->''"It's conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I'm only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again... perhaps I have the strength after all."''
-->-- '''Westley''', ''Film/ThePrincessBride''

As a rule, much of fiction ends with the villain being defeated by the hero. This should be dramatic, but if the true villain isn't [[TheManBehindTheCurtain that physically powerful]], then this is going to be a rather short fight.

Sure, a writer could give their [[TheChessmaster master manipulator]] a HumongousMecha or have your [[CorruptCorporateExecutive amoral industrialist]] secretly be a [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking martial arts master]], but there's also something satisfying in bringing the invincible hero down a few pegs. Many pegs. To the point where they're already a few moments from death when they meet; this has the effect of showing that the character isn't fearless simply due to having superior power, but superior ''character''-strength even when stripped of those abilities.

You Can Barely Stand is a scene where the villain meets the hero when he's in no fit state to fight. The threat of blood loss or collapse is as much a threat as the bad guy slapping him about and telling him [[JustBetweenYouAndMe he's failed]] and that he's [[NotSoInvincibleAfterAll not that]] [[MadeOfIron invincible]] [[NotSoInvincibleAfterAll after all]]. The reason for the injuries can include a [[KryptoniteFactor special weakness]], having been poisoned, having been [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]], magical influence, or having just [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown gotten the crap kicked out of him]] by either the {{Mooks}} or TheDragon.

Either way, the hero will eventually get a [[HeroicSecondWind dramatic burst]] and fight on despite his weakened state, and will usually defeat their foe by the slightest of margins. Only once they've won will they be allowed the luxury of [[PostVictoryCollapse collapsing]]. For a truly BittersweetEnding, they might [[HeroicSacrifice never get up again]].

On the flip-side, TheHero may be fighting a lackey who's just too stubborn to quit. In pity, the hero tells the lackey that they should surrender, or just leaves the fight themselves. This often happens in the leadup to a HeelFaceTurn.

A common form of DramaPreservingHandicap. A villainous version of TemptingFate. If the hero is at their physical best when meeting the villain face-to-face, expect the hero to suffer a GameBreakingInjury. May manifest as InjuredPlayerCharacterStage.

Compare: HeroicResolve, HeroicSecondWind, TheManBehindTheCurtain, {{Determinator}}. Often caused by CombatBreakdown or CripplingTheCompetition.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* A staple in every single climatic battle in ''Franchise/DragonBall''. The stakes started to get specially high starting from King Piccolo's arc. In that fight [[spoiler:Goku gets his left arm and both of his legs broken. Still, Goku manages to win with focusing all of his strength in his right arm. ItMakesSenseInContext]]. And it goes [[SerialEscalation upwards from there in the following arcs]]. The most iconic examples would be:
** Goku Vs. Piccolo Jr. [[spoiler:Being aware of that leaving Goku one healthy arm was a mistake, Piccolo now completely incapacitates Goku by breaking ''all'' of his limbs. Still, Goku manages to win by charging with his own body, using all of his remaining Ki to fly]].
** Goku Vs. Vegeta: [[spoiler:Goku gets [[UpToEleven his whole body incapacitated]], but still manages to form a small Spirit Bomb and passes it to Krillin]].
** Gohan Vs. Cell: [[spoiler: Gohan gets his right arm maimed [[TakingTheBullet while trying to save Vegeta from Cell]]. Still, thanks to Goku's encouragement, Gohan forms a Kamehameha with a single arm that destroys Cell]].
* In ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'', after the fight with Rosine, Guts is a complete mess. That also happens to be when he runs into the Holy Iron Chain Knights. He still puts up a hell of a fight, but gets captured at the end of it. In any other condition he would have killed them all.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', [[ColonelBadass Roy Mustang]] takes down a [[spoiler:deadly, deadly Lust]] after being stabbed in the stomach and [[PlayingWithFire cauterizing the wounds himself]]. [[Awesome/FullmetalAlchemist It was awesome]].
** At the end of the fight he appears to remain unflinching as an enemy attack comes flying towards his face only to stop mere inches away. His PostVictoryCollapse reveals he ''probably couldn't have dodged even if he wanted to.''
** In the final battle, Greed tells everyone who's been injured to get off the "elevator", including Roy [[spoiler: whose eyesight was removed as a toll for seeing the Truth]]. He still chooses to fight.
** In [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]], Roy kills Pride after being sliced, impaled, and altogether getting the crap kicked out of him. [[spoiler:And immediately after that, he's [[EyeScream shot in the eye!]]]]
** Ed ''attempts'' this after [[spoiler:being impaled by a support beam]], and...[[DefiedTrope makes it about five feet before collapsing.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', Rika has one of these during her CrowningMomentOfAwesome when she [[spoiler:stands up against Shion and kills herself rather than die by torture]].
* This trope is so overused in ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', the heroes are brought down to this level in pretty much every story arc after facing a few mooks. This trope needs to be renamed "You Can't Even Stand" to refer to the more serious instances.
** In the Sanctuary arc, Hyoga was entombed by Camus using his Freezing Coffin technique and left for dead. Shiryu broke him free with the libra sword. This left him in a semi-comatose state (but he could Barely Stand). After lampshading this trope, Camus intended to finish him off with an Aurora Excusion. Hyoga [[spoiler:learns Camus's Aurora Excusion technique and defeats him in a [[BeamOWar Power Struggle]]]] while barely conscious.
** Seiya is poisoned by by Royal Demon Roses on his way to the Pope's chamber, until all he could manage was crawl his way to the chamber. Once there, the Pope made him [[spoiler:blind, deaf, dumb, and robbed him of his sense of smell and touch as well, then banished him to another dimension.]] [[HeroicSecondWind He won anyway.]]
* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', Simon [[spoiler: is lifted out of his Lagann mini mecha by Lordgenome, looking bruised and almost totally defeated. However, just as Lordgenome is about to finish him off for good he summons his remaining strengh and slams the his drill pendant into his enemy's chest before twisting it and blowing him apart with the spiral energy it contains.]]
** And before that, this trope is the start of [[spoiler: Kamina's DyingMomentOfAwesome]].
* Early on in ''Manga/OnePiece'', Zoro had to take on a clearly inferior swords''fish''man after having been nearly cut in half diagonally across the chest in a previous fight.
** Even earlier in the Manga, Zoro fights Buggy's [[TheDragon first mate Cabaji]], a swordsman, after being stabbed through the side by one of Buggy's knives. Cabaji makes it a point to go after the wound repeatedly...and after repelling him, Zoro cuts the wound WIDER, just to prove he can beat Cabaji even with that handicap.
** Also Zoro -- the post-Oz Kuma encounter [[spoiler: when he is so injured he can't stand, and yet uses Kuma's magic paw-bubble to take all of Luffy's damage too]], and the post-Kuma multi-Kuma fight [[spoiler: where his injuries from the Kuma encounter make him collapse, whereupon he gets up again to use his most powerful technique, whereupon he is struck with a light beam/laser thing, whereupon he gets up again to face down Kuma (who is surprised that he survived that first encounter) whereupon he is vanished away to Nightmare Before Christmas-land. Where, upon waking, he tries to get up ''again'' but luckily has been semi-mummified by Perona]].
*** [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Whereupon... wait, you said that part already.]]
** Whitebeard during the Marineford Arc, for multiple reasons. First of all, whilst he holds the title of 'Strongest Man in the World', he is very old and has multiple health problems. This does not stop him almost taking down the entire Marine HQ with his earthquake powers, and casually curbstomping some of the most powerful individuals in the series.
*** Then, once he is [[spoiler: fatally injured by Sakazuki after said health problems begin to affect him during a fight]], following [[spoiler: Ace's death, he goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against Sakazuki]], and then when [[spoiler: Blackbeard shows up to kill him, he manages to defeat Blackbeard with two huge holes in his torso.]]
* Every single fight in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', notably during the Soul Society Arc. Subverted twice in the Hueco Mundo arc when [[spoiler: Grimmjow encounters Ichigo barely able to stand, and has Orihime heal him; and Nnoitra beats the hell out of an already-almost-dead Ichigo.]]
** Lampshaded when Ichigo gets a nasty cut as usual during said fight -- except this time his torso is sliced almost in half. On the topic of standing, his opponent [[EvilGloating gleefully]] informs him, "It isn't a matter of willpower; it's a structural impossibility." ''[[RealityEnsues Ouch.]]''
*** Every ''Bleach'' reader already knows that everything in ''Bleach'' depends entirely on RuleOfCool. Usually this means Ichigo takes a ton of injuries and then [[NextTierPowerUp pulls something super crazy awesome]] out of nowhere and defeats his opponent. Then again, that's just about every shonen ever.
*** Uryu, on the other hand, has a technique that ''overcomes'' "structural impossibility" by turning his own body into what amounts to a telekinetically-controlled puppet. This allows him to keep fighting even after his body is paralyzed by a poison that shuts down all voluntary muscle movement.
* In ''Anime/WolfsRain'', Toboe tries to bite Darcia's arm off despite being seriously wounded [[spoiler:and dying from it shortly afterward]].
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'': Jounouchi/Joey is worn out from his duel with Varon, but doesn't hesitate to duel his PsychoExGirlfriend Mai as soon as it's over. He collapses at just the right time to give Mai a teary MyGodWhatHaveIDone scene.
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', the final battle between Kenshin and Shishio is like this, and Kenshin actually ''does'' collapse during the fight before getting back up.
** Applies to his allies in the fight as well, as they've all been through serious fights to get there. Saitou has had his thighs slashed (and spends most of the fight after his contribution on his knees) and Aoshi took Kenshin's ultimate attack ten minutes before he got there. Saitou and Aoshi are implied to be able to stand a serious chance against Shishio in a fair fight, but injured as they are all they can do is buy Kenshin time to get up again.
** Also in the anime when he fights Shura, Kenshin is hit by a poisoned dart and can't exactly see properly or stand up straight.
* Happens a lot to Allen Walker in ''Manga/DGrayMan''. Sometimes it works (For example, when he ''literally'' can't stand during the [[spoiler:Level 4 attack and keeps fighting it anyway by dragging himself around with Crown Clown]]) and sometimes it... doesn't (Like after the whole mess with Suman Dark, when [[spoiler:Tyki effortlessly dissolves his arm and puts a hole in his heart]]).
* Manga/{{Gintama}} has its main character Gintoki have several moments like this when there's serious arc and he's so badly beaten he can barely stand. Yet somehow, he always gets up from the ground. Never mind the countless broken bones and him throwing up blood...
* The cast of ''Manga/InuYasha'' get this a ''lot''. One example is when Inyasha is human and must fight the Peach Man. During that time, he is shrunk, eaten, thrown back up, bled, tossed around, and fell from a cliff. Not even Sesshomaru is [[NotSoInvincibleAfterAll immune]]. He finally comes up against an enemy that [[TheStrategist knows how to fight]] a [[HandicappedBadass one-armed man]] [[spoiler: - by [[BadassInDistress tearing that arm to shreds]], then entwining him in tentacles to [[ShootTheHostage prevent Inuyasha from using his sword]], before finally stabbing him through the chest]].
