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Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny

If two characters
from pop culture had a fight,
who wins, and who dies?
Zeh Monsieur in a Death Battle haiku.

Ah, the Intercontinuity Crossover fight. Everyone wonders once in awhile "If X and Y met, who would win in a fight?" And whether you come up with incredibly thorough theories of your own, argue it with others, write a fanfic, or just resort to name-calling, everyone has their own opinion.

Such bouts between characters from different works will often involve one or more of the fighters being pulled into a different continuity, the strangers fighting for no logical reason and handicaps or caveats being introduced to make the fights more interesting. Also usually ends with the most popular of the combatants winning, or no one winning at all.

Characters commonly subjected to this include those identical or at least the same kind of character when compared to someone else and prominent characters in franchise or works with heavy amounts of Fandom Rivalry between them.

The trope is named for the song and flash animation "The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny" by Lemon Demon, in which many famous fictional character, pop culture icons and historical persons come together for the sole purpose of knocking the living crap out of each other. (The last one standing is Mister Rogers.)

Overlaps with Massive Multiplayer Crossover when more than 2 works are involved. If the characters end up in a relationship instead of fighting, it's a Crossover Ship. Characters discussing other characters in one of these battles is a Hypothetical Fight Debate. Compare to Character Tiers and Guest Fighter. Contrast with Story-Breaker Team-Up.

If you were looking for the song, go here.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  
  • Mai-Otome: Put the Otome against the HiME, or, more specifically, their resurrected Mai-HiME counterparts.
  • Gundam Build Fighters features several models from different series, many of which are modified, fighting it out. So you have situations like the Build Strike vs. the GX Maoh. Heck, the initial episode where these two "fight" has the builders dressed up as Kira and Garrod respectively.

    Comics 
  • Batman and Dracula: Red Rain: finally put to rest an age-old debate: The Dark Knight or the Prince of Darkness? Dracula and Batman fight over Gotham City to find out who the true master of fear and deception is. They both lose. Dracula is killed and Batman becomes an irredeemable vampire.
  • Dracula vs. Superman: By hypnotizing Lois, Dracula actually gained the upper hand and succeeded in drinking Superman's blood. However, Superman is solar powered, and seconds after drinking his blood well... imagine eating a grenade.
  • Superman vs. Muhammad Ali
  • Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash
  • Alien vs. Predator vs. Terminator
  • Superman vs. Batman Batman wins
  • Then there's one in Superman/Batman issue 78, which handled the subject masterfully. The fight happens, but suddenly you see a narration, or rather, two narrations arguing against each other. Eventually, it is shown that two kids, one a fan of Superman and the other a fan of Batman, arguing who wins. After much Ass Pulls done with each argument, the two kids agreed that the two are friends and would not fight each other.
    • Towards the end, we see Superman and Batman observing the kids. Superman wonders who would win and asks Batman on what he thinks, but Batman just flies away. Batman believes Superman will win.
  • Doctor Doom vs. Magneto

    Fan Works 

    Film 

    Literature 
  • "Shark vs. Train": Parodied in the children's book which takes the more common sense approach, with hilarious results (it matters, for instance, whether the competition is under water, or involves trying to sell lemonade.)
  • 1906: Arsène Lupin vs. Sherlock Holmes, by Lupin's author Maurice Leblanc, as an Affectionate Parody. Soon afterwards, Arthur Conan Doyle complained and, from the following edition onwards, the story became Arsène Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes (or, in some versions, "Holmlock Shears").
  • Animorphs: huge fanboys Jake and Marco from like to argue about whether Batman could beat Spider-Man.
  • Older Than Dirt: The Iliad is this to a significant portion of Greek mythology, including the gods themselves.
    • It also makes clear that Zeus would win with one arm behind the back if he decided to join the frame (so he claims, and the gods, speaking from experience, don't dare to contradict him)... And that's why he stays out of it.
  • And how about David Weber's Out of The Dark and vampires versus aliens? And that's just the first part of the trilogy!

