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Signature Move
aka: Signature Spell
Uppercuts And Elbows For Everyone!note 
"Expelliarmus is a useful spell, Harry, but the Death Eaters seem to think it is your signature move, and I urge you not to let it become so!"

Many characters have a specific skill, attack, taunt, evasive maneuver, and/or spell they use more frequently than any of their other ones; this is the character's Signature Move. Sometimes, however, a Signature Move, like a Catch Phrase, may turn out to be more an example of Never Live It Down; i.e. the character doesn't actually use the move that much, but everyone calls it their signature move, most likely because it became a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.

Any move or trope listed on Grandfather Clause is likely a Signature Move, as well. When most of the cast has one it's Everyone Has A Special Move. Compare Fighting Fingerprint.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball: Goku and his Kamehameha. Krillin's Kienzan/Destructo Disk. Gohan's Masenko. Piccolo's Makankosappo/Special Beam Cannon. Vegeta's Galick Gun and Final Flash. Tenshinhan's Kikouhou Tri-Beam. Yamcha's Rōgafūfūken/Wolf Fang Fist and later the Sōkidan/Spirit Ball. And pretty much every other Kamehame Hadoken in the series.
    • Worth noting is that the Kamehameha was Master Roshi's signature move. As in, he invented the thing and made it world famous.
    • Also worth noting is that Vegeta doesn't have a real Signature Move in that he doesn't keep using the same techniques. He uses the Galick Gun only once in the manga. It is throughout other media that the association comes.
    • Gogeta and Vegetto both have fusions of signature attacks. For Gogeta, it is Big Bang Kamehameha, and for Vegetto it is Final Kamehameha. Because neither Goten nor Kid Trunks truly had a signature move, Gotenks goes and makes one up: The Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack.
  • A Certain Magical Index has a few interesting cases.
  • Tower of God: When he returned, Baam had mastered the Hwa Jeop Gong Pa Sool, a techique only used by experienced Slayers of the criminal organization FUG. This gets him a bit of attention. Another signature move of Baam's is to freeze anything and everybody that can move.
  • Fist of the North Star: Hokuto Hyakuretsuken has to be the best known move ever because of this; even the "ATATATATA" yell is pretty much associated with it and nothing else. And if we're including taunts, Kirby and Jigglypuff in Super Smash Bros..
  • In Ranma ˝, Ranma goes through several signature moves before developing the Hiryuu Shoten Ha (the "Heavenly Dragon Ascension Wave" that creates a gigantic tornado) and The Rival Ryouga his ShiShi Hokodan ("Lion Roar Shot" — a Ki Attack powered by sheer literal angst). Spoofed with Genma and his "Crouch of the Wild Tiger" (which is shameless grovelling).
  • Naruto: Naruto's Shadow Clone Jutsu and Rasengan, Sasuke's Chidori ("One Thousand Birds") & Sharingan, Kakashi's RaiKiri (his more-powerful version of the Chidori), Rock Lee's Primary Lotus, Shikamaru's Shadow Manipulation Jutsu (or whatever it's called), Choji's various Expansion Jutsus, Ino's Mind Control Jutsu, Neji's Byakugan and 8 Trigrams 64 Palms, Itachi's Mangekyo Sharingan and Tsukuyomi, the different summoning jutsus, and many more. Practically everyone has one. Or more.
  • Pokémon Pretty much every Pokemon has a move:
    • Pikachu's Thunderbolt, Volt Tackle, and most recently, Electro Ball.
    • Charmander and as a Charmeleon and Charizard (and for that matter all of Ash's fire types) has Flamethrower. And in nearly every battle, Charizard uses Seismic Toss.
    • Ash's Squirtle has Skull Bash, Bulbasaur has Solar Beam, Treecko has Bullet Seed then Leaf Blade after evolving, Corphish has Crabhammer, Snivy has attract and Oshawott has Razor Shell.
  • In Pokémon Special, the Elemental Hyper Beams eventually become this for the Dex Holders of the first three generations and their starters. Meanwhile, Yellow, commanding Red's Pikachu along with her own and Gold's Pichu, gets Volt Tackle.
  • Pretty much everyone in Bleach only has one or two moves, so by definition this would apply.
    • Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshou, a "slashing projectile" of some kind, shared with his father. And there is also a more powerful versions, which Ichigo unlocked.
    • Byakuya's Senbonzakura, where his sword splits into shards that look like sakura petals and cut the target a new one. He also has several signature kido spells and specialises in Flash Step.
    • Renji's attack where the sections of his sword split apart and fly at the target: higa-zekko.
      • Higa-zekko is a Desperation Attack - he can only use it when his sword is already in pieces. His Bankai firing a blast of energy, Hikotsu Taihou, is a more fitting example.
    • Mayuri's poisons wilt different deliveries - his shikai is a poisoned sword, his bankai is a giant centipede with infant's face that breathes a cloud of the stuff.