--> '''Inuyasha:''' ''[to Sesshomaru]'' You just stay back! This isn't the place for an injured person!
* ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia''
** During his fight with Todoroki during the [[TournamentArc Sports Festival Tournament]], Midoriya pushed his body past their limits with One For All, using the power repeatedly on his injured arms and risking grave injury. While he would recover, his right hand would remained scarred as a result.
** Later, when the League of Villains attack at the summer training camp, Midoriya puts himself in harms way again when he fights Muscular to protect a boy named Kota. Midoriya ends up with two broken arms (one from Muscular, the other from using One For All at full power) and nearly getting killed, but pushing on and keeping Muscular at bay, even as he bled profusely and mangled his arms.
* The various Egrigori experiments in ''Manga/ProjectARMS'' get this bad. Ryo has especially bad luck. His ARMS - the Jabberwock - will only come out if he is in serious danger. The result of this is that almost every enemy sent to kill the Jaberwock will try to make it come out by beating the stuffing out of Ryo. And since he hates the Jabberwock, he always puts in a great deal of effort to just let himself get pummeled and not release the ARMS.
* ''Anime/SwordOfTheStranger'' invokes this during its famed final fight sequence. Nanashi, after already being completely spent fighting the other soldiers and sustaining a few fairly series injuries, not only stands up to Luo-Lang, but refuses his offer of performance-enhancing drugs that would dull his pain and [[spoiler: still ends up the victor in the end.]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight Unlimited Bladeworks''. Lancer's CrowningMomentOfAwesome is basically him taking out a major villain and a minor one, both non-heroic spirits, while suffering one such wound. That wound is being stabbed through the heart with his own magic spear. His response? [[BadassBoast "As if I would die from a wound like this."]] We must emphasize this wound is through the heart. With a spear that causes wounds that cannot be healed.
** And appropriately enough in the scene happening parallel to that one, we have Shirou. During the course of his fight he's broken his fingers, gotten covered in cuts, has various other broken appendages, and is all but dead due to being outmatched. Quite literally the only thing keeping him swinging is a full on {{Determinator}} mode.
*** [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl Shirou]] in HF too. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis He. Will. Save. Sakura.]]
* Touma in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' was like this during his first fight against Accelerator. the funny part? it was [[spoiler: Misaka]], the one who he was helping, that put him in that state.
* ''Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato:'' In the final confrontation between Wildstar and Desslok, Wildstar is bleeding badly and can barely stand--and [[spoiler: he does, in fact, collapse as his legs give out under him. Nova rushes to Wildstar's side, and as Desslok stands over them with his gun, both of them finally at his mercy, he realizes that Wildstar has fought him with ''everything he had'' simply to protect his home and his loved ones, and [[HeelFaceTurn Desslok realizes he's come to respect his enemy too much to pull the trigger.]] He declares an end to their conflict, and leaves in peace.]]
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhCapsuleMonsters'', Yami Yugi demands his friends stay back to avoid danger, even when this is pointed out by the others.
** Yami Yugi says this to ''himself'' in episode 5 as he struggles through a sand hurricane.
* In ''Manga/Brave10'', in the finale of the sequel, [[spoiler:several of the Braves are yelling at Rokuro to stop [[CastFromHitPoints casting from HP]] and stay down as [[PhysicalGod Susanoo approaches]]. This ends up leading to Kakei's HeroicSacrifice instead.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* {{Superman}} gets to do this a lot, including fighting weakened by a red sun and having just come out of a coma, or just having been stabbed with Kryptonite.
** Done with somewhat different implications in the [[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries animated series]] finale "Legacy," where a depowered Superman lets out his anger on Lex Luthor, shattering the latter's jaw in one punch.
*** Reminding us all that even without superpowers, Clark Kent is still a big man who gets ''very'' intense workouts on a regular basis.
*** Really more of an inversion. He can [[WorldOfCardboardSpeech cut loose]] because he doesn't have to worry about accidentally killing Lex. This happened in Smallville too.
** Subverted in one instance in the comics (fighting a makeshift squad of villains). He's very ill, but still very strong. The conflict is that, as he says to the villains, he is so sick he has no idea if his punches will remove heads from necks.
* ComicBook/SpiderMan fought The Black Widow in one issue. ''He'' had a case of pneumonia that would have put an ordinary man into the hospital, but it just slowed and weakened him down enough that the Black Widow thought he been toying with her when he broke free of her swing line at the end of the fight.
* In ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'', Cutter refuses to be healed during the first battle with the Northern Trolls because it would take him out of the fighting for too long, and his tribe needed every fighter they had.
* A non-combat version from ''ComicBook/TheSandman'': an unnamed country punishes criminals by hanging. The big cities always have enough people willing to become professional hangmen, but in smaller towns, people aren't willing to face the social stigma. So what the small towns do is choose a condemned prisoner who's unlikely to be too much trouble and offer to suspend his sentence if he'll act as hangman. That "suspend" is key; if the prisoner isn't hanged sooner or later, the town loses their right to have a hangman. One character accepts the offer, but as natural death approaches, he decides that he'd really prefer to die in his own bed. When the enforcers arrive, he's standing to meet them, although he was too ill to move, let alone stand, a mere panel or two before. Once the enforcers leave, we find that the character was supported by one of his own hangman's ropes, strung to a roof beam.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/{{Forward}}'' story "Business," River and Jayne are in this state when they fight the [[spoiler: Hands of Blue]] at the climax. This is because they had been [[spoiler: captured and tortured by Niska]] previously, and had only just escaped that. In this case, Jayne actually proves to be the better fighter, if only because, being larger, stronger, and tougher, [[spoiler: he was able to withstand the torture better than the much physically weaker River, who was reduced to a gibbering wreck following the ordeal and was so battered that she needed Jayne to carry her on his back.]] River is only able to fight because Jayne injects her with a syringe of synthetic adrenaline.