    Live Action TV 
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Barney, Marshall and Lily go to the event "Wrestlers Vs. Robots" where Mexican-style wrestlers battle a variety of robots.
  • Deadliest Warrior: A Spike TV show which explores "history's greatest killing machines", look at their historic backgrounds and the science behind their equipment and fighting styles, and pair them off in a one-on-one computer simulated fight. Showdowns include "Gladiator vs. Apache", "Ninja vs. Spartan", "Taliban vs. IRA", "Yakuza vs. Mafia", and "William Wallace vs. Shaka Zulu".
  • Jurassic Fight Club: A History Channel show, similar to Deadliest Warrior in that it uses best available knowledge to establish the abilities, strengths, and weaknesses of the animals, then CGIs the actual fights. Match-ups include Allosaurus vs. Ceratosaurus; Mega-Lion vs. the Short-Faced Bear; and Megalodon vs. Brygmophyseter, the "biting sperm whale".
  • Animal Planet had a short lived series Animal Face Off, which was basically Jurassic Fight Club done with living species that plausibly might confront one another in the wild.
  • Harry Hill's TV Burp: "Well, I like X, but then I also like Y. But which is better?" [Costumed/made-up/bewigged representations/impersonators of X and Y crash into studio from opposite directions and make a beeline for each other] "FIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • The original series episode "The Mind Robber" eventually, through convoluted means, features a sword fight that involved Cyrano de Bergerac, D'Artagnan, Blackbeard, and Sir Lancelot.
    • And "Doomsday" brings the fight people had been wanting for decades; Daleks vs Cybermen.
    • The novel "All-Consuming Fire" had Sherlock Holmes and the seventh Doctor square off with the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • Saturday Night Live: Spoofed in a recurring sketch in which George Wendt leads a cadre of football fans who speculate on the scores of hypothetical games pitting the Chicago Bears against other teams, with the Bears facing increasingly unlikely handicaps, such as being shrunk to the size of midgets. (Hint: Da Bears win.)
    Wendt: Who would win, the Death Star or the Enterprise?
    Others: Ditka!
  • Super Sentai do this about once a year as a movie, usually by having the current Super Sentai meet up with the previous year's Super Sentai in a Let's You and Him Fight scene before teaming up to take on the Big Bad of the film.
  • Kamen Rider Decade: For the Kamen Rider series. Decade can take on the form and powers of the last nine hero Riders, allowing match-ups like Kuuga vs. Kiva, Kiva vs. Knight and so on.
  • Angel: In one episode, Angel and Spike argue vehemently over who would win if astronauts and cavemen got into a fight.
    Wesley: Ah. You've been yelling at each other for 40 minutes about this? ...do the astronauts have weapons?
    Angel and Spike (in unision): NO!
    • Even better, they somehow manage to get all of the other main characters at the time to argue over this. Through the entire episode.
  • One episode of Game of Thrones opens with two Lannister soldiers discussing who's the best fighter in Westeros. They've narrowed it down to Ser Jaime "Kingslayer" Lannister, Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, and Ser Loras "The Knight of Flowers" Tyrell. Their discussion is cut short by the Stark army.
    What about Loras Tyrell?
    He's been stabbing Renly Baratheon for years, and Renly ain't dead!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had an episode called "Buffy vs. Dracula". The titular fight ends inconclusively, with Buffy killing the Count, but with him clearly able to come Back from the Dead at will. The show also had to break many of its own rules about how its vampires work in order to pit Buffy against a recognizable version of Dracula; the whole episode relied heavily on Rule of Cool.
  • Discussed in The Big Bang Theory when the guys argue over which fictional characters, mostly superheroes, would best who in a fight.

