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    Dark Yugi/Yami Yugi 
  • The ending of the very first episode of the anime. Probably one of the most iconic scenes in the whole Yu-Gi-Oh franchise would be when Yami manages to summon Exodia, who blasts Kaiba and all three of his Blue-Eyes White Dragons in one shot.
    Yami Yugi: Exodia... OBLITERATE!
  • From the first manga chapter: Remember that bully Ushio that Yugi stood up to and ended up making friends with Joey and Tristan? The one that showed up on 5D's? Dark Yugi confronted Ushio that night, and challenged him to a game. It involved a stack of cash on one's palm, and a knife. The goal was to get as much cash on the knife without stabbing into your hand, and you had to take at least one note. Ushio tried to stab Yugi when he realized he couldn't win, so Dark Yugi gave him a Penalty Game that made him see money floating down... And when school came along the next day, everyone found Ushio playing with leaves and garbage, thinking they were money.
  • An escaped convict, prisoner 777, came to Burger World, took Anzu hostage, and ordered some booze. Dark Yugi challenged him to a game for her freedom. Never mind he had the balls to challenge a dangerous convict with a gun. They sat on opposite ends of a table. The rules were that both players could pick any of all of their ten fingers (both hands), and once the game starts, they could only use that one finger. Note that 777 was holding a bottle of vodka in one hand, pouring into a glass, and a gun in the other. 777 opted to use his trigger finger. Dark Yugi got a lighter, lit 777's cigarette... And left the lighter on the back of 777's hand (The one that was pouring), while it was still lit and he was still pouring. And Dark Yugi reminded him that firing the gun would make the recoil knock the lighter off, and the Vodka was Russian, which was 80% alcohol. Dark Yugi got Anzu away in time... As 777, in his panic, dropped his cigarette and set himself on fire. It's the most famous non-dueling Shadow Game in the series.
  • Yami's duel against Panik/Player Killer. It took some serious balls to stand up to someone like Panik, a bruiser of a man with no compunctions about shooting off flamethrowers in his opponent's face, but Yami mocked and goaded him relentlessly. Especially epic was near the height of Panik's breakdown, when he shot two streams of fire mere inches from Yami. Yami simply leans back, his face utterly impassive as the flames whiz by his face.
    Yami: Are you finished?
    • In the manga, Yami delivers this line to the Player Killer/Panik, calling out the latter on his not-so-courageous dueling tactics:
    • Then there was the duel itself. Panik's initial strategy was to use the Castle of Dark Illusions to create a fog that concealed his monsters, and then launch guerrilla attacks before Yami could counter. When the Swords of Revealing Light were activated, driving away the fog, Panik frantically began setting up defenses while he waited out the Swords. This was exactly what Yami was counting on: all he had to do was launch a final attack on the floating Castle, and it fell out of the sky. Panik's monsters, trapped inside the Chaos Shield, could do nothing to stop it from landing on them. Yami dealt the finish blow in style.
    Yami: My turn... (thumbs down) is over.
    (Swords vanish, and the Castle of Dark Illusions falls)
    • Finally, Panik utterly flips when he realizes he lost and outright attempts to burn Yami alive. Yami blocks the flames and gives Panik a well-deserved Mind Crush.
    Yami Yugi: I'll show you the true power of darkness!
    • Even better is the manga version. The PK of Darkness doesn't threaten to burn Dark Yugi, but to hang him instead. Dark Yugi's penalty game? Hang the PK in darkness.
    Dark Yugi: Penalty Game: Darkness of Naraku!
  • During the Doma Arc, Yami/Dark Yugi was extremely pissed off about Weevil Underwood/Insector Haga tearing up a useless insect card and claiming it was the card that held Yugi's soul during a duel. To end the duel, Yami first used Breaker's special ability to destroy a barrier on the opponent's side and reduce Breaker's attack points. Then he employs a card that allowed him to continuously draw from his deck until he finds a magic card, and for every monster he drew, his Breaker could attack. After Weevil's/Insector's lifepoints reached zero, Yami kept on drawing, using Breaker to strike Weevil/Insector over and over again until Anzu/Tea intervened. The English version makes Yami seem as if he's purposefully being sadistic, unleashing his fury against Weevil. The original Japanese scene is a lot more violent, as Yami/Dark Yugi attacks several more times before Anzu intervenes; this can be seen here.
    "Looks like you're out of luck"
    "I draw again! Another monster!"
    "Let's see... oh well!"
    • The Japanese version is much simpler:
    "DRAW! MONSTER CARD!" times 7 as Yami was about to draw another one but was cut off by Anzu before finishing his eighth draw.
    • Before he begins the move, in the Japanese version he says; "Clean your neck and wait." This is basically saying; "I'm going to cut off your head, let's make things easier."
  • Legendary Heroes is a very overlooked arc. In part 3, the gang is on an airship, going to save the Kaiba brothers, when it's attacked by flying Duel Monsters. Earu - the little fairy - is killed protecting Yugi from an attack. As she digitizes, Yugi starts to cry, saying, "I've had it. I've had enough!" Then Yami comes out in this epic blaze of red light. Yugi looked sort of ridiculous in his Legendary Heroes costume, but on Yami it looks amazing. Yami immediately takes charge, telling Joey to take the wheel and starts sending out monsters to protect the ship.