* The final scene of [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/109581/1/i-did-not-want-to-die/i-did-not-want-to-die I Did Not Want To Die]] is this.
* Multiple times during the finale of the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'', several people say this to the dying [[spoiler: Takato]], right before he does something insanely badass.
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' fic ''Fanfic/WhyandWere'', Assassin Johanna Smith-Rhodes has to conclude an inhumation of a werecreature despite the fact it has broken her shooting arm and that her assistant has seemingly defected to the enemy camp.
** In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11536013/17/Hyperemesis-gravidarum Hyperemesis Gravidarum]]'', she has to fight off an assailant whilst heavily pregnant. [[UpToEleven Sure enough]], she gets strong labour pains. During the fight. Things might have gone badly if it wasn't for a last-minute intervention by PapaWolf, a man determined to become a grandfather.
* Han Solo is in this state in the end of the ''Franchise/StarWars'' fic ''[[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/2696712/1/Important-Information Important Information]]''. He's spent days being tortured and raped, has multiple broken bones including both arms, but when he sees that he's lying near the guy that arranged the capture, he crawls to Luke's dropped blaster and forces himself to his feet to confront the guy, blasting a Stormtrooper as he does so. He's almost done in by a second Stormtrooper sneaking up behind, but Luke warns him in time to blast the trooper, then, despite being choked by the guy who started it all, Han still manages to blast him before collapsing.
* The infamous Goku/Hitler fight in ''Fanfic/UntilTheEndOfTime'' has Hitler become a Super Saiyan and demolish Goku with a single punch, then gloat: "You still want to fight? Don't you know when to give up, boy? You can hardly walk. And you expect to beat ME? Conqueror of Europe?", before Goku suddenly becomes a [[AssPull "Super Ultra Power Saiyan"]] through ThePowerOfLove and destroys Hitler.
* In ''Fanfic/DreamingOfSunshine'', Shikako faces off against [[spoiler:the Sound genin]] by herself while concussed, sleep deprived, low on chakra, and nursing several broken ribs and a broken arm from the encounter with [[spoiler:Orochimaru - and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome she kills all three of them]].]]

* In ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' Boromir gets up and keeps fighting after taking an arrow in the chest - ''twice''!
* In the ''Film/{{Daredevil}}'' film, Daredevil goes to the climactic fight with Kingpin while still seriously injured from his fight with Kingpin's [[TheDragon Dragon]], Bullseye. Kingpin proceeds to own him in seconds, and even gloats about wishing he could fight Daredevil "in his prime".
* Both [[MyNameIsInigoMontoya Inigo]] and Westley do this in the climax of ''Film/ThePrincessBride'' (see page quote).
* In ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'', Commodus stabs Maximus in the lung just before their climactic battle in the colosseum. Maximus, a seasoned general mind you, proves to be able to defeat the reasonably skilled but nonetheless inferior Commodus, [[spoiler:but dies from the wound afterwards.]]
* ''Film/SinCity'' gives us a gem, when Detective Hartigan, an aging cop with a heart condition, staggers over to confront the BigBad of his arc.
-->'''Roark Jr.''': Look at you, you can't even lift that cannon you carry!
-->'''Hartigan''': ...Sure I can.
* In the conclusion of ''Film/KickAss'', [[spoiler:Hit-Girl does this again and again, finally seeming to meet her match in the mob boss D'Amico. When she can't pull out one more HeroicSecondWind (give her credit, she'd already done that about five times) she's [[DistressedDamsel rescued by Kick-Ass]].]]
* At the end of ''Film/MissionImpossibleIII'', Davian activates a mini-bomb implanted inside Ethan Hunt's skull before attacking him. With the enormous pain of the activated bomb inside his head, Ethan is significantly crippled during the ensuing fight, which compensates for Davian's lack of formal combat training, at least to the level of an [=IMF=] agent.
* The final confrontation between Huo An and Tiberius in ''Film/DragonBlade''. Huo An had been stabbed and shot by arrows a huge number of times before this, and when he confronts Tiberius he is literally trying his hardest to stand. [[spoiler: RealityEnsues as Tiberius easily overpowers him, but right as the villain tries to execute him Huo An suddenly uses his arm shield to break Tiberius' arm, then fatally slice Tiberius in the neck with a knife.]]
* In the finale of ''Film/{{Fearless 2006}}'', Jet Li's character Huo Yuanjia has been poisoned and is [[BloodFromTheMouth is coughing up blood]]. His [[WorthyOpponent Japanese rival]] offers to stop the match but since Huo is representing China, he can't back down. [[spoiler: Huo loses but because he visibly spares his opponent from his DangerousForbiddenTechnique OneHitKill move, his opponent declares him the victor.]]

* This is the case with the titular character at the end of {{Literature/Eisenhorn}}. [[{{Determinator}} His solution is to strap himself to a metal frame to ''let'' him stand]].
* In the fourth book of Literature/TheSwordOfTruth, Richard defeats his evil brother, despite being barely able to stand due to a disease, and the brother wielding the titular sword. A couple minutes later, that brother tries to kill Richard, despite having his spine ripped out.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's short story "The Long Watch", the hero Lieutenant John Dahlquist barricades himself in an Interplanetary Patrol nuclear weapons bay on the Moon, while dying from the radiation dose he's getting from impromptu hammer-sabotage of a bunch of nuclear warheads sought by Colonel Towers, the leader of an attempted coup. It's sort of a ''You Can Barely Stand''-off.
