You Fight Like a Cow
aka: Adding Insult To Injury
Cutting implements and cutting remarks
Two characters are fighting, probably with swords or fists. They're also engaged in Witty Banter
or Volleying Insults
or, perhaps, having a discussion
on fighting technique
, the meaning of life, what they had for lunch
, or why new music is so awful. In comics (and comic-based cartoons), this is typically referred to as "quipping" and is standard operational procedure for most heroes. Except Batman
Common when the action sequences need some dialog. If done right, the dialog is more memorable than the action, and will probably be quoted incessantly. This is also a common trick of the Warrior Therapist
. Luckily for them Talking Is a Free Action
, so they're never short of breath or time (and can hear each other clearly over all the crashing and punching and loud gunshots
If an insult's delivered just before the killing stroke, see Pre-Mortem One-Liner
. If a few moments later, see Bond One-Liner
See My Grandma Can Do Better Than You
and My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad
for similar insults.
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Anime & Manga
- Spider-Man may not use a sword, but nevertheless, he's the master of the fighting quip. This is greatly amplified in the Ultimate Spider-Man incarnation, likely because he is a teenager, making him more of a wiseass and more terrified. How he is able to talk this much while performing superhuman acrobatics without taking so much as a breath is another mystery, though of course, Talking Is a Free Action.
- Word of God has it that he quips so much because he's horribly horribly scared and running off at the mouth keeps him distracted from that. Other writers suggest that he does it out of boredom: he perceives everything as moving slower and uses jokes and one-liners to kill time. Either way, it serves the purpose of taunting the enemy so that they target him rather than civilians.
- Spider-Man and Ronin (formerly Hawkeye) were members of The Avengers simultaneously. Spidey was taken aback that somebody was horning in on his quipping racket, but Clint basically says "tough, I like to quip, too."
- When the New Avengers went to Japan, Luke Cage is thrown over a balcony by ninjas. Being Nigh Invulnerable, he not only survives, he finds the bright side — while he was running back up, Spidey "ran out of material."
- The Spider-Girl series had the title character realize this as a sort of automatic coping mechanism. When she came upon scenes that should have horrified her and left her shocked and speechless; if she just made a quick joke about the whole situation and thus help herself treat it less seriously, she could focus on the bad guy. In an early situation, while dodging a teleporting baddie's fire, the second-person narration points out that her dad would, according to legend, be throwing out jokes, but she knows she'd only be able to manage "a cracked voice and a few stuttering comments."
- Venom from Earth X isn't so good at it, perhaps because her father refuses to have anything to do with her crime fighting. Later, once they've reconciled, he begins training her at it.
- The 'regular' Spider-Man occasionally comments on this too. In the eighties he suddenly realized that as the villains were killing people, he was wisecracking.
- When Mary Jane temporarily appeared dead a few years ago, Spider-Man beat down a group of small-time criminals without saying a word. The last of them fled in terror, realizing that something was seriously wrong.
- Averted by the Spider-Man of 2099 — In his civilian guise, Miguel O'Hara constantly spouts snide comments, but when he puts the mask on, he gets very quiet (at least early in his career...) The man is damn scary when he stops quipping.
- She-Hulk, a fellow Lighter and Softer (of sorts) superheroine is also a frequent quipper. When Spidey appeared early on in her revived title, with her serving as his lawyer in a suit against J. Jonah Jameson, he even mentions that they enjoy quipping together. (This is also the source of the panel where Spidey claims JJJ hates him because "he's black".)
- Deadpool, being an lunatic who knows he's in a comic book, has some truly... interesting... battle banter which often derails into stream-of-consciousness rambling about something completely unrelated (even as he handily beats the stuffing out of his opponent.) In fact, it's speculated by some characters that he does this on purpose to distract his opponents. Several characters, at least, have had lines like, "What are you talking about?" cut off by a blow to the face from Deadpool.
- Given that Spider-Man and Deadpool are the masters of this trope within the Marvel universe, it should come as no surprise that they utilize this to the fullest when they meet up in Amazing Spider-Man #611, which writer Joe Kelly describes as "a fight that very quickly degenerates into a 'your mother is' joke contest."
