Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.
— Old joke
"If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!"
— T-shirt quote
"The first rule of American combat doctrine appears to be to disregard all other rules of American combat doctrine if it is advantageous to do so."
— Unknown Soviet general
"The point of warfare is not to die for your country, but make the other bastard die for his!"
— General George Patton.
"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgiving by the hand, lead him to a quiet place and kill him."
Verily, thou art not paid for thy methods, but for thy results, by which meaneth thou shalt kill thine enemy before he killeth you by any means available. Thou shalt, in thy Warrior's Mind and Soul, always remember My Ultimate and Final Commandment: There Are No Rules-Thou Shalt Win At All Cost.
— The Ten Commandments of Spec War according to Richard Marcinko, Red Cell
"British Major Fairbairn, who had been chief of police in Shanghai before the Japanese capture of the city, taught the Fairbairn method of assault and murder. His course was not restricted to Camp X, but later given at OSS camps in the United States. All of us who were taught by Major Fairbairn soon realized that he had an honest dislike for anything that smacked of decency in fighting."
— Richard Dunlop, Behind Japanese Lines
Cheaters Always Prosper.
— Tyrian, with God Mode turned on
"Only cheaters prosper."
— Maxim 31, Schlock Mercenary
— Will Turner and Captain Jack Sparrow after the latter pulled out a gun in a sword fight, Pirates of the Caribbean
"One of the things a covert operative has to give up is the idea of a fair fight. Spies are not trained to fight fair. Spies are trained to win."
— Michael Westen, Burn Notice
"Only a heathen would bring a gun to a swordfight."
"And only a moron would bring a sword to a gunfight."
— Baron Vengeous and Skulduggery Pleasant, Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire
"It's called cheating. Deal with it!"
— Yami, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
"All's fair in a fight to the death."
— Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist
"I'd kill a man in a fair fight... or if I thought he was gonna start a fair fight..."
— Jayne Cobb, Firefly
"Few indeed are the maiming tricks of foul combat unknown to even the rank and file of the highly efficient Secret Service of the Triplanetary League; and Costigan, a Sector Chief of that unknown organization, knew them all. Not for pleasure, sportsmanship, nor million-dollar purses do these secret agents use Nature's weapons. They come to grips only when it cannot possibly be avoided, but when they are forced to fight in that fashion, they go into it with but one grim purpose— to kill, and to kill in the shortest possible space of time."
"When you're on your own, behind enemy lines, no artillery, no air strikes, no hope of an evac, you don't fight dirty. You do things that make dirty look good."
"I didn't bother to say, 'Don't fight fair.' In the world we share, that's the air we breathe."
"Timothy, 'fair' means I bring all my people home alive. Fuck the others."
— John Clark, Rainbow Six
"Cowardice is a term invented by those with no cunning."
— Ignoble Soldier, Magic: The Gathering
"You can wash away disgrace with results."
— Archer, Fate/stay night
"You don't win fights by being a strong man or a clever boxer. You win by being more willing to permanently fuck up the other guy."
Huntress: Did I just see you cheating?
— JLA #38
Inmate: Now, you're gonna want to poke the guy's eyes out so he can't see the fight...
Mentor: Dude, the kid is in high school.
Inmate: Oh. Then you're gonna have to fight dirty.
Solid Snake: Stealth is just as important in victory as courage.
Dante: What's that supposed to mean?
Solid Snake: Well, picture this: You're surrounded in a room, and the enemy knows you're there, but doesn't know your exact location. Good luck charging at them to win. Now, let's apply some tactics: If you sneak around and take them out one at a time, eventually you'll defeat enough of them that you safety make your escape, all while keeping them looking for you.
Dante: Whatever man. You're still a coward.
Solid Snake: Call me what you will. In the end I'll be the one who survives.
"Wild dogs—also called fucking wolves—are inquisitive, intelligent predators that travel in packs. Which means there are several of them and they all think 'fair fight' means 'we outnumber the hell out of you'."
Sisko: There are rules, Garak, even in a war!
Garak: Correction. Humans have rules in war. Rules that make victory a little harder to achieve, in my opinion.
— Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Rocks and Shoals"
Odo: You'd shoot a man in the back?
Garak: Well, it's the safest way, isn't it?
— Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Call to Arms"
"The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war."
— John Lyly's 'Euphues'
Scrooge McDuck: Still a cheater, eh, Glomgold?
"It was just him and me. He fought with honor. If it weren't for his honor, he and the others would have beaten me together. They might have killed me, then. His sense of honor saved my life. I didn't fight with honor... I fought to win."
— Ender, Ender’s Game
"Here's the thing: We don't give a shit about fairness here. We're soldiers. Soldiers do not give the other guy a sporting chance. Soldiers shoot in the back, lay traps and ambushes, lie to the enemy, and outnumber the other bastard every chance they get."
— Bean, Ender's Shadow
"I don't pick fights I can't win."
— Ephraim from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
"Victory goes not to the loudest, but to the most effective."