* Vimes in ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' fights off a small army of dwarfs while badly beaten from a fall, cold and wet, and highly disorientated. However this is (probably) because of [[spoiler: the Summoning Dark trying to control him]]. Where he ''really'' shows his HeroicResolve is that, once he's run out of armed opponents, he ''stops''. [[spoiler: The effort involved to STOP...nearly tore his body apart, litterally.]]
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]]. In nearly every book. In ''Fool Moon'' he basically ''uses up his magic''-- and that's ''before'' he even has a chance to confront the pack of werewolves he came to fight.
** Played with in ''Turn Coat'': While it's really obvious that he can barely stand (numerous bandages, about to fall over from lack of sleep, and what have you) and he's hopelessly outnumbered, none of the [[spoiler:other Wardens]] want to attack him because [[ShroudedInMyth they've all heard about]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome the crazy crap he's pulled]] when he's running on nothing but sheer bloodymindedness.
** Subverted in ''Changes'', [[spoiler: where the traditional early book injury is his back being broken, leaving him completely unable to fight or even move his legs. He accepts [[DealWithTheDevil Mab's offer to be the Winter Knight]], and for once goes into the fight not just fresh but stronger than he was when the book started.]]
** The [[TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles RPG rulebook]] lampshades it. Harry asks why all the pictures of him show him beat to crap. Billy says it's because they're pictures of him on the case, and when he's on a case he's usually beat to crap. A little later on, Harry singles out one picture from a case file where he's not all beat up--only for Billy to point out it's from early in the case, and there's already a visible bruise on Harry's face.
* Old literary example: In ''Literature/{{Ivanhoe}},'' the title character Wilfred of Ivanhoe meets Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert as challenger in a trial by combat despite barely being able to maintain his seat in the saddle due to severe wounds from a tournament earlier. [[spoiler: Then Bois-Guilbert has a stroke and falls dead despite not even being touched by Ivanhoe's lance. This is of course taken as a sign from God.]]
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'', [[spoiler: Death-eaters are able to attack Hogwarts only because Dumbledore is severely weakened-- likewise he is also able to be killed by Snape for this reason]]
** Although in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'', [[spoiler: it's revealed that this killing arranged by Dumbledore and Snape themselves, it still was only believable because Dumbledore was in a severely-weakened state).]]
** Ron fits this trope literally in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban Prisoner of Azkaban]]''. His leg is broken and he still gets up [[GoThroughMe to protect Harry]] from an escaped convict (curse the movie for removing it).
* ''Literature/NorthernLights'': Lyra sets up a fight-to-the-death between Iorek Byrnison and the usurper of the throne of the Armored Bears, Iofur, in a last ditch effort to help Iorek, only to realize later that Iorek, after a battle with cliff-ghasts and days of journeying through the tundra with no food and rest, will not be in the best condition to fight. The alethiometer eventually [[EmpathicWeapon gets tired of telling her]] she has nothing to worry about.
* In Creator/TadWilliams' ''Literature/{{Otherland}}'', Orlando Gardiner spends much of the story in this state, because he is suffering from a [[LittlestCancerPatient terminal disease]] in real life. Ironically, he should be the strongest of all the characters, since his [[DigitalAvatar online persona]] is a [[TheBigGuy strapping barbarian warrior]].
* In the ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'' novel ''Literature/{{Shatterpoint}},'' Mace Windu has operated with little sleep for several days, gone through at least three separate battles that day, and been stabbed in the stomach with a lightsaber, and finds himself wobbling on his feet as he faces a man twice his size and much more powerful in the Force, who already beat him senseless once. [[spoiler: it turns out the enemy's vibroblade weapons cut straight through each other, and a dead EliteMook happened to leave one where Mace can Force-throw it. The fight lasts maybe two seconds.]]
** In ''Literature/XWingSeries Starfighters of Adumar'', Wedge is preparing for a marathon session of war planning, followed by a DawnAttack, after having spent the whole night running, flying, and sneaking out of a hostile city. [[NumberTwo His XO Tycho]] gently points out that this is a bad idea.
-->'''Tycho:''' Get some sleep, Wedge.
* In the Creator/DaleBrown novel ''Flight of the Old Dog'', the titular AirstrikeImpossible ''starts'' with the titular CoolPlane already damaged from a takeoff under enemy fire, with its operators not at 100% due to needs must, and gets into steadily worse straits along the way, including damaged/malfunctioning engines, compromised fuel tanks and failing sensors.
* Literature/HonorHarrington does this in ''Flag in Exile'' where after the best part of three days of awake activity, being shot out of the sky, having a bomb go off next to her, and being in a life-or death duel, she still has to fight her ship. Good thing she sits in her command chair.
** Also an example: ''that duel itself.'' She was already a wreck when she staggered into the Parliament session to denounce the BigBad in front of everybody, and ''then'' he tried to outfox her by demanding a duel when she was clearly in no state to fight. He was one of the most accomplished duelers on the planet, and she had never so much as picked up a sword until she came to Grayson. She killed him in one stroke.
* In the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' series, Raistlin Majere is a rare case of [[InvertedTrope the villain]] suffering from this. Suffering from the most severe IncurableCoughOfDeath in all of fiction because of his Test, Raistlin is almost constantly on the verge of keeling over or being blown away by a stiff breeze. Even Crysania, when she opposed him at first, sees him as a pitiable figure. And when Caramon confronts him in the Abyss, Raistlin had been burnt, stabbed, frozen, sheared and skewered to within an inch of his life, and yet Caramon still holds back. Not only because of lingering brotherly concern, but because ''even then'' Raistlin is still dangerous. 98% of his magic had been expended, but that last 2% was still enough to be worried about, not to mention his dagger of last resort that he had no compunctions to using.