    • Although Rukia Kuchiki has used other kido spells at times, in combat she regularly uses "Hadou 33" (Soukatsui, "Blue Fireball").
    • Suffice it to say, everyone's Shikai is their first signature move, and if they have a Bankai, it's their second. And then there are the Kido.
    • Aside from just being ridiculously powerful, Aizen really favors the simple horizontal slash to the midsection.
  • Hajime No Ippo: Ippo's Dempsey Roll, Sendo's Smash, Vorg's White Fang, Mashiba's flicker jabs, Kimura's Dragonfish Blow, Aoki's frog punch...
  • From InuYasha:
    • Inuyasha's wind scar.
    • Miroku's wind tunnel.
    • Shippo's foxfire.
  • Code Geass: Kallen's signature face grab.
  • Jotaro's Star Platinum's Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs (once lampshaded by a villain, who called it "the Ora Ora Ora") and Dio's the World in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. There's also Kakyoin's Emerald Splash and Avdol's Crossfire Hurricane.
  • Negi, the lead of Mahou Sensei Negima! has favored Jovis Tempestas Fulguriens (Jupiter's Storm of Thunder) as an important finisher in his arsenal since day 1. He has gained much stronger spells over time, but he never really stops using it.
    • Fate Averruncus is fond of Pnoe Petras (Breath of Stone), which he usually uses to petrify people, thereby winning without wasting his time with an actual fight.
    • Setsuna's seems to be either Zanganken (Stone-Cleaving Sword), which was the first technique she ever used in the seriesnote  or Shin Raikouken (True Lightning Sword) for the incredible display it put on during her fight with Evangeline.
  • Nanoha from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha tends to use her Divine Buster and Starlight Breaker to befriend... lots of things, really.
  • In Slayers Lina tend to express her strong disapproval in a way predictable even more than impressive. "Dragon Slaaaaavu"! There's also Amelia and her Vistfanrank spell, and Zelgadis' Astral Vine spell, both which act as enhancements. The aformentioned two also use the Ra Tilt spell frequently, usually together. In the novel series, there is also Luke's Ruby-Eye Blade spell.
  • There's a ton of them in Sailor Moon, each usually lasting until the next upgrade:
    • Sailor Moon: Moon Tiara Action/Moon Frisbee, Moon Healing Escalation, Moon Princess Halation, Moon Spiral Heart Attack, Rainbow Moon Heartache, Moon Gorgeous Meditation, Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss, and Silver Moon Crystal Power Kiss, all in that order. There is also a manga-only ultimate attack, Silver Moon Crystal Eternal Power.
    • Sailor Mercury: Shabon Spray, Shine Aqua Illusion, Mercury Aqua Rhapsody
    • SailorMars: Fire Soul, Akuryo Taisan (exorcism for demons), Burning Mandala, Mars Flame Sniper
    • Sailor Jupiter: Supreme Thunder, Flower Hurricane (in the manga), Sparkling Wide Pressure, Jupiter Oak Evolution
    • Sailor Venus: Cresent Beam, Venus Love-Me-Chain, Venus Love and Beauty Shock
    • Sailor Pluto: Dead Scream, Chronos Typhoon (manga only)
    • Sailor Uranus: World Shaking, Space Sword Blaster, Space Turbulence (manga only)
    • Sailor Saturn: Death Reborn Revolution, Silence Glaive Surprise
    • Sailor Chibi Moon: Pink Sugar Heart Attack
    • For Tuxedo Mask in the anime, there's his signature rose toss, while in the manga, he has his own power, Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber.
    • Sailor Neptune: Deep Submerge, Submarine Reflection, Submarine Violon Tide (manga only)
  • In the Nasuverse, users of "True Magic" (sometimes called Sorcery or Magic, depending on the translation) all have a single unique ability. Then there's Reality Marbles, which are Reality Warper Personality Powers with a specific effect unique to the individual (e.g. transforming the owner's body into a mass of beasts or producing perfect recreations of swords) and which a skilled magus can expand outward into a Fisher King effect.
  • Fushigi Yuugi gives us Tasuki. "REKKA SHIN-EN!"
  • In Fairy Tail According to Word of God, Fire Dragon's Iron Fist (Karyu no Tekken) is Natsu's signature move. (Insert Element)Dragon roar seems to be a signature move for all Dragon slayers though.
    • Erza's Heaven Wheel Armor seem to be her Signature Armor. It even has it's own theme
  • From Soul Eater:
    • Maka/Soul: lately Demon Hunter
    • Black*Star/Tsubaki: Deadly Big Black Star Wave(Black Star only) and later Shadow Star
    • Death The Kid/Liz/Patty: Death Cannon
    • Shinigami: Shinigami Chop
  • One Piece has Luffy with...several attacks. While his most notable may be Gomu Gomu no Pistol and its variations, he's also used Gattling and Bazooka a fair amount.
    • Ace and his Fire-fist (Hiken). It's his epithet after all.