    • Another standout moment is when Yugi and Kaiba are up against the Mythic Dragon - a 5000 ATK beast that has already taken down Mokuba, Joey and Mai. To defeat it, Yugi summons Black Luster Soldier and Kaiba plays his Ultimate Dragon, they they both combine the two into the epic "Master of Dragon Knight" (also 5000 ATK) which destroys the Mythic Dragon.
  • Even though Yugi chose not to defeat Kaiba in their second match in Duelist Kingdom (for fear of him getting hurt due to him standing on the edge of the castle ledge as a means to prevent Yugi from dealing the final blow) there's no denying his strategy to completely cripple Kaiba's Ultimate Dragon was sheer brilliance-fusing Mammoth Graveyard to it via the Living Arrow and causing it to rot and decay and using Multiply and Kuriboh to render any attacks against him useless.
    • For additional info, fusions in manga, the original source, had different mechanic. They're non-physical cards (same as cards like Thousand Dragon), and Polymerization can fuse any 2 or more monsters on the field, with the fused monster gaining every effects the materials had. But one thing is, fusions can be either compartible or not, one of examples of incompartible one being fusing living and undead being. Yugi exploits the incompartible fusion mechanic to gain upper hand against his opponent this one time, with the help of Living Arrow to make Polymerization able to use opponent's monster as material, not only the controller's.
  • His win against the Marik-controlled Strings is one of the most glorious in the franchise.
    • Strings has Slifer the Sky Dragon, which is immune to destruction and most Spell and Trap effects, gains 1000 ATK for every card in Marik's hand, and automatically attacks any monster Yami Yugi summons with an ATK force of 2000 points. Marik has an impenetrable defense with Revival Jam, which regenerates whenever it is destroyed, and further has Jam Defender to let Revival Jam intercept any attack Yami Yugi may attempt. Finally he has Card of Safe Return, which lets him draw three cards every time a monster is revived. The result is a seemingly unstoppable combo; a monster that revives whenever it is destroyed, a card that lets Marik draw every time a monster revives, and a second monster that grows stronger the more cards he holds in his hand, and just in case he can destroy most monsters the second they hit the field and can block any attack they may try anyway.
    • How does Yami Yugi win? He uses Brain Control to take control of Revival Jam mid-resurrection to make it respawn on his side of the field, triggering an endless loop of Slifer attacking Revival Jam with its special ability over and over only for Revival Jam to revive over and over, and every time it does, Marik has to draw three cards because of Card of Safe Return. This continues until Marik decks out. The best part is that this is a rare case of there being very little (if any) Ass Pull from the protagonist's side; Yami Yugi just used Marik's own broken cards against him.
    • The revelation of the combo taking effect is by a Theme Music Power-Up, and in the dub Yami Yugi just smiles and says "you know what happens now." Cut to Strings saying "Revival Jam revives itself again" as the view pans up to Marik's visage over Strings, staring in a wide-eyed look of horror and disbelief that may be the best facial approximate of Oh, Crap! ever put to animation. Marik subsequently has a Villainous Breakdown as he realizes he has no outs, he can only watch as his own monsters fight each other again and again until he loses, leading to him unleashing a Big "NO!" once Strings finally runs out of cards to draw.
  • Summoning Slifer/Osiris for the first time against Bakura. The music makes it a very different moment in both versions, in the Japanese, the music is much more triumphant, and you know that Yugi's done it, while in the dub, the music reminds us that this IS a very dangerous Egyptian God that's about to hit the field. Then there's the summon itself; lightning is all over the place, a massive column of it blasts away Dark Sanctuary, and then forms into massive wings, gigantic coils wrap around the blimp because they can, and then the top half of the monster finishes materializing, leans forward and roars in Bakura's face. Bonus points for the fact that Yugi's friends are scared shitless. Serenity is even shaking in fear!
    Serenity: What's...that?
    Tristan: Uh, Joey?
    Joey: The hugest duel monster I've ever seen!
  • During his duel against the Big Five, Yami Yugi sets a painfully obvious trap. Nezbitt immediately destroys it with a magic card... which was Yugi's real trap, as using a magic card powered up his monster enough to defeat Nezbitt's. Joey was completely taken in by the apparent mistake, enhancing the feeling of catching the opponent off-guard.
  • Calling Noah out for turning Seto and Mokuba to stone when Seto could have won the duel.
    Noah: I beat Seto in this duel fair and square!
    Yami: Guess again, Noah! You think kidnapping Mokuba and using him as a shield is fair!?
    Noah: You think I cheated?
    Yami: I think you're guilty of the same foul play you once scolded the Big Five for, something you said your father would never allow! Kaiba could have easily defeated you, Noah, but he chose the safety of his little brother over his victory—and that makes Kaiba a stronger person than you will ever be! All you've proven today is that you're a weak little boy who needs to cheat to get his way, and as far as I'm concerned, you didn't win this duel.
    • Yami Yugi's speech in the Japanese version is even more emotional.
      Yami Yugi: Bastard! You played with Kaiba's feelings and