* During the climactic battle in ''[[Literature/RachelGriffin The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin]]'', [[TheArchmage Dean Moth]] fights [[spoiler: a dragon]] offstage. When the protagonists do arrive on the scene some four chapters later, the duel is still going on and the dean is only standing upright because she's tied herself to a tree.
* Many of his Creator/DavidGemmell's prominent heroes continue to kick ass literally until the moment of death, and certainly some time after the moment of mere fatal wounding. A special mention must go to Ananis from ''Literature/TheKingBeyondTheGate'', who after taking a boar spear in the back grabs another (ten-foot tall monster) opponent and skewers him to death with the spear head that is sticking out of his chest.
* ''Literature/WordsOfRadiance'' (second book of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): In the climax, Kaladin [[spoiler:has a broken leg, multiple internal injuries, and gets a few ribs broken when a [[PoweredArmor Shardbearer]] punches him in the gut. But he still stands between Elhokar and Moash]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* When ''Series/{{Angel}}'' loses his soul for the umpteenth time, his sidekick calls in [[TheAtoner fallen Slayer]] Faith to hunt him down. This might have been a short fight, since Angel has a long record of getting soundly beaten every time he fights a Slayer (Faith herself managed to bounce him ''off the ceiling'' while attempting SuicideByCop) so before the big fight she gets beaten to a bloody pulp by TheJuggernaut. Oh, and [[spoiler: gives herself a massive dose of magical opiates]]. She still nearly beats him, because Slayers are just that badass.
* Played straight in the original ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'' series episode "Lost Planet of the Gods" two-parter.
-->'''Lt. Boomer''': Colonel, Blue Squadron reporting for duty, sir.
-->'''Col. Tigh''': Lieutenant, obviously you can't even stand.
-->'''Lt. Boomer''': A Viper is flown from the ''seated'' position, sir.
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer,'' Buffy gets a rather cool line in the season four opener:
-->'''[[MonsterOfTheWeek Sunday]]:''' What about breaking your arm, (''grabs at Buffy's left arm'') how'd that feel.
-->''[[TheHero Buffy]]:'' Let me answer that with a head butt. (''she does and sends Sunday staggering'') And for the record, the arm is ''hurt,'' (''punches Sunday, sending her flying'') not broken.
* In ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', when Shaw has taken over the Buy More and has chained Sarah to a thick bar at the base of the Nerd Herd desk, Sarah tells Shaw that Chuck won't show up to save her because [[YouCanBarelyStand he can barely stand.]] Yet, lo, and behold, Chuck shows up while injured, gets a [[HeroicSecondWind reboot]], and [[TechnicalPacifist takes the Paragon Path]] when he won't kill Shaw. [[ActionGirlfriend Of course that doesn't stop Sarah from whacking him across the skull with the object of her restraint.]]
* Booth on ''Series/{{Bones}},'' in "Two Bodies In The Lab", after he's injured by the fridge bomb. He leaves the hospital against medical advice and makes Hodgins take him to where he realizes Brennan is being held. He can barely stay on his feet, but manages to stop the corrupt FBI agent and save Brennan. After which, he has to go back to the hospital.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Very common in ProfessionalWrestling: the {{heel}} weakens the {{face}} before the big title match by getting his friends to beat him up, or forcing the face to have another match just before the title match, usually a handicap match, hardcore match or another grueling type. (This is referred to as the "Spirit of '76" spot, when the bandaged and battered face comes staggering out for the match anyway.)
** More commonly used now since the advent of the Money In The Bank match, which gives the winner the right to challenge the champion [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle at any time]], even right after a grueling title match where the title holder has been beaten brutally. Use of it this way often starts a FaceHeelTurn for the wrestler who wins the title this way.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* One does wonder about people like [[TheDeterminator Commissar Yarrick]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', who have special abilities that allow them to stand up with one Wound left after being killed.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** Link gets a moment like this near the end of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker''. After Link [[spoiler: meets up with Ganondorf for his last battle, the Gerudo rushes over and beats the stuffing out of Link. Thankfully, Zelda awakens, and the fight soon commences.]] Then, at the end of his [[spoiler:sword-to-swordfight with Ganondorf and some assistance from Zelda]], Link [[spoiler:sends the Master Sword through Ganondorf's head, jumps back, and proceeds to bend over and collapse into the approaching Zelda's arms.]] But after a fight like that, who wouldn't be tired?
** The final retrievable memory of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' shows [[spoiler:a very battered and exhausted Link defending Zelda from a huge wave of Guardians with a rusted and decayed Master Sword. Zelda is fortunately able to awaken her RoyaltySuperPower at this moment of desperation to deactivate all the Guardians, but Link ultimately falls after that, requiring Zelda to have him placed in the [[HealingVat Shrine of Resurrection]] for the next century to heal.]]
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty''
** ''Modern Warfare'' ends with your character taking multiple air-to-surface missiles to the face, leaving you in a half-unconscious state as the BigBad walks over and starts gunning down your squadmates one by one. Your dying captain tosses you his sidearm, and the game's final action is a blurry slow-motion sequence where you shoot down the BigBad and his two bodyguards before they can react and kill you.
** ''Modern Warfare 2'''s climax has you falling off a few hundred foot high waterfall after shooting down the BigBad's helicopter. You recover, limping and badly injured, just in time for a hand-to-hand CQC fight with the Big Bad who is in much better condition following the crash.