- Deadpool has at least one voice in his head that he converses with; often he has two or more. As a result, he is one of the only comic book characters who can give "fight like a cow" insults to himself.
- On the villain side, The Joker. Whatever hero he meets or situation Batman finds him in, he's always got some quip to deliver as they square off for the fight... often centered around the people he's just slaughtered or, in some cases, people important to the hero he's killed in the past. He'll often even give running commentary on the beating he's being handed, sometimes as a lead-in to a Breaking Speech.
- Defied by Sodam Yat in Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War when he's fighting Superman-Prime:
Sodam Yat: I don't trade quips, insults or banter. I'm Corps, not a comedian.
- Superman-Prime himself tries to do this... but he's not good at it.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
- Knives attacks Ramona and manages to score a shallow cut on her face:
- Scott himself, however, sucks at battle quips:
Scott: Shut up, you... guy!
Wallace: Better comebacks, Scott!
- Sin City has this exchange between Wallace and Manute:
Manute: You're quick. I should've brought a fly swatter.
Wallace: You should've brought an army.
- Part of Nightwing's stock in trade.
- Even when Dick was Robin, he was an expert in strings of witty quips. Even the other Robins seem to have picked this up.
- It seems to be a habit of the Robins. However Tim Drake (third Robin and now Red Robin) seems to have dropped it and was never really that witty to begin with. Damian Wayne (4th or 5th Robin, depending on the continuity), throws insults in a Sophisticated as Hell sort of way. Jason Todd (second Robin and Red Hood) seems to give Dick a good run for his money. He does throws a lot of smack talk at his opponents (like Nightwing) as a way to get them emotional or distract them. The real difference is that Nightwing does it in a lighter and more playful manner. Jason's witty quips are darker and more sadistic.
- Defied in an issue of Generation X, where X-Cutioner explicitly tells Skin that he is "not interested in engaging [him] in a witty repartee."
- While he doesn't do it a lot in the games, Sonic, being the resident Motor Mouth, does this quite a bit in the comics. 90% of the time it's as simple as an Incredibly Lame Pun derived from his opponent's name.
- He does it often enough that in issue 48, it was explicitly noted by the narration that he wasn't running off at the mouth during a fight.
- By extension, Scourge also does it quite a bit as well.
- Tails also shows signs of picking up this habit from time to time.
Films — Animation
- In The Road to El Dorado:
Miguel: You fight like my sister!
Tulio: Ah ha! I've fought your sister! That's a compliment!
- In Animalympics, when The Contessa confronts the crooked fencer Count Bordeaux:
Bordeaux: You'll never fence again!
Contessa: You've never fenced before!
- Pretty ludicrously done in the eighth script draft for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. The Doctor from the Hospital scene runs in with an M-16. A Canadian steps in front of him; the doctor shoots and blows the Canadian's head clean off.
Dr. Gauche: Hey, pal, don't lose your head.
(suddenly, the ticket guy's chest rips open. He falls dead, and standing behind him is a Canadian with a double-barreled shotgun)
Canadian Soldier: I'm glad you got that off your chest.
(Tom, the Rhinoplasty surgeon, leaps in and stabs the Canadian through the head with his bayonet.)
Tom: I guess he got the point.
(a Canadian rushes in and machine-guns Tom full of holes)
Canadian Soldier 2: Plastics are a cheap and efficient insulator for electrical applications.
- Po vs. the Wolf Boss in Kung Fu Panda 2:
Wolf Boss: Is that all you got? 'Cause it feels like I'm fighting a big, old, fluffy cloud!
Po: Well this cloud is about to bring the thunder!
- Averted in Megamind.
[fighting Titan] Now it's time for some witty back-and-forth banter! You go first! Titan: AAARRRRGGGGHHHH! Megamind:
Okay, I don't know where to go with that...
- Spoofed in Sev Trek: Pus in Boots when Captain Pinchard is fighting his Evil Twin.
Evil Pinchard: You fight like a girl!
Good Pinchard: Oh yeah? Well you look like a... never mind.