    Music 
  • Defied in Ookla the Mok's "Stop Talking About Comic Books or I'll Kill You":
    I don't care if the Hulk could defeat the Man of Steel
    I'm gonna rearrange your face if you continue to debate
    Whether Logan's claws could pierce Steve Rogers' shield

    Video Games 

    Traditional Games 
  • Anachronism: A card game that lets you pit various historical (or somewhat historical, like Robin Hood) characters against each other. For more fun, trade the character's goodies around — give Achilles Beowulf's chain mail and Miyamoto's katana.
  • Who Would Win?: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Two players each get a random character, and then an event. Argue why your character would win. Santa Claus vs. Genghis Khan in synchronized swimming? Babar vs. Einstein in ping pong?
  • Superfight! is another card game in this vein, where each player plays a character card and two power/problem cards (one on their own character, another on an opponent's character), then debates over which creation would beat the character of that round's judge in a fight, resulting in match-ups like Mr. T with an assault rifle and riding a unicorn vs. 3 Stephen Hawkings with the Force.

    Web Original 
  • The Annoying Orange: In one episode, Liam the Leprechaun forces the orange to see if he was more annoying than Fred. It appears to end in a stalemate, only for Fred to get the last laugh.
  • Will It Blend?: Anything, at all, versus a Blend-Tec blender.
  • The now-defunct WWWF Grudge Match though the archives are still there, listing the more than 200 fights the site has run. The fights are formatted in that there is a proposed scenario and a very tongue-in-cheek debate, after which there will be a vote. When the loser has fallen, often hilarious comments on the result would be posted.
  • The Comic Book Universe Battles, which started in 1997 as a sub-section of a Xena: Warrior Princess fan's Callisto fansite and eventually grew into something all its own. Seen as a friendly rival by the above Grudge match it later stopped proposing scenarios and let users submit, debate and vote on them. Currently user voting is down indefinitely but some of the scores are still in the database.
    • In the late 2000's (around 2008 or 2009) the site was revamped to include 2 vs. 2 and 3-way battles as well as reintroducing the ability to submit characters to the database, however unfortunately at the end of 2013, the site's creator and owner stated that the CBUB (and its sister site the Fantasy Powers League) would be shutting down permanently.
  • The Spoony Experiment: had Deadliest Character, a direct take-off of the aforementioned Deadliest Warrior, featuring the Megazord vs. MechaGodzilla. Megazord wins by summoning The Sixth Ranger and tearing MechaGodzilla apart.
  • TGWTG Year One Brawl brought together dozens of gamers and reviewers from That Guy with the Glasses for an epic throwndown. The winner: It's a huge draw as a truce is declared when they raelize that they are all on the same team at the end of the day.
  • Tales from the Pit exposes "Who Would Win" as a favorite conversational topic of the Magic: The Gathering R&D team. Pairings include Robocop vs. The Terminator and My Little Pony vs. the Transformers.
  • The Screamsheet has done weekly fights between a variety of characters since 2000. The fights have a loose continuity and several running jokes, such as Superman always losing and the Earth being destroyed multiple times.
  • The Lonely Winds forum has three sub-forums dedicated to various USoUDs in eight different leagues of various power level and compositions.
  • Numerous websites dedicated solely to what faction from Star Wars and Star Trek would lay the ultimate smackdown upon all the others. StarDestroyer.net is a particularly (in)famous one, and Spacebattles.com caters to all kinds of sci-fi matchups but is invariably dominated by Trek vs. Wars as well as the occasional just-for-fun curbstomp (the Orcs from The Lord of the Rings vs. modern machine guns, carpet bombing from B-52s, an orbiting Imperial Star Destroyer, and finally, the real kicker, doze udda Orkz). Both of these websites more or less grew out of the Usenet newsgroup alt.startrek.vs.starwars.
  • "Dream Tournament", a popular series of vote-driven fanfics on the Usenet group rec.games.video.arcade from the mid-'90s, pitted Fighting Game characters from different games against each other. The Tournament gave rise to several spinoffs, as well as many Fanon personality traits for the characters.
    • There was an old fanfiction Dream Tournament called the Ultimate Video Rumble, where some truly memorable fights happened both within and without the arena. Highlights include Haohmaru and Genjuro of Samurai Shodown fame clashing swords furiously, while everyone who attempts to break their battle gets tossed aside, and dysfunctional organizers and security staff who make Eddy Gordo of Tekken fame suffer after he got eliminated from the ring.
      • The UVR was a deliberate spiritual successor to the first three Dream Tournaments, continuing many of the fanon events and characterizations from the DT.
  • Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne organized a Round Robin tournament featuring characters from all over anime (and sometimes, beyond) called Magical Troubleshooting Crossover Fighting Federation ULTRA. The various writers used and abused pretty much the entire Professional Wrestling trope list, with backstage plots ranging from mere personal power grabs and Mind Control to Third Impact and wresting Godhood from Kasumi Tendo Herself.
    • The golden rule staving off the inevitable Fan Boy flame wars was understood to read, "Anyone, under the right circumstances, can defeat anyone else in a fight." The only systemic exceptions to this idea were made to account for anime-style "weight restrictions."
    • It's worth noting that the story of how Kasumi became God and several other plot points such as Dark Sakura originated from MTCFF Beta which was a single-elimination tournament decided by votes rather than by individual authors, with such oddities as Fusion character "Nario" resulting from Naru of Battle Arena Toshinden and Mario of Super Mario Bros. tying in votes.