** ''Modern Warfare 3'''s ending has you storm a gigantic Hotel highrise chasing after [[BigBad Makarov]]. As per usual in the Modern Warfare series you lose your weaponry (due to almost falling off the building), are critically injured (due to hijacking the escape helicopter but crashing it), and have to kill the BigBad with basic weaponry (except this time you have to do it with your bare hands!)
* The final mission in ''Project Snowblind'' disables all the cool nanotech powers your character spent the game building up... but you're still left with standard FPS character MadeOfIron durability, and there aren't many enemies in the last level anyway.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'': [[spoiler: after dealing with a bad heart/rebellious nanomachines, crawling through a hallway full of microwave radiation, and barely surviving a final assault by a bunch of mini-bots, Snake is captured by Liquid Ocelot, who challenges him to one last fight to the death. To ensure that it will be a fair match, Liquid injects Snake with some awesome drug, then, as they CutscenePowerToTheMax, they continue to inject themselves with more and more of the drug, until despite their advanced ages, they are able to fight as if they were in their prime. This ''quickly'' devolves, however, to a YouCanBarelyStand battle, as, at the end, the drug wears out, and it goes from two accomplished hand-to-hand combatants duking it out to two old men savagely slugging each other with whatever power they can muster. Note that Ocelot has a good 4 life bars, one for each game in the solid series, in different styles!]]
* In the opening chapter of ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', Raiden finds himself quickly outclassed by Jetstream Sam, he cuts off his left arm and his left eye, leaving Raiden badly bleeding, barely able to stand, and unable to fight Sam. Later in the game, Sam tries to [[BreakThemByTalking break Raiden by forcing him to experience the fearful thoughts of the cyborgs he fought]], the experience leaving Raiden dazed and similarly handicapped until he awakens his SuperpoweredDarkSide.
* Amusingly used in ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness''. A villain springs one of Larharl's weaknesses, forcing you to go into a fight with his stats halved. That weakness? [[spoiler:''Giant breasts''....and speeches about love. Or giant-breasted women speaking about love.]]
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/GoldenSun''. 4 teenagers face the powerful villain Saturos in Mercury Lighthouse. Normally they would be no match for him, but the Mercury (Water) [[ElementalRockPaperScissors energy]] drastically weakens Saturos's Mars (Fire) [[PsychicPowers Psynergy]] and gives [[TheMedic Mia]], who is a Mercury Adept, Psy Point regeneration. Still a somewhat challenging boss fight.
** Later in the game, at Venus Lighthouse, you fight Saturos and his partner Menardi to prevent them from lighting the lighthouse. Due to your massive increase in strength since the previous fight at Mercury, you defeat them with (relative) ease. After the fight, Mia actually says outright, "You can barely stand," in response to a comment from the injured Saturos. [[FusionDance Cue Mia eating her words, dragon style.]] This trope, but with the roles reversed.
** The sequel ''Lost Age'' also has two incidents of this trope After the fight with replacement baddies Agatio and Karst atop the Jupiter Lighthouse. Regardless of how the fight goes, they're forced to make a hasty retreat because the fight with Felix and Co. took to much out of them, and the heroes from the last game are on their way up. Once the villains leave, Issac and co. arrive a tense standoff ensues between the two teams (long story). Ivan defuses the situation by suggesting they return to the local village to resolve things, as both teams are too tired to fight.
* By the time the last fight in video game ''[[VideoGame/DefJamSeries Def Jam: Fight for New York]]'' comes around, your character has done the CharlesAtlasSuperpower power-ups for so long he has become a virtually MadeOfIron fighting machine, so fighting the cowardly ManipulativeBastard BadBoss who has never shown any sign of having any fighting ability seems like it should be pretty anti-climactic... except that he stabs you in the back with a cane sword before the bout begins, significantly lowering your health.
** And Crow isn't exactly a lightweight in the ring, either. (figuratively speaking; It ''is'' still Snoop Dog.)
* This happens in the fight with Incarose in ''VideoGame/TalesOfHearts'', when other characters tell Shing to step down because of his recent state of being stabbed through the stomach. The weird thing is, you can't even put him in your party that fight. The lines are only known about because of the Sound Museum, although hacking him in does trigger the lines and even the victory animation.
* At the end of ''VideoGame/SleepingDogs'' the player is seriously injured in a massive explosion just before confronting the BigBad. As a result, in the final fight you're too injured to attack, and can only fight by countering.
* In the final sequence of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'', [[spoiler:Connor is severely injured and unable to fight; his opponent, however, is equally injured and so the two enemies are reduced to staring at each other across a tavern table]].

* Gilgamesh Wulfenbach in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20080310 here.]] Near passing out at the start of the fight.
* In ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'', Vorstellen Policeman Benjamin Prester [[http://project-apollo.net/mos/mos416.html ends up]] [[http://project-apollo.net/mos/mos419.html invoking this]] from Dr. Haas to treat the latter's ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder.
* In ''Webcomic/KillSixBillionDemons'', the PhysicalGoddess Mother Om [[http://killsixbilliondemons.com/comic/wielder-of-names-6-118/ taunts her rival, recently-empowered sorority girl Allison]], with a variation: not only can't she stand, our heroine is so frightened she can hardly ''speak''. And yet... (Lampshaded by at least one reader, who notes in the comments that this is the surest way to make one's foe get up again.)

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Chevalier, [[spoiler:leader of the [[SuperTeam Protectorate]]]], is hospitalized after an assassination attempt that involved carving out his guts with a high-intensity cutting laser. Having just undergone major surgery to stabilize him, Chevalier awakens to find that in his absence the defense against [[Kaiju Behemoth]] has gone poorly, with the city of New Delhi almost destroyed and most of the defending superheroes injured or dead. After getting some information on Behemoth's weaknesses from [[AwesomenessByAnalysis Tattletale]], Chevalier grabs his sword, limps out of the hospital, charges Behemoth-a forty-five foot tall horned abomination that can instantly kill anything within thirty meters-and then ''hurts him badly enough to make him run.''