    • Magellan has his poison dragon "Hydra"
    • Ivankov and his "Hell-Wink"
  • Prince of Tennis
    • Ryoma and his Twist Serve and Drive moves
    • Momoshiro's Dunk Smash
    • Kaidoh's snake
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Simon'snote  GIGA DRILL BREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKAAAAAAAAAAAAA
  • Every major character in G Gundam has at least one, but in particular the School of Touhou Fuhai has the various Finger attacks (including Domon's Shining Finger and Bakunetsu God Finger and Master Asia's Darkness Fingernote ) and the Sekiha Tenkyoken.
  • Gundam Wing has a really strange invocation of this in Endless Waltz, where Duo recognizes that the enemy machine attacking him is piloted by his friend Trowa because it uses his technique...namely, spamming his Gatling gun. The manga adaptation fixes this by having the tell be Trowa's use an acrobatic dodge.
  • Mazinger Z has Koji Kabuto's and Mazinger's Rocket Punch and Aphrodite(or really, every Fem Bot) has its Torpedo Tits. Or arguably Koji's most used weapons as well which includes its Breast Fire and Photon Power/Koshiryoku Beam
  • Kamui Den: Kamui's most iconic technique is the "kasumi-kiri," in which he draws a short sword from a hidden position in the back of his obi and cuts his oponent horizontally. A close seoond is the "izunatoshi" used during tree top battles with other ninja.
  • Tiger Mask has a few: apart from the real-world wrestlers, the various original characters tend to have a signature move that often doubles as Finishing Move. For his own, our protagonist has four of them: the Backdrop (a real world wrestling move that he adopted as his Finishing Move at the start of his Heel-Face Turn and never fully abandoned), the Super Tiger Drop (his first original finisher, originally tested on a bear. It worked), the Fujiyama Tiger Breaker (created to replace the Super Tiger Drop after Mr. Chi showed to the world how you counter it) and the Tiger V (his final finisher, created to take on Miracle 3 who could counter the Fujiyama Tiger Breaker).
    • Also, Tiger Mask used to have a signature move called Tiger Choke, but had stopped using it even before his Heel-Face Turn for two reasons: one, it's so lethal that it was banned in thirteen states of the US as attempted murder; two, it's so terrible that even Tiger's Cave wrestlers are horrified by it, and even Tiger Mask preferred using it only in special cases, like when a Tiger's Cave wrestler punched Kenta. The one time it was used on screen, the guy who punched Kenta was nearly killed in seconds.
  • In Sword Art Online, there are randomly obtained "extra skills" that can be earned through difficult circumstances. Some are easier than others—Klein's Katana skill can be obtained simply by using Curved Swords a lot—but many others are so rare, with requirements no one understands, that they turn into this trope. One of the most notable is Kirito's Dual Swords skill, which he kept hidden for as long as possible to give him an edge. No one else has it.
  • While several characters in Rurouni Kenshin have a favorite move, the most prominent is Saito's Gatotsu, as his fighting style is centered entirely around four variants of that move. He even explains why a signature move is a good idea: In an environment where most fights are life or death, you rarely face the same opponent more than once. Therefore, you're better off learning one move really well than trying to learn a wide variety of techniques.
    • While it's not his original move, Sanosuke essentially adopts Futae No Kiwami as his signature move during the latter half of the manga. It does well enough against most foes, provided they aren't Shishio...
  • Several characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! have signature cards, obviously it's pretty much always the most powerful card in their deck, but some of the more prominent characters get what can be called "Signature Combos"; Yugi likes to hide his Dark Magician inside the Magical Hats to protect it from stonger monsters, Joey uses Time Wizard to age his Baby Dragon until it Takes A Level In Badass, and Kaiba has what amounts to "play as many dragons as possible as fast as possible" and deck destruction combos.
  • Aside from their signature magical attack, every Pretty Cure and ally has her own physical attack move that she constantly ends up doing. For example, White's twirling front flip, Rose's elbow jab, or Sunshine's use of actual martial arts moves.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman has the Offhand Backhand. People DO NOT sneak on Batman without getting a faceful of wrist and knuckles for their trouble.
  • Doctor Strange, when appearing outside of his own stories, has a handful of spells he uses pretty regularly: a beam from the Eye of Agamotto, the Shields of the Seraphim, and the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak.
  • Knights of the Dinner Table. When Brian plays a magic user his character almost always casts Fireballs in combat. One of his Catch Phrases is "Fireball coming online!"
  • The X-Men have the "Fastball Special" and variations thereof when Colossus & Wolverine aren't available or on the appropriate team.
  • The Goon: Franky has "Knife to the eye!"
  • The Creeper like to jump on people's heads and or shoulders. His laugh also qualifies.
  • Captain America and his shield throw.
  • Iron Man's Unibeam.

    Film 
  • Godzilla's Thermonuclear Breath.
  • In Star Wars, Darth Vader is associated with the Force Choke, Force Lightning is Palpatine's favorite ability (something which Count Dooku was also no slouch at), and everyone remembers Obi Wan's use of the Jedi Mind Trick. Oddly, the films never show Vader using the Force Choke on an actual enemy, just people who've failed him or done something else to piss him off.