  • "Hitler continued laughing, then finally said 'Goku! You came here expecting to find a madman, but instead, you found a GOD!' Hitler had become a Super Saiyan." How's that for a Crack Fic-style showdown? See it right here in all its Not Safe For Sanity glory. By the way, it also ships Goku x Anne Frank.
  • Ultimate Showdown tournaments are a common occurrence on GameFAQs' "Board 8", allowing users to debate to the most extremely geekish limits possible about who'd win. The arguing can lead to some, hmmmm, very curious victories (Apparently, The Mask can just barely beat Broly with cartoon physics, the most powerful Darkstalkers can win left and right merely based on their vague backstories alone, Voldemort can upset Nanoha's constant nuking of areas and people and the Doctor can defeat The Flash with, uhhh, timey wimey stuff. Or prep time. Or whatever).
  • History nerds are somewhat fond of debating Alexander the Great vs Genghis Khan. This battle actually happens in Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter's collabaorative novel, Time's Eye.
  • The RPG Duelling League is a site dedicating to deciding which Video Game RPG characters would win in a fight. The site is organized into 6 week long elimination tournaments (refered to as seasons) with four different Character Tiers (Light, Middle, Heavy, and Godlike). The voters who decide who wins are also strongly encouraged NOT to vote according to popularity or plot powers, but rather comparative in-battle capabilities and performance.
  • Whosthebitch.com was the HQ for a fun and easy game; simply match any two given personalities (or even inanimate objects) and answer the question, "Who's the bitch?" Basically pick which one would be the 'bottom' in a relationship between the two, and justify your answer with an explanation.
  • Dead Fantasy shows what happens when a bunch of girls from the Final Fantasy series go up against a bunch of girls from the Dead or Alive series. In case you didn't figure it out by yourself, it's fanservice.
  • Sites like Comic Book Resources and Hero Chat have their own (Comic Book Rumbles and It's Clobberin' Time!, respectively), among many, many other websites. They often don't like each other. Most infamous incident was a flame war and board raid between Rumbles and Star Destroyer, after Rumbles determined Borg Cubes can destroy the Death Star. Cue Fan Wank and board raid.
  • The Galactic Watercooler podcast has a recurring feature called Fantasy Sci-Fi League in which participants choose teams based on specific roles (warrior, pilot, reconnoissance, etc) and place them in a scenario such as the rescue of one of the podcasters from a Klingon prison planet, and give them some basic equipment (such as Carl Sagan's Starship of the Imagination). The winner is chosen based on the most entertaining way of completing a mission.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History does this, but with rapping.
  • The Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues often sets Batman or The Thing against various characters.
  • Factpile mostly runs on this trope. It has branched out to include other topics, but is still mostly battles between fictional characters. It has also determined the outcome of the page image Superman easily wins.
  • Make Your Move: applies this to Super Smash Bros. with movesets for everything from King K. Rool to Socrates.
  • ScrewAttack's Death Battle: sets characters up against each other as well, from Boba Fett vs. Samus Aran to Mike Haggar vs. Zangief to Starscream vs. Rainbow Dash. Notably not decided by votes, but by a look at each side's actual capabilities and extrapolating based on that.
  • Dark Horse Comics asked who would win; Dr McNinja, or Saxton Hale? At the time of this edit, votes are still being accepted. Each character asked fans to vote for them on their respective websites.
    • Votes are already done. Winner: Saxton Hale.
  • Deadliest Fiction Wiki: using the formula from Deadliest Warrior, but for warriors of any media and franchise, with the warriors chosen by logical debates from the members of the site. It's essentially The Wiki Rule for Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.
  • Tor.com: Tor Books' website holds yearly "cage matches" pitting various fantasy characters against each other in a single-elimination tournament, with the characters' creators invited to write how they think each of their characters' battles would go.
  • "Valve World", showing Team Fortress 2 Then Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, Half-Life 2, Deathmatch Classic, Day Of Defeat, Alien Swarm, Portal and then ending on Half-Life.
  • The Outskirts Battledome exists for people to speculate who would win in a fight between two fictional characters or real-world people.
  • The Alterverse War:Kristofer Straub, the author of Starslip Crisis, put togheter Fuseli vs. the Touch and Go the Fuseli won, but only due to some clever maneuvering.
  • Video Game Championship Wrestling is an ongoing web series that uses recreations of both famous and relatively obscure video game characters (as well as some from non-game-based franchises and even a few people from real life) in the ever-glitchy WWE Video Games in AI versus AI matches. It maintains a regular roster of wrestlers, so rematches where a previous winner lost and a previous loser won have happened before, such as Charles Barkley versus Vegeta, and Nappa versus Gabe Newell.
  • While this is still upcoming, When Heroes Meet Champions is hyped to be an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny featuring characters from the two Multiplayer Online Battle Arena juggernauts, as the title suggested: Dota 2 and League of Legends. Already in the teaser we've seen possible battles of Axe vs Darius, Juggernaut vs Master Yi, Legion Commander vs Katarina, Treant Protector vs Maokai and Tusk vs Vi.
  • Machinima.com has Fallout: New Vegas Wasteland Battles, pitting characters and enemies from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas against each other, and with the help of mods, even characters like Darth Vader. Not that it matters, because Liberty Prime beats everything.