Films — Live-Action
- The famous Inigo/Westley duel in The Princess Bride, where the two duelists discuss swordsmanship styles and dexterity as they fight, may be the most well-known example. Interestingly, though the fighting itself is pure Flynning, the various techniques they claim to be using (Bonetti's Defense, Capo Ferro, etc.) all include the names of real fencing masters.
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights, the Mel Brooks parody of Robin Hood stories, featured Cary Elwes reprising his role as Westley... complete with similar quipping swordplay. His archenemy the Sheriff of Rottingham attempts this and fails...every time.
- The swashbuckling films of Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (and Jr.) were rife with this trope.
- The 1937 Prisoner of Zenda includes a particularly delicious example between Fairbanks Jr. (as a villain) and Ronald Colman. And of course any film in which Flynn crosses swords with Basil Rathbone is bound to feature outstanding examples of the trope.
- The title heroes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films indulge in this with Michaelangelo and Donatello being the prime offenders.
- The Curse of the Black Pearl features a short exchange of witty banter between Jack Sparrow and Will Turner, and the series only builds on the banter from there. Indeed, at many points in the trilogy one can discern who has the advantage in a fight by paying attention to who gets the better lines.
- The three lightsaber duels in the original Star Wars trilogy use this, with A New Hope having the most and Return of the Jedi having the least. The prequels are pretty devoid of it though.
- Galaxy Quest's (mostly) fake fight in the airlock consists of trading insults ("Raving egomaniac!" "scene-stealing hack!") and (mostly) fake punches ("You used to pull your punches") while maneuvering into position to grab a blunt object.
- The beginning of the third Librarian movie, Curse of the Judas Chalice, has an excellent example of this, with Flynn and the villain du jour dueling on stairs while critiquing each other's technique.
- In Woody Allen's feature-length Gag Dub, Whats Up Tiger Lily, the hero shouts nonsensical insults such as, "Russian dog! Spanish fly!" at his opponents.
- Plenty of this happens in martial arts spoof Tongan Ninja, most notably when Action Fighter quips: "You fight like a baby... a dead baby!"
- In Kuffs during a standoff with some bad guys:
Bad guy: (paraphrased) There's more of us than them! Let's get them! (he is promptly shot by Kuffs' partner)
Kuffs: Well, now we know that he [the bad guy] can add, and he [indicates his partner] can subtract..."
- The duel between Mina and Dorian Grey in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is Better on DVD because A) the version in the deleted scenes lasts longer and B) the double entendres are hilarious.
- In The Deluge (1974 polish film), Kmita, robber and murderer, kidnapped a noblewoman, with whom he fell in love. He barricaded them in a house and threatened besiegers that he would blow up the house with a barrel of powder. Col. Volodyovski forced him to duel, offering Kmita freedom if he wins. But Kmita quickly realised that he met his match.
Col. Volodyovski: You strike like a man with a flail!
Kmita: Finish - spare the shame!
- Most of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer crew get a shot at it, as they're living in a World of Snark.
- Spoofed with the Buffybot, when Willow tries to make it as much like Buffy as possible but messes up the "quipping" feature, resulting in the likes of "That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!"
- And lampshaded in the first Season 3 episode that showed the rest of the crew trying to get on with the slayage without her. Willow, after a really bad one :
Willow: Well, w-w-well, the Slayer always says a pun, or-or a witty play on words, and, I think it throws the vampires off! And, and it makes them frightened, because I'm wisecracking. Okay, I didn't really have a chance to work on that one, but you try it every time!
- Also, in season 5, during the fight with Olaf the troll. "You're as inadequate a troll as you were a man and even the women trolls hate you." or something like that.
- Lampshaded into a Crowning Moment Of Awesome by Buffy herself:
Buffy: If I were at full slayer strength, I'd be punning right now.
- Lampshaded when Buffy finds herself up against a female vampire whose as good as she is, including snark-wise. One of her henchvamps asks if they're going to fight or just have a monster sarcasm rally.
- Kurenai Otoya from Kamen Rider Kiva tends to quip a lot when fighting as IXA.
- A lot of characters in the Power Rangers franchise like to chat while they fight, but the undefeated masters of this has to be the Ninja Storm Rangers who sometimes layer jokes and quips so thick it's like Spider-Man times six.
