must've done something really
bad to have this comin'.
"This is the '90s. You don't just go around punching people. You have to say something cool first."
It is almost an official duty of an Action Hero
to deliver sardonic one-liners. And what better time to produce one than just before the execution of the other official duty — kicking ass?
Common variations on this trope include:
- A form of comic subversion in which the one-liner is stupid or silly. This has the potential to stall or confuse the opponent.
- A form of comic subversion in which the outcome of the intended ass-kicking fizzles, negating the one-liner or at least failing to justify it.
- A Catch Phrase or Battle Cry that may have started as a one-liner, or may work as one to some degree.
is a particularly popular example. See also Badass Boast
, Badass Creed
, In the Name of the Moon
, and My Name Is Inigo Montoya
. Contrast Pre-Mortem One-Liner
, which is often used to end
open/close all folders
- CM Punk, a true comic fan, has been using the Thing's catchphrase "It's clobberin' time!" throughout his career. Right as he comes through the curtain, he stops on the stage and delivers the line right before his match. 
- Goldberg: "YOU'RE NEXT!!!" Enough said.
- Shakespeare's action scenes often use Pre-Asskicking One-Liners — like Macbeth and Henry IV Part 1.
- Macbeth: "Lay on, Macduff, and damn'd be him who first cries, 'Hold! Enough!'"
- Macduff gets his own, with "Turn, hell-hound, turn!"
- Henry V, "God for Harry! England and Saint George!"
- Several from Romeo and Juliet:
Tybalt: What, drawn and talk of peace?! I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!
Mercutio: Come sir, your passado.
Romeo: This shall determine that.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: BENJAMIN BARKER!
- Pretty much every fight sequence in the first Season of Rose Guns Days is preceeded by a witty line, almost to the point of parody. This pattern pretty much disapears from Season 2 on, though.