    Western Animation 

    Other 
  • This image, called War of the Worlds (Война миров), painted by the Russian contemporary artist Nikolai Kopeikin depicts an epic but gruesome battle between cartoon characters of mostly Western Animation and Russian Animation. Not only this picture is an example of the trope but it also stresses the rivalry between domestic and foreign animation in Russia.
  • Don Bradman and Babe Ruth, widely recognised as the greatest ever players in cricket and baseball, respectively, met each other in 1932. While they didn't play against each other, certainly not in any formal capacity, Bradman offered Ruth the chance to try his hand at cricket. Ruth started by trying to bat cricket-style, and struggling to lay bat on ball, before switching to his baseball stance and hitting the Australian bowlers around the park. Ruth also took Bradman to watch a Yankees game, where Bradman surprised his host by spotting a double-play.
  • Yalta, 1942. Winston "Brandy for Breakfast" Churchill and Josef "Steel Liver" Stalin have what is, in effect, a drinking contest. They go at it until three o'clock in the morning, but by one o'clock Churchill, suffering a "slight headache", has switched to wine. At which point Stalin presumably called him a pussy, fist-bumped Molotov, and cracked another bottle of vodka.
  • The Final Battle of Dino Attack RPG gives us Dino Attack Team, Alpha Team, Agents, Ogel Drones, Chinese soldiers, Rogue Knights, and Brickster-Bots battling the Maelstrom, Mutant Dinos, Inferno agents, and Fright Knights, with XERRD switching sides midway through.
  • Historical matchups such an Genghis Kahn vs. Alexander the Great have been discussed among scholars.

Rogues-Gallery TransplantCrossover Index    
TrainstoppingImageSource/Comic BooksVillain with Good Publicity
To Be Lawful or GoodImageSource/OtherVery Special Episode
Villainous Widow's PeakImageSource/Anime & MangaDurarara!!

alternative title(s): Ultimate Showdown; Who Would Win
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