- Kaamelott's weaponmaster does not hesitate to insult the king while sparring with him. Arthur is usually not amused, doesn't really see the point though the weaponmaster does try and get him to throw insults around. He finally gets his way... only for Arthur to say something which he finds really, really offensive.
- Star Trek: Enterprise: In "In a Mirror, Darkly", Mirror Universe Hoshi and T'Pol exchange jibes during a knife/fist fight.
Hoshi: I was hoping you'd put up a fight.
T'Pol: I'm surprised you're not exhausted from all the beds you've jumped into recently.
Hoshi: Commander Tucker told me I should give you a few pointers in that area.
- Deep Space Nine. In "Way of the Warrior" Garak is beaten up by Klingon soldiers.
Bashir: They broke seven of your transverse ribs and fractured your clavicle.
Garak: Ah, but I got off several cutting remarks that no doubt did serious damage to their egos.
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Chefs often do this in the middle of the round. The exchanges often go like this:
Chef 1: How is that dish working out for you, eh? You can't cook without the thing which I took away.
Chef 2: Oh, this is nothing. I can make a better dish out of these. I can't imagine cooking with with those eggs.
Chef 1: These may be stink bombs now, but that won't stop me.
- Firefly: "War Stories" when Niska has Mal and Wash abducted and tortured. The two of them frustrate Niska by ignoring him and arguing with each other throughout the torture session, bantering and needling each other in between jolts of electricity.
- Sporting Trash Talk can take this form. This exchange from an Australia vs England Cricket match:
Merv Hughes: You can't fucking bat.
Robin Smith: (after smashing Hughes' next delivery to the boundary) Hey, Merv, we make a great pair. I can't fucking bat and you can't fucking bowl.
- This one from a county game:
Greg Thomas: (after Viv Richards completely missed his delivery) It's red, round and weighs about 5 ounces.
Viv Richards: (after hitting Greg's next delivery out of the ground) Greg, you know what it looks like. Go ahead and find it!
- A classic cricket exchange:
Glen Mc Grath: Why are you so fat?
Eddo Brandes: Because every time I make love to your wife, she gives me a biscuit.
- 7th Sea is made of this trope, the description of the game world is "Where a cutting remark is as sharp as any blade." The game has a Repartee system that includes taunts (making a flourish and then forcing an opponent to make an equally impressive flourish) and intimidation (depriving opponents of dice), to the point that some swordsman schools are built around it. For example, one gives the player an extra action each turn that can only be used to taunt his foe.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- In the 4th edition, the Bard class is a master of this trope. And since their puns and insults are actually magical attacks, it is possible for a Bard to insult someone to death. Not so spoony now, eh?
- This is very likely derived from some prestige classes in some third edition settings (like the musketeer class in D20 Past) who gain the ability to automatically confirm critical hits if their player can come up with a witty, relevant and previously unused remark (or a cheap pun, you know whatever) to go with the attack. Like stabbing a vampire and saying "Looks like the stakes were too high." (We're ignoring the fact that vampires cannot be critically hit.) See the The Order of the Stick reference below.
- 3.5 edition had the Jester class, which was like the Bard but more focused on taunting the enemy into submission with insulting jokes than inspiring allies with heroic songs.
- In GURPS, there is an advantage called Rapier Wit, which enables its user to stun an opponent with a well-chosen remark. And it is a free action.
- Mutants & Masterminds has the Taunt Feat, which allows a character to use their Bluff Skill to lower an opponent's defenses.
- The True20 system adds an ability to the Bluff skill called Conversational Paralysis, in which you say something so flat-out ridiculous that your opponent can do nothing but spend their next turn marveling at how wrong you are.
- Vampire: The Requiem has a bloodline called the Spina who can gain combat advantages against opponents they've engaged in dialogue. At their power's highest level they can injure opponents just by insulting them.
- Deadlands allows three social actions to hinder opponents in combat: staredowns (i.e. give 'em the old steel eyed glare and get them pecker heads quaking in their boots), bluffing to keep them off balance, and mocking them into doing something stupid.