— Master of Whispers, Guild Wars: Nightfall
"Fair fights are too easy to lose."
— Harry Dresden, The Dresden Files
Lysa Arryn: You do not fight with honor!
Bronn: No. (Looks to the Moon Door he just tossed his opponent out of.) He did.
Jamie Lannister: Brave man you are, attacking a man when his guard is down.
Bronn: Best time to attack a man.
"If it's worth fighting for, it's worth fighting dirty for."
— Murphy's Laws of Military Operations
Starbuck: This isn't dueling pistols at dawn, this is war. You never wanna fight fair. You wanna sneak up behind your enemy, and club 'em over the head. You see, Scar understands that. And so do I. So, that's why I'm gonna kill him.
"I don't believe in fair fights, Ms. Lewis. I believe in winning."
— Tony Stark, Gift of Asylum
"We fight dirty. If an enemy is facing us, we might consider our options, and even slip away if his sword looks too big. If his back is to us, however, I personally favor knocking him down, and then jumping on his neck where the bones snap with a gratifying crunch. Of course, it is up to you and your personal style."
"Victory needs no explanation. Defeat allows none."
"When lives are on the line, there is no such thing as a fair fight."
"You want to kill a man like me, you better stab me in the back. That's the catch. See, honorable men, they die hard. But they still die. It's men like me that survive and conquer."
— Nicola the Woodcutter, Bunraku
Count Brocken: Damn you! How dare the righteous protagonist do something so dirty! You sure about this? The fans will cry, you know.
Kouji: Shut up! Take it like a man! Don't try play innocent with me!
Warrick Brown: (holds up bullet pulled from wall) Hey, Gris, who brings a gun to a knife fight?
Gil Grissom: The winner?
"Foolish boy, do you not understand what is at stake when you cross blades with another? You may win a hundred fights, a thousand, ten thousand, but you can only lose once!"
— Zaknafein Do'Urden, Exile
"A beautiful loss is still a loss, and an ugly win is still a win!"
— Grimsley, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
Latias: So who wishes to fight me?
(Fido kicks Latias in the face the instant his/her sentence is finished. Hard enough to send a normal man through the wall.)
Fido: ...If Eve doesn't mind, I guess I'd like to.
Latias: Always a Dark Types's Tactics.
Fido: Hey, that's racist.
Latias: Not when you literally used a Dark Type move.
Fido: No, I didn't. It's called "strategy". This would be a "Dark" type move.
(Fido tries to bite into Latias's wing. Hard. In other words, " Fido used Crunch!")
In kendo, you can get a good solid hit on your opponent and still not get credit for it, because the judges feel you didn't possess the right amount of zanshin. Hiro doesn't have any zanshin at all. He just wants this over with.
Besides, the Assassins’ Guild was easy to outwit. They had strict rules, which they followed quite honourably, and this was fine by Vimes, who, in certain practical areas, had no rules whatsoever.
The Joker: (was armlocked and sucker-kneed) What are you doing!?
Terry McGinnis: Fighting dirty.
The Joker: The real Batman wouldn't...!
Terry McGinnis: Told ya you didn't know me.
"I don't know what Queensberry Rules are, but the Oscar Wilde Rule is to shoot on sight."
"You know that above all I detest sentimental tripe like 'Honor' or 'Mercy'. This is war! All that matters is victory!"
— Don "Foul Play" Krieg, One Piece
"There is no such thing as a fair fight. There's only the fight and who's left standing."
— Bruce Wayne, Batman
"Seek victory, not fairness."
— Master Splinter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)
"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
— Dark Helmet, after cheating two times in a row in a fight against Lone Star, Spaceballs
"If you think I won't shoot you in the back, you're mistaken." [BANG]
"I don't care how it's done... All that matters is that you're dead!"
Pit: I don't know, attacking enemies from behind when they're not looking seems kind of cowardly.
Palutena: Every warrior knows that cowardice is the foundation upon which victory is built.
Pit: You just totally made that up, didn't you.
Harry: Now wait a minute, this ain't a fair fight.
Archie: There's six of you; only two of us.
Harry: And you've got knives, and we've got nothing.
Gang leader: But that's how we win.
Archie: You know when we lived in this neighborhood, there were rules to streetfighting.
Gang leader: Rules? What kind of rules?
Archie: Well for one thing, you couldn't do this! (Groin Attack) Or this! (Eye Scream) Or this! (right cross with a fistful of quarters) Now does everyone understand the rules? (Other gangbangers flee) Those guys don't know shit about streetfighting.
— Tough Guys (1986)
"Are you stupid? In a match to the death, there's no such thing as fair or foul!"
"I saw an opening that screamed attack... so I did"
—Goku, Dragon Ball Z
Zordon: That was not the honorable way
Nostalgia Critic: But it was the effective way, can't argue with results.
"I've noticed that smart characters are usually not very honorable, and honorable characters are usually not very smart."