    • In Empire and Jedi, Vader favors using The Force to telekinetically launch nearby objects (or his sword) to constantly keep his opponent on the defensive.
  • MacGruber has his signature throat rip.
  • Troy, Achilles has his jumping downward stab, which he uses in his Single-Stroke Battle at the beginning of the film and several times after. Hector is the only one who can defend against it, showing that he is a Worthy Opponent.
  • In The Raid: Redemption, Rama favours a specific rapid-fire punch, while Mad Dog likes to Neck Snap his enemy.
  • Fittingly enough, given its sources of inspiration, some effort was made to give each of the Jaegers in Pacific Rim a signature move or weapon, such as Gipsy Danger's plasma cannon, or Striker Eureka's chest-mounted missile launchers.

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry has the Disarming Charm, not always for the same reason. In Chamber of Secrets he uses it against Lockhart because it's the only combat spell he knows at the time. In Prisoner of Azkaban he uses it against Snape for the same reason. In Goblet of Fire he uses it against Voldemort because Voldemort's use of the word "duel" made Harry think of the Dueling Club, where he learned it. In Order of the Phoenix he teaches it to Dumbledore's Army as the first spell because of his experience with it. In Deathly Hallows he uses it agains an Imperiused Stan Shunpike because other spells would have knocked him off a high-flying broom and Harry doesn't want to kill innocent victims of the Imperius Curse. This exposes him as the real Harry in a group of fakes. Later in Deathly Hallows he uses it to kill Voldemort.
    • Harry also has a reputation for producing Patronuses. (These are essentially anti-Dementor apparitions.) Dementors are Harry's worst fear, so it would make sense. Considering the effort he had to put into getting the spell to work at all, it's deserved. It should be noted that Harry's Patronus is the same as his father's Patronus and Animagus form, a stag, which makes it even more significant.
    • Ginny Weasley has the Bat Bogey Hex.
    • Inverted for Antonin Dolohov, a minor Death Eater appearing in the book series, where he is almost always at the receiving end of the Full Body-Bind Curse (if he appears, that is).
    • Gilderoy Lockhart has a talent in Memory Charms, though we only get to see him directly using it once where it backfires on him.
    • While certainly not the only wizard to use it in the series, it's hard to say that Lord Voldemort's signature move is anything other than Avada Kedavra.
      • Crucio is his other signature move, not to mention Bellatrix Lestrange's main one.
  • Harry Dresden and his Fuego spell. To the point where, in one book, his enemies were able to track him based on his use of fire magic, and in another book people kept saying how out of character it was that he wasn't using it. Harry has such a reputation as a pyromaniac that one book opens, "The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault."
  • Stephanie Plum frequently uses Groin Attack to subdue her skips. Lula favors forcefully sitting on them.
  • In Warrior Cats, Firestar's favourite move is his Playing Possum skill. He even uses it to defeat Scourge, the Final Boss of the original series. It gets lampshaded later on in the series (specifically in The Forgotten Warrior) by Spirit Antpelt, who points out to Ivypool that it was such a cool move that everyone copied it off Firestar and now it's just a tired old trick. He then gets erased from existence.

    Live Action TV 
  • On the Seattle sketch-comedy Almost Live!, Billy Quan always finished his "Mind Your Manners" shorts with a double-footed jump-kick that could go for blocks, travel around corners, wait for an elevator..
  • Star Trek:
    • Mr. Spock and the Vulcan Neck Pinch.
    • Picard has one named after him, the Picard Maneuver, in which he uses a rapid jump to warp speed to make it appear as though his ship is in two places at once. It is never used after the episode in which it is introduced, which makes some sense as Commander Data comes up with a defense against it; what makes less sense is that it's never used before the episode either, as there is canonically no known defense against it before Data comes up with one.
      • A possible explanation is that its both difficult to pull off (precise timing of moving faster than light for a micro-second) and extremely risky (run into anything during the maneuver and you could end up destroying your ship)
  • Charmed: "The Power of Three will set us free!"
  • On Heroes, Sylar really likes to use his telekinesis to slice through people's foreheads. Originally, this was just practicality: his power required access to his victims' brains in order to steal their abilities. Then he started doing it to everyone, whether they had an ability to steal or not. In Volume Four, he recovers a repressed memory and discovers that he learned the move from his biological father, who used it to murder his mother in front of him when he was a child.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Joe/Gokai Blue realizes that Mentor Cid Bamick was turned into Barizorg when the latter uses Cid's Signature Move (an X-shaped Sword Beam). Joe himself begins using the move, particularly when he fights the Mad Scientist who cyborged Cid and the battle where he finally kills Barizorg.
  • The Kamen Rider franchise has a Diving Kick known as the Rider Kick. Nearly every headlining Rider has some form of it as their default Finishing Move, and the few that don't will do a leaping kick on occasion anyway.
  • Power Rangers: Tommy's tornado kick.
    • In Super Sentai, many of the rangers usually have two finisher moves; one that involves their special weapon and one that typically involves some kind of martial arts.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger has the roundhouse kick.

    Manhwa 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Pretty much every wrestler ever has at least one Finishing Move, and one or more other moves they use on a regular basis. For example:
  • There are a lot of wrestlers that have a move that isn't their Finishing Move but is just as iconic to the wrestler, they're usually a move that is hard to do or done really well. While it is extremely rare for a wrestler to get a pin from these moves, they are frequently used as part of a wrestler's Five Moves of Doom leading up to their Finishing Move.
    • Shawn Michaels' Diving Elbow Drop has never gotten a pinfall, but it's still seen once a match.
    • Chris Jericho's Lionsault, he rarely ever gets a pinfall out of it, but yet it's regarded as one of his best moves.
    • Rob Van Dam's Rolling Thunder.
    • TNA wrestler AJ Styles' Pele Kick is not a finishing move, but it's a move that's so iconic of AJ that when John Morrison used it, WWE commentators called it the Pele kick.
    • Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit were famed for their German Suplexes, both of their primary finishers were submission moves however.
    • Triple H's Double A Spinebuster, which was one of his idol's, Arn Anderson's Finishing Move.
    • John Cena's Five Knuckle Shuffle.
    • The late Eddie Guerrero's triple rolling vertical suplex, nicknamed the Three Amigos.
    • Sting has the Stinger Splash. Other wrestlers, such as Shelton Benjamin, have adopted the move as a tribute to him.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons tradition arcane spells are named for their creatorsnote . Sometimes this shows the named wizard's predisposition to one effect with different power levels.
    • Spells & Magic mechanics supports signature spells as one of known spells at each spell level. A wizard repeats the normal research procedure for a spell to get all fine details, spends a slot or CP and have a mix of specialist wizard's bonus and fighter's weapon specialization: one extra memorization and either +2 to level variables or -2 to saving throw or -3 to casting time. note 
    • In D&D 3 "spell secret" ability allows to permanently apply one of metamagical modifications to a known spell (more spells with levels), but for some reason it's only class ability of Wu Jen from Complete Arcane and Mystic from Dragon Magazine. d20 core Archmage can make a spell-like ability (no preparation, no components, harder to negate) from a known spell, but it's not the same as normal casting.
    • Greyhawk — "Bigsby's <what-it-does>-ing Hand".
    • Forgotten Realms — "Nybor's <grade adjective> <disapproval>" Agony Beam spells.
      • Netheril campaign got names for the oldest ones, with very strong personal themes. E.g. Shocking Grasp = Volhm's grasp, Lightning Bolt = Volhm's bolt, Chain Lightning = Volhm's chaining.
      • D&D 3 Player's Guide to Faerun has Signature Spell feat which allows to cast one mastered spell instead of any arcane spells of the same or higher level, much like D&D 3 cleric converts into cure spells.
    • d20 replaces most of setting-specific (and copyrighted) names with "mage's" or removes them (Bigby's ____ Hand -> ___ Hand).
    • The Order of the Stick parodied this trend with "Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion" and later "Bugsby's Flicking Finger" / "Bugsby's Expressive Sigle Digit". And Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand.
  • The Solar Exalted actually have a Charm, Thunderbolt Attack Prana, that allows them to designate "signature attacks." By using said signature attack and paying the cost of the Charm, they're able to do ridonkulous amounts of damage.
  • In The Dresden Files, wizards can take rote spells as these, meaning spells that the wizard has cast so often and regularly that they always work without risk of backlash or fallout. Harry's include the above-mentioned Fuego, and his shield spell.
    • Stunts in the Fate system in general can be readily used to model this — in fact, reflecting a particular character's specialties and repertoire of tricks beyond just their ranks in the system's various fairly broad skills is mainly what they're for (and not just for combat, either). Spirit Of The Century even has a literal predefined "Signature Strike" feat which allows an (unarmed) signature move to be used up to once per fight scene for potential extra damage in the form of an additional consequence above and beyond whatever the attack would normally inflict...though this may be a bit of a subversion in that the mechanical effect is essentially the same for every character who takes said feat, and it's not altogether easy to acquire in the first place.
  • Each Clan in Vampire: The Requiem has three Disciplines that they are good at and one of them will be their specialty.

    Video Games 
  • Every fighting game, ever.
    • From Mortal Kombat:
      • Scorpion's "Get over here!" spear attack.
      • Sub-Zero's freeze blast or slide kick.
      • Liu Kang's Bicycle Kick and Dragon Fatality
      • Johnny Cage's Groin Attack
      • Raiden's torpedo
    • From Street Fighter:
      • Ryu and Ken's Hadouken. (Note that its Super variant, the Shinku Hadouken, only becomes an example of Kamehame Hadoken in certain entries of the Vs. series.)
      • Ken has also been increasingly associated with Shoryuken.
      • Guile and later Charlie have the Sonic Boom and the Flash Kick.
      • Chun-Li's lightning kick and E. Honda's Hundred Hand Slap.
      • Sagat's Tiger Uppercut.
      • M. Bison's Psycho Crusher.
      • Zangief's Spinning Piledriver.
      • Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu.
    • From the Soul series:
      • Would Sophitia's, erm, face-sitting throw count as the Never Live It Down version? (Her apologizing Groin Attack is a close second in this regard.)
      • Pretty much anything Ivy does counts, simply because she has a unique weapon and is pretty distracting as a fighter. If anything, her "Summon Suffering" may be Ivy's single one, because it's hard to pull off and, let's face it, looks awesome.
    • From Tekken
      • Paul Phoenix's Burning Fist or Phoenix Smasher.
      • The Mishima style users' Spinning Demon or uppercut variants (particularly the Electric Wind God Fist).
      • Devil's Inferno and Devil Jin's Hellfire Blast (in other words, the third eye laser).
      • Law's Somersault Kick.
      • Nina and Anna's Blonde Bomb.
      • Steve's Spitfire.
      • Any of King's multi-hit throws that end in a Muscle Buster, which usually doubles as his Finishing Move.
      • Marduk's Double Leg Takedown.
      • Jinpachi's Demon Inferno.
    • Falcon PUNCH! To the point that it's mentioned the Story Mode credits song of F-Zero GX and was actually used by Falcon in the Grand Finale of Falcon Densetsu.
    • Mario and Luigi's fireballs, Link's Spin Attack, Kirby's Final Cutter and Sonic's Spin Dash, all mentioned below.
  • Mario and Luigi, of course, have their iconic Jumping move. Fireballs, as well.
  • Donkey Kong started off throwing barrels in his debut game because those happened to be present in the construction site, but the Donkey Kong Country games find him throwing barrels in more variegated circumstances.
  • Link's Spin Attack from The Legend of Zelda, which was introduced in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and has been a staple of the series ever since. Before that, his Sword Beam, although it is often absent in the 3D games.
  • Genis Sage in Tales of Symphonia always uses Fireball in cutscenes, even after he has gained much stronger spells.
    • This is because due to the nature of the skill/spell learning system in the game, the only spell he is guaranteed to have at all points in the game is Fireball. If you're doing a very good Low Level Run, for example, he might not have any of his other basic spells, and you can, if you learn all the spells of one type (Strike or Technical), switch quite a few, if not all, of his spells to the other type in as few as one battle, if you're up against a foe with enough HP to withstand casting their base spells multiple times (just forget all the spells you want to change before the battle, then start casting each element's base spells until he learns the more advanced versions).
    • Rita Mordio of Tales of Vesperia favors the same spell in cutscenes. Similarly, Yuri seems to prefer Azure Edge. Most artes in this game are Evolving Attacks that get better with continued use, so it does make some sense to pick a favorite move and stick with it. The rest of the party will call you on this, however.
  • Specials from Skies of Arcadia — Vyse's Rain of Swords (specialized wind/electric spell), Aika's Lambda Burst, Fina's Lunar Blessing (regeneration), and so on.
  • Many Touhou characters have signature spell card attacks. Reimu has Fantasy Heaven and/or Fantasy Seal, Marisa has Master Spark (which she stole from Yuuka and made her own), Cirno has Icicle Fall (Easy) and Perfect Freeze, Patchouli has Royal Flare, and so on. Some of these only come to light in the huge doujin side, such as Yukari's Mesh of Light and Darkness.
  • Zero of Mega Man X and Zero has the Z-Saber combo, consisting of three (in X8 it can be upgraded to five) slashes with his infamous Laser Blade. In the same series, Axl's Copy Shot could count as well.
    • Even older than Zero's triple-slash combo was his dual-Z-Buster-then-Sword-Beam combo from X2, which made recurring appearances in X5 and X6, along with Zero 3 and ZX, if you count Omega. Curiously, you never quite have access to it when playing as Zero (the closest we ever got was X3, and even that was just a Z-Saber slash, with no sword beam).
      • Not quite. The player can get access to the full move during X3, but as X, rather than Zero. If you do the appropriate miniboss fight near the end of the game with Zero, the trashed remains of said miniboss battle will crash on top of him; X will arrive shortly after, and Zero will give his Z-Saber to him, essentially giving him the exact same combination after an additional charge level (charge lv4 = X-Buster blast No.1, X-Buster Blast No.2, Z-Saber slash with Saber Beam).
    • And of course, Mega Man himself has his trusty old Mega Buster, which is his initial weapon in all of his games and serves him well through the entire game, since it has infinite energy, unlike his other weapons that he gains later.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog and his trademark Spin Dash and Homing Attack.
  • Kirby has the Final Cutter, introduced in Kirby Super Star. Since then it has appeared in most of his games (except Kirby 64), as well as his Up+B attack in Super Smash Bros..
  • So far, every Valkyrie in the Valkyrie Profile series can use Nibelung Valesti.
  • Final Fantasy: Most characters in the later games have a Limit Break that will usually be seen as their signature move (e.g. Cloud's Omnislash). Most classes have a move that's identified with them, especially the Dragoon's Jump. The Mascot Mooks also tend to have a signature move or moves: Cactuars have 1000 Needles, Bombs have Self Destruct, Malboros have Bad Breath, and so on and so forth. Main villains also tend to have a signature special attack designed to make the player sit up and take notice, beginning with The Emperor's Starfall and progressing through most of the games.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, every character has a unique battle command, although some (such as Celes' Runic Blade) are too situational to count as true Signature Moves, while others (such as Edgar's Tools) open up a menu of options with no one option being truly Signature throughout the entire game. Those that do count include Locke's Steal/Mug, Sabin's Aurabolt, Banon's Heal, Cyan's Dispatch, and Shadow's Shuriken.
  • Shin Megami Tensei or Persona games featuring Alice show her regularly possessing the destructive "Die For Me!" attack. She summons armies of corrupted Wonderland soldiers and has them skewering her enemies from the sky.
    • The equivalent Hama move ("Die For Me!" counts as Mudo) is "Samsara", traditionally possessed by Daisoujou. (A "daisoujou" is a Buddhist monk who opted to starve to death, drinking tea that contains small amounts of embalming fluid until his demise, thereby creating a "living Buddha".)
    • Metatron has Fire of Sinai, a blast of Almighty-type holy fire.
    • Beelzebub has Death Flies, a swarm of, again, Almighty-type monstruous black flies that either fully devour you in one go or leave you heavily damaged.
    • Surt, the fire giant from Norse Mythology has his signature Fire spell Ragnarok. Sometimes, Loki, Thor and Odin join in the fun with Niflheim, Thunder Reign and Panta Rhei.
    • Mara and "Maralagidyne". Oh, yuck.
    • From Persona 2, we have these gems: Tatsuya/Apollo's Nova Kaiser, Eikichi/Hades' Bloody Honeymoon, Jun/Chronos' Cross Fortune, Lisa/Venus' Foamy Lover, Maya/Maia's Crescent Mirror, Baofu/Prometheus' Wiseman Snap, Katsuya/Hyperion's Justice Shot, and Ulala/Asteria's Twinkle Nebula.
    • Every Fiend has a signature move in Nocturne: Matador has Red Capote and Andalucia, Daisojou has Preach and Meditation, Hell Biker has Hell Exhaust and Hell Burner, White Rider has God's Bow, Red Rider has Terrorblade, Black Rider has Soul Divide, Pale Rider has Pestilence, the Harlot has Beast Roar and Trumpeter has Evil Melody and Holy Melody. Others examples are Skadi (Earthquake), Amaterasu (Godly Light), Dante (his entire moveset), Pazuzu (Wet Wind) Kurama Tengu (Starlight), Mada (Intoxicate), Valkyrie (Soul Recruit), Mithra (Death Pact) and Dionysius (Wine Party).
    • On a different angle, many of the Hito-Shura's exclusive attacks can be seen like this. Highlights include Freikugel, Magma Axis and Deadly Fury.
    • Many bosses have signature moves that are pretty relevant to the mythology behind them. Harihara has Chaturbuja, Vaikunta and Three Worlds (changed to Reincarnate in english), Brahman has Brahma Sutra and Izanami has Thousand Curses. For the Law and Chaos heroes, Jimenez and Zelenin have Left Hand and Right Hand respectively.
    • Belial has Sodom's Fire/Fire of Gomorrah, and Nebiros has Necromancy.
    • Lucifer has Evil Gleam/Shine, dealing heavy Almighty damage with a chance of Charm/Confuse in most of the games he appears in.
    • Shiva has Pralya, which either does severe Pierce damage to all enemies with a chance of Fear (Persona 3) or severe Physical damage to all enemies with a chance of a One-Hit Kill (Persona 4).
    • Mitra has Light of Order, a One-Hit Kill to a random demon. Ironically, his alignment is Dark-Chaos.
    • Asura has Asura Roga, which is his Hate Plague made into a battle ability and is a party-targeting spell that induces the Rage status.
  • In Pokémon:
  • ''Kingdom Hearts':
    • Sora has Strike Raid, Sonic Blade, Ars Arcanum and Ragnarok, his special abilities from the first game, they were originally left out of Kingdom Hearts II, but the Final Mix re-release of the game added them back as the abilities of the new Limit Form power up.
    • Riku's Dark Aura, which has been usable as an ultimate attack in all of his playable appearances since the first game (where it was the strongest attack of Riku possessed by Xehanort's Heartless in his second boss fight at Hollow Bastion), although he had another version of Dark Aura in KHII when present as a party member for The World That Never Was that functioned as a volley of Dark Firaga-like projectiles.
    • Roxas has a Limit Break called Magic Hour, where he surrounds himself with six pillars that rotate before shooting out in all directions, causing severe damage. A variation of this would later become the Holy spell, named Faith in English translations, for Ventus and Sora.
  • God of War's Kratos, and his Plume of Prometheus combo (Square, Square, Triangle).
  • Puyo Puyo' has Arle with Bayoeen. Funnily enough, it started as a status move that forces an enemy to stall for a couple of turns, but it has then become her strongest attack, being the last spell used in her chains. It even serves as her Limit Break in Madoh Monogatari.
  • Devil May Cry: Dante's Stinger is arguably his signature move; it's available in every game fairly early on and is incredibly useful (that or suspending enemies in the air with gunfire). Vergil's Summoned Swords or his Diagonal Cut could count for him.
  • World of Warcraft: Most class specializations have a single move that provides the focus of their move pool: Hunters, for example, have Aimed Shot, Kill Command, and Explosive Shot for Marksman, Beast Mastery, and Survival respectively.
  • From The Tale Of ALLTYNEX:
    • Scorpio has its signature dual-laser sweep.
    • ZODIAC Virgo has two: The bullet maelstrom it unleashes to kill the Phoenix's pilot and the Wave Motion Gun that covers the entire screen.
    • ZODIAC Libra's Apocalypse Buster, a massive beam fired from below.

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater's Black Mage and his Hadoken.
  • Nuclear Dan from Another Gaming Comic loves to spam fireball when he can, not using it's long range even, just closing in and centering on himself.
  • Who can forget Dominic Deegan's Spark and his enthusiastic "DEATH FROM ABOVE!", usable on everything from enemies to pies.
  • In Drowtales, characters tend to have an affinity, a general sort of magic that their body or mind seems more attuned to. Several characters seem to have a signature spell as well:
    • Sil'lice: freeze an opponents blood while grabbing them, which apparently causes great pain.
    • Faen: empathic healing
    • Chiri: prophetic dreams
    • Ariel's is becoming merging her body with another object
    • Mel: shapeshifting into a demonic figure
  • Early on in El Goonish Shive Elliot's was shown to be his Tamashii Gekido and Nanase's was her color clone technique.
  • Jack Noir from Homestuck has the attack Red Miles, which causes branching red tendrils to extend from his hand and rip apart anything and everything it touches. The visuals are reminiscent of blood vessels forming, which is fitting given Jack's nature as the cancer infecting the kid's session
  • Vaarsuvius from The Order of the Stick likes to Disintegrate those distracting monsters and use Explosive Runes on any opponent who can read.
    • Haley is big into sneak attacks. Meanwhile, early in Miko's run, Detect Evil was her signature ability, but it quickly shifted into three consecutive slash attacks.
    • Meteor Swarm has become Xykon's signature move. He killed Roy with onenote , and almost killed Vaarsuvius and O-Chul with one.
  • Heartcore: Ame's signature spell is the "Devil Drive", a combination fire/dark spell that burns its victims and, in the event of a direct hit, causes immense pain and psychological torment.
  • Rip Haywire: The eponymous hero uses the Megaton Punch as this.
  • In Girl Genius, the Heterodynes have heterodyning. This is a real thing, and involves mixing sounds to cancel out distractions or produce entirely new notes, but the Heterodynes can do it instinctively, to the point that when Agatha started breaking through, her heterodyning was the first sign of it.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • ˇMucha Lucha! is all about these. There are entire episodes dedicated to one character's signature move.
    • The Flea's signature move is said to be too disgusting to talk about, but most of his moves involve farting or other dirt-themed gimmicks.
  • All the Dragons in Xiaolin Showdown have signature moves once they become apprentices and then Wudai warriors:
    • Omi - Tsunami/Tornado Strike, Wudai Nepune Water
    • Clay - Seismic Kick, Wudai Crater Earth
    • Kimiko - Judolette Flip, Wudai Mars Fire
    • Raimundo - Typhoon Boom, Wudai Star Wind
    • All four - Dragon X Kumai Formation, Wudai Orion Formation
  • Yang's Paws of Pain in Yin Yang Yo.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Rainbow Dash and her Sonic Rainboom, aka the Orbital Friendship Cannon. From that same series, Twilight Sparkle and her Teleportation Spell, which is very advanced magic (she even does it in the opening!)
    • Telekinesis could also be this for Twilight Sparkle. Although it's very basic magic used by all unicorns, Twilight's potency with it is unequaled and she uses it constantly for absolutely everything, from holding a pen to transporting kaiju-sized giant bears. When in battle, her signature move is a purple blast of energy which she tends to spam a lot.
    • Fluttershy is known for The Stare.
    • Pinkie Pie has her Party Cannon.
  • Soundwave in Transformers Prime has the means to open groundbridge and spacebridge portals at will, and prefers to just teleport his problems to some desolate location out of his hair.


Signature LineSignature TropesSignature Roar
Shockwave ClapMagic and PowersSimplified Spellcasting

alternative title(s): Signature Attack; Signature Spell
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