- Averted (though the trope apparently hadn't been invented yet) in the climactic duel in Macbeth:
Macbeth: Of all men else I have avoided thee: but get thee back; my soul is too much charged with blood of thine already.
Macduff: I have no words: My voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain than terms can give thee out!
- Older than Television: Cyrano de Bergerac in Rostand's play, while fighting a duel, made up an insulting poem about how he was going to kill his opponent during the last line. He did.
Hark, how the steel rings musical!
Mark how my point floats, light as the foam,
Ready to drive you back to the wall,
Then, as I end the refrain, thrust home!
- In Improbable Island it is possible to learn a skill that allows you to fight and kill enemies simply by insulting them.
- The trope name is taken from the above Monkey Island quotation; in that game, the results of sword fights are based entirely on insults, with lots of Flynning between barbs. As the game's sword fighting instructor put it, sword fighting is a lot like making love: It doesn't really matter what you do, but what you say.
- In later games things get more... interesting... In the third game the fights all take place at sea, so all insults and comebacks have to rhyme. By the fourth, everything is based around insulting: Insult Darts, Insult Mudwrestling, Insult Arm Wrestling, and the Big Bad is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who goes around performing hostile property takeovers by challenging everyone into playing insult games with him. Naturally, he wins every time because no-one can make heads or tails of his Australian insult vocabulary. The latter half of the game even centers on finding the Ultimate Insult and using it to power up a monkey-shaped Humongous Mecha.
- Also in later games, the line "You fight like a cow" itself reappears as a Running Gag. Generally the player has the option to respond "Oh yeah? Well you fight like a cow!" or something similar when he feels he's been insulted, and is usually told either that his material is stale or he's using the line out of context.
- It's also a Running Gag in the original game — it appears as a dialogue option (used completely out of context) in a couple of situations, one of which gets him the response "You never did know when to use that one."
- It also turns up in non-LucasFilm games, such as A Tale Of Two Kingdoms, where you can use insult sword fighting against Rashakk the Goblin Warlord. Turns out he's better at it, though.
- There's a Shout-Out to it after the tutorial battle in Jade Empire, where you can tell a fellow student he fights like a cow.
- It should be noted that the insults were written by none other than Orson Scott Card.
- In Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush tries using it on Morgan LeFlay. She responds by cutting off your hand.
- It comes back with a particularly dark twist in Chapter 4. After Guybrush is killed, LeChuck tells Elaine she waves her sword around like a dairy farmer, and Elaine replies with the no-longer-funny "How appropriate... you fight like a Pox-infected undead cow."
- Also comes back with a twist in Chapter 5. In the Crossroads, Guybrush tries to cheer up Morgan LeFlay's spirit and ends up getting in a fight with the ghost of an overzealous sword fighter. So you have to simultaneously compliment Morgan and insult your opponent.
- Ron Gilbert said that the creative team often watched 1930s swashbuckling movies for inspiration and noticed the abundance of taunts. This fit the game way better than originally planned arcade sequences.
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
- ALL Spideys have nice quips during battles and while traveling, making the game a perfect way to show the differences between Spideys. Amazing Spidey has the best lines, full Deadpan Snarker mode on. Ultimate Spidey has a Motor Mouth that won't shut up, combined with lame puns and bad jokes that are still endearing. Noir Spidey may not talk a lot, as he's almost always on stealth mode, but he has nice Bond One Liners all the way. 2099 Spidey jokes more often than not (unlike his comic book counterpart), but he still has good quips during serious fights.
- Deadpool is one of the funniest characters on the whole game, completely crazy and talking all the way. However, he just. won't. SHUT. UP. Most players would like to keep playing the level to hear all of Pool's jokes, or break his mouth to STOP HIM TO TALK AGAIN.
- Shin Megami Tensei games often have the Taunt move, which increases the opponents' Attack through the roof, while dropping their Defense values to nothing.
- Wing Commander lets you insult enemy pilots using your fighter's communications system. This is actually an important tactic — insult them enough, and they attack you instead of whatever you're protecting.