** [[spoiler:Khepri]] pulls this off late in the series, due to [[HeroicRROD mental]] rather than physical damage. Terrifyingly enough, this doesn't make them any less dangerous.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''. Specifically Dinobot's CrowningMomentOfAwesome where Megatron speaks these lines verbatim when Dinobot, after a long battle with several other Predacons is reduced to using a large stick against an upgraded Megatron. Of course, Dinobot "improvises" and [[RockBeatsLaser smashes Megatron with a makeshift hammer]].
* In the very-first episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats}}'', the Mutants invade the Thundarian flagship, seeking to steal the Sword of Omens, and particularly the Eye Of Thundara set in its hilt. When they find it, it lies in the hands of a young Lion-O, and when he tries to threaten them, they laughingly reply that "You can barely hold that sword, much less lift it." Which is, of course, the sword's cue to [[PowerGlows start glowing]]. Moments later, Lion-O is swinging the full-sized sword around despite his young age, and the Mutants are running scared.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' in the Scotsman's debut episode. After Jack and the Scotsman meet each other on an extremely long bridge, their argument culminates in a duel that is show to last literally a full 24 hours. When the camera cuts back to them, Jack is on his knees, supporting himself on the bridge's rope, declaring he will hold his ground. "Hold yer ground? Ye can barely hold yer sword!" the Scotsman declares. He himself is unable to then lift his own sword.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Real life sports examples:
** Kirk Gibson was a lot closer to being crippled when he hit the game winning homerun off Dennis Eckersley in the '88 World Series. Steve Yzerman helped the Red Wings win the early series in the 2002 NHL playoffs despite having virtually no knee cartilage left. And Willis Reed famously started Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals despite a torn muscle in his thigh, which is often credited with helping rally the Knicks to victory.
** Gerry Byrne was an English soccer player famous for remaining in goal during the 1966 FA Cup Final despite having a broken collar bone.
** Another British soccer player Bert Trautmann, broke his neck in a collision in the 75th minute of the 1956 FA Cup Final. No substitutes were permitted back then, so he carried on for the remaining fifteen minutes, and even intercepted a shot. Hard bastards, these football players.
** This sort of thing is popular in sports, where people doped up on adrenaline, cortisone shots, or even just Advil and, naturally, are still competitive and don't want to abandon teammates. Even more so in contact sports like American football, rugby, and hockey, and sports where legs get tangled up frequently, like soccer and basketball.
*** QB Ben Roethlisberger played against the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl with a broken foot and nose.
*** In college, QB Byron Leftwich played with a broken leg, eventually needing his linemen to carry him down the field after successful passes.
*** Tiger Woods won the 2008 US Open through four 18 holes rounds, an 18 hole playoff, and 1 sudden death playoff hole after still being tied with Rocco Mediate after 90 holes. He did all of this with a torn ACL and double spiral fracture in his shin, which caused him to exhibit some serious trouble walking at times. Both injuries were in his left leg, which is the leg that for a righty like him absorbs a lot of torque during the downswing and follow through.
*** Michael Jordan played Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals with what was either the flu or food poisoning. Whatever the exact ailment, he could barely move the morning of the game, dragged himself out of bed at 5:30 PM that evening, an hour and a half before tip off, played 44 minutes, scored 38 points in a very close game, before needing his teammate, Scottie Pippen, to basically carry him off of the court after the final buzzer.
* Real life music example: [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]] in the March 28, 2008 Music/XJapan reunion concert. He tries to play the full set of the show that he played 11 years before, despite years away from drumming in concerts and serious injuries to his neck and back from his career as a drummer. He collapsed on his drums halfway through the last song Art of Life. He would have major neck surgery the next year in a successful bid to save his ability to play drums (and a somewhat less successful one to spare his health), and recovered to do another two tours - which were also examples of this trope, though he had no on-stage collapses, due to ongoing health issues. Nevertheless, he's planning yet another tour...
* In the 2012 Australian Open [[UsefulNotes/{{Tennis}} tennis]] final, [[UsefulNotes/{{Tennis}} Novak Djokovic]] and [[UsefulNotes/{{Tennis}} Rafael Nadal]] played such a grueling and merciless match that completely obliterated the former record for longest Grand Slam final with a length of ''six hours'' that Djokovic's dramatic collapse to the floor after a 31-ball rally in the fifth set looked like more than just his usual theatrics. To top it off, the match left both Djokovic and Nadal so physically drained afterwards that [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhCzXwdUs_U they visibly struggled to stay upright during the lengthy closing speech]] with Nadal having to lean on the net for support and Djokovic all but on his knees before chairs were brought out for them.
* At the 1996 Olympics, U.S. gymnast Kerri Strug performed her second vault attempt with a third-degree lateral sprain and tendon damage in one ankle. She landed on both feet, but stood on one foot while saluting the judges. After receiving a score of 9.712 (clinching the gold medal for her team), she collapsed to the mat and had to be carried to the medals podium.
* During the second Siege of Osaka at the end of the UsefulNotes/SengokuJidai, UsefulNotes/SanadaYukimura fought a desperate battle against Tokugawa Ieyasu's army. Outnumbered, Yukimura took so many injuries that by the time he had an opening to attack Tokugawa head-on, he was too exhausted to even stand. Realizing he could no longer fight, Yukimura welcomed Tokugawa's army to take his head, thus ending the siege on Osaka Castle, and with it, the Warring States era of Japanese history.