"To take a town, send a legionary.
To take a city, send a squad.
To take a world, send a company.
To take a culture, send a Chapter."
The protagonist does far more than pull his own weight. In fiction, it is not only possible but routine for one man to go around and kill literally thousands
of people or other creatures. No one ever
finds this particularly unusual, nor does anyone ever wonder about their psychological state
, which would certainly
be affected by taking so many lives
away. The impact of this is lessened if the enemies are Faceless Goons
or don't register as human beings
who exist solely to provide a Mook Horror Show
, but the unlikelihood of one person wiping out entire armies of epic proportions isn't.
by making the character a Super Soldier
against mundanes, but this falls apart when Elite Mooks
or Superpowered Mooks
of equal calibre show up and still get dismantled with ease. 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
. Villains tend to underestimate this person at first, considering him Just One Man
. 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.
Of course, being a One-Man Army
usually 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
- 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.
- The player character "Hitman" is this in F-14 Tomcat, being a lone fighter pilot against General Yagov and his Russian fighter squadron.
- The Airborne Avenger is implied to be one.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.