- The Kilrathi have their own witty ripostes, like "A proper fate for a coward!" or "I will eat your heart and spit it out, Terran!" and "Sad, that I must litter space with ape corpses!" Kilrathi ace Baron Baktosh nar Kiranka is notorious for his exceptionally insulting taunts.
- The Elder Scrolls
- Knights of the Old Republic 2 has the last duel with Sion, which is punctuated by short conversations in which you try to weaken his resolve.
- Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 gives all creatures and characters with human vocal capabilities a few one-liners they spout off at random during combat, so two characters will do this in a duel if it lasts long enough.
- Morte, of Planescape: Torment, actually has a special ability directed related to his ability to cuss someone out. If they fail their save, they are enraged and attempt to attack him in melee. So, fired at a D&D style spell caster... Even better the save to resist actually becomes harder the higher the target's intelligence score, presumably on the basis that dumb characters won't understand most of the taunts.
- The "Provoke" ability in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance works similarly—use it successfully on an enemy, and they'll only be able to use the "move" and "attack" commands, with the former primarily serving to bring them close enough for the latter. However, they also get a bonus to attack damage.
- The Pkunk in Star Control II insult their enemies to make ammunition. Yes. Really. You actually have to do this in-game.
- "Baby! Jerk! Stupid! Dummy! Fool!"
- Also, in order to get either Tanaka or his brother Katana to join you, you must, despite how you are supposed to keep a cool head with almost every other sentient race in the game, insult him constantly, retreat, rinse, and repeat, until he realizes that you are not a Ur-Quan Dreadnought. Or as the Melnorme put it, try to talk to them on their own level.
- You can hail any ship you encounter and speak to them, even ones who intend to attack you no matter what. The dialog tree pretty much always contains some insult that will result in instant combat. Ironically the Pkunk (the race which uses this trope as an actual gameplay mechanic) is an aversion; you need them on your side to proceed, so no matter how much you insult them, they will never take offense and fight you.
- Near the end of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, you insult-duel a wizened old pirate to convince him that you're someone else.
- Kingdom of Loathing has Insult Beer Pong, a Shout-Out to Monkey Island. In order to win, you need to buy The Big Book of Pirate Insults and use it against pirates, and each time they embarrass you with a witty comeback, it's added to the list of retorts you can use during Insult Beer Pong. "You fight like a cow" is one of the default insults that don't work.
- The starship flight sim Darkstar One featured an actual button for you to taunt your enemies. Of course, this was taking your concentration away from shooting them, meaning it was best reserved for when you were coated in turrets.
- If any Fighting Game uses the concept of having the characters briefly have particular conversations with one another before the battle at all there is a strong chance that this will happen at least once.
- Paper Mario featured The Master saying that Mario "fights like a plumber." In case you forgot, Mario is a plumber.
- The Mortal Kombat series has Shao Khan, who insults you (or laughs) often during a match (usually after knocking you down). In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, when you could finally play as him, these moves were still there, as taunts.
- Wet has a load of Cluster F Bombs amongst some genuinely funny barbs.
- Batman: Arkham Asylum:
- Mooks frequently says things like "You fight like a girl" and you "fight like a old man", thankfully a punch can interrupt them.
- Courtesy of the public-address system Joker spends the entire frigging game making comments like this. Punching the Joker square in the jaw at the end of the game is one of the most satisfying moments ever.
- Prototype has Captain Cross being all chatty while Mercer remains relatively silent soon after the duel begins. Depending on the player's performance against Cross, the Badass Normal will spout the appropriate lines.
- In NetHack, imps will often have lines such as "I first mistook thee for a statue, when I regarded thy head of stone," immediately following their hit messages.
- In Sleeping Dogs, Sifu Kwok will constantly belittle protagonist Wei Shen and the other students alike when Wei is in a move-training session. (There's also a separate set of lines exclusive to the introductory session.)
Sifu Kwok during the introductory session: All men must lose sometimes, but not to American tourists!
Sifu Kwok during a move-training session: You hit with the strength of a porn addict!
- In Mass Effect 3, Kai Leng often taunts Shepard during their fights. In their last fight Shepard taunts back, and Kai Leng proves he can't take what he dishes out.
Shepard: "How's the legs? Getting tired?"
