visual Novels

Web Animation
  • Hank from Madness Combat is perhaps the universal embodiment of this trope. In the flashes, he could kill a hundred guys in five minutes.
    • Jebus also qualifies. As well as all of the fan-characters.
  • Every. Single. Freelancer. Ever. from Red vs. Blue. Season 9 makes this very apparent.

Web Original
  • Los Hermanos, a member of the Global Guardians, is literally this. He's a super-powered duplicator who can make thousands upon thousands of copies of himself.
  • The Kriegan Army from Lambda. Each soldier is trained to take down dozens of enemies by themselves. Higher up, their elite Knights of Grabacr are up there at Person of Mass Destruction.
  • In the pilot of Hogan Vs Flair, the card features the "Kevin Nash Burial Gauntlet Match". It's pretty much Nash just destroying one guy after another after another with his Jackknife Powerbomb, parodying the way the Real Life Nash would always insist on winning (and get his way most of the time.)
  • SCP-076-2
  • Worm has quite a few, but the standout example is Contessa, who has singlehandedly delivered a Curb-Stomp Battle to a large group of people in every fight she's been in.
  • As a result of the Mob's total inability to switch out Pokemon, some Mons in Twitch Plays Pokémon tend to fall into this category. Pidgeot ("Bird Jesus") from the first run is the primary example, but Feraligatr ("Lazor Gator") and Azumarill ("M4 Moe") also have this status.


OmniglotMaster of the IndexScarily Competent Tracker
Non-Player CompanionVideo Game CharactersOptional Party Member
Once Killed a Man with a Noodle ImplementBadassOne Riot, One Ranger
One-Hit KillOverdosed TropesRule of Three
Perilous Old FoolMilitary and Warfare TropesOverranked Soldier
Nose ShoveTelevision Is Trying to Kill UsOnly a Flesh Wound
Iconic ItemImageSource/Comic BooksOvershadowed by Awesome

alternative title(s): Army Of One; One Woman Army; One Man Armies
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