Settle It Without Weapons
Two badasses who have already been established as extremely proficient with their weapons agree to dump them and instead to settle their scores in straight-up hand-to-hand combat. This may be done either out of unwillingness to kill their opponent or because beating the snot out of each other with bare hands is just more satisfying. Or just because both sides run out of ammo. If one of them runs out of ammo or his weapon breaks, the other may similarly discard his to make the fight fair again (which goes to the Medieval chivalry tradition at The Tourneys). In video games, it may result in a Fisticuffs Boss. May overlap with Combat Breakdown. Not to be confused with Throw Away Guns, which is a form of Unorthodox Reload.
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Anime and Manga
- At the end of Revy and Roberta's first confrontation in Black Lagoon, they throw away their weapons and settle it with hand-to-hand combat, completely ignoring the on-lookers and the two men trying to pry them apart.
- Happens briefly in Naruto. Naruto and Gaara are exhausted after battling it out in the Chuunin Exams, and each of them only has the strength for one last punch, but they go for it, anyway. Only Naruto manages to still have the stamina to move afterwards.
- In Crying Freeman, Yoh faces a Russian sambo wrestling master, who requests they drop their guns and fight bare-handed, which he agrees to.
- Porco and Donald Curtis in Porco Rosso have an Old School Dogfight, but both have problems with their guns and resort to this.
- In ElfQuest Hidden Years issue "9.5", Cutter and Rayek agree to a fight with only fists, no Elfin "magic" to be used during the fight (only after, to heal both combatants).
- In Justice League International, the jerkass Green Lantern Guy Gardner takes off his ring to go mano a mano with Batman, who knocks Guy out with one punch. Guy is out cold on the floor for the next several issues.
- The first Predator movie ends with the title creature discarding its high-tech weaponry and challenging Dutch to hand-to-hand combat.
- In Robot Jox, the American and Soviet pilot both get out of their battered machines after a long mechfight and continue their duel on foot amidst the rubble until Achilles convinces Alexander that the match doesn't have to end with a Jockey's death.
- West Side Story, the Sharks & Jets agree to a rumble without weapons, but Riff brings a switchblade anyway.
- In Back to the Future III, when Marty is duelling Beauford Tannen, he drops his gun and asks if they can settle it like men. Beauford just shoots him, which Marty was counting on - he'd improvised a bulletproof vest out of an oven door.
- The Matrix has the "both run out of bullets" version when Neo and Agent Smith are in the subway station. They charge at each other shooting and use up all of the rounds in their pistols, ending up with empty weapons pointed at each other's head. Smith throws away his gun and Neo follows suit. They then engage in a knockdown drag out fight. Of course, given that this is the Matrix, hand-to-hand combat is just as deadly as guns.
- A "make the fight fair" version is subverted in Blazing Saddles. Sheriff Bart has tracked down the Big Bad Hedley Lamaar at the movie theater and is ready for the final gunfight.
Sheriff Bart: Freeze it! Okay, Lamarr, go for your gun.
Lamarr: Wait, wait, I'm unarmed!
Sheriff Bart: All right, we'll settle it like men. With our fists. [Tosses away his gun]
Lamarr: [pulls out a Derringer] Sorry, I just remembered. I am armed.
Sheriff Bart: [Does a diving roll to grab his gun and shoot Lamaar]
- In Jack Reacher, Reacher sneaks up on The Dragon, disarms him and then decides to have a fist fight with him because he can.
- Subverted twice in Rush Hour, where Chris Tucker's character challenges The Dragon to one of these, only to have a gun pulled on him after throwing his away. In the finale they both pull out guns on one another. Tucker's character is faster.
- Inverted in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Yoda and Count Dooku start off dueling with The Force as their only weapon, but find themselves evenly matched. They switch to fighting with lightsabers, both agreeing that it's the only way to break the stalemate.
- In The Princess Bride, This is how Fezzik the giant and the Man in Black agree to fight.
Fezzik: We face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone.
Man in Black: You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?
- Towards the end of The Outsiders the Greasers and Socs have a rumble where they agree beforehand on no weaponry. One of the Greaser leaders beats up one of his own guys when the leader discovers that the guy brought a chain to use as a weapon.
- In Deadwood, Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen do this after Al insults Seth's lover. Al, of course, cheats later and pulls a knife. Note that at the beginning the two divest themselves not only of weapons, but Bullock also removes his sheriff's badge.
- The Final Battle in Assassins Creed II consists of a part where Ezio and Rodrigo Borgia fight using their considerable arsenals (which include Pieces of Eden), and a part where the just go at each other with bare hands.
- This is a common occurrence in the Metal Gear series. The first game has a fist fight between brothers on the top of a giant mech, and that fight is echoed in the close of Metal Gear Solid 4.
- This is a very common occurrence in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Among the Nords, unarmed, magic-less fistfights are "social combat" meant to tell who is badass and who isn't. So your character will enter hand to hand duels not once.
- Parodied in the College Humor video "GoldenEye Stand-Off" (based on GoldenEye (1997)), where Bond and Trevelyan run out of ammo and go at each other with basic melee attacks:
Bond: Then it's settled... brutal hand-to-hand combat it is.
Trevelyan: To the death.
Bond: [dramatic whisper] Slappers only.
- Subverted in a "Goodfeathers" segment of Animaniacs parodying West Side Story. The two sides agree to "no weapons," then immediately after the Goodfeathers leave: "Get the weapons."
- In Family Guy, Stewie and his equally cunning and megalomaniac half-brother (a result of Peter Griffin donating sperm) dispense with high-tech weaponry after shooting them out of their hands and they fight with martial art and the fight ends when they curl up for a nap after putting each other in a sleeper hold.