Kai Leng: "You're still slow, Shepard!"
Shepard: "I'm only slow 'cause I'm not running! You ran at the Citadel! You ran at Thessia! All you can do is run!"
- In Time Gal, Reika, the Player Character, often taunts whatever is chasing her. For example, while being chased by bugs in the year 4000, she says, "This way, this way!"
- The combo breaker system in Injustice: Gods Among Us has the characters quip at each other before launching their attacks. Certain character pairings have one or more unique back and forths, which vary even more depending on which character initiates the combo breaker. Needless to say, there are a lot of them.
Lex Luthor: You look like a chicken.
Hawkgirl: And you look like an egg.
- In one episode of Red vs. Blue Caboose uses some bizarre ones, such as "Your soul is burnt and no amount of scraping will remove the black parts!" and "Your brain is a mountain of lies!" This while using what was assuredly a form of autohypnosis to turn himself into a killing machine. Sarge was quite impressed.
- One segment in This Spartan Life (A Halo 2-3 machinima series) is called Body Count and is a debate staged in a Halo competitive match where the combat flow is based on who is winning the arguments.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man proves it is possible to quip that much in real-time!
- "Group Therapy." When black-suited Spidey handily defeats the Six, he doesn't speak, prompting Dr. Octopus to comment that this time the hero is serious about what he's doing. However, Peter wakes up the next morning with no memory of the fight—the suit had used his body after he fell asleep. Thus proving that Spidey really does only shut up when he's unconscious.
- Lampshaded earlier in the series when Dr. Octopus, fed up with the one liners, asks Spider-Man if it is really necessary to quip as much as he does during the fight.
Do you ever
shut up?! Spider-Man:
Sorry, no. My fans
expect a certain amount of quippage
in every battle.
- Doubles as a Lampshade Hanging, Fandom Nod, or... something, as it came out not long after Spider-Man 3. One oft-mentioned downside to the Raimi Spidey trilogy is the absence of Spidey's trademark battle banter.
- The Green Goblin is as bad as Spider-Man in this version, matching him bad joke for bad joke.
- Venom is even worse than Spider-Man. The webslinger himself gets sick of it and screams at the symbiote/host duo to "just shut up". Venom's response: "That Spidey, he can quip it out, but he can't take it!"
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series comes close to referencing this trope by name here
Tombstone: Come down here and fight like a man!
Spider-Man: I don't suppose I could convince you to come up here and fight like a spider?
- There was one episode of Spider-Man where he loses his powers, tries to show up and deal with the bad guys, fails badly, and the bad guys conclude "This must be a fake — he didn't try to insult us."
- Used hilariously in South Park by Russel Crowe while he's beating up some random basketball players.
Russel Crowe: YOU FIGHT LIKE NORWEGIANS, YA FARIES!!
- Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond develops a tendency to taunt his opponents which differs from the normally stoic Batman. Bruce doesn't seem to mind. He uses this to great effect against the Joker, realizing that while Bruce refusing to laugh might be partially effective, the one thing the Clown King can't stand is being heckled.
- Danny Phantom
- Lampshaded when, during the episode "Beauty Marked," Danny runs out of quips while fighting a medieval executioner ghost.
Danny: Come on, Guys, cut me some slack! (pause) Hey! Another axe pun!
- From "Shades of Grey," after the ghost dog bursts into the school cafeteria:
- In one episode of Teen Titans Raven briefly fights Jinx during which Jinx says "you fight like a boy."
- In the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers episode "Mindnet", Shane Gooseman and Ryker Kilbane are fighting for Her Majesty's amusement, and Killbane is getting more and more frustrated the longer he fights.
Kilbane: You're finished! Stand still!
Shane: Fighting you is like standing still.
- In one episode of Street Fighter, Fei Long insults the crap out of Ken who replies "And you... You're a loser! But I'M... a star!"
- Avatar: The Last Airbender : In one episode, Aang taunts Admiral Zhao so Zhao will get increasingly angry and burn his fleet of river boats with errant fire blasts.
Aang: Ahoy! I'm Admiral Zhao! (proceeds to moon him)
You fight like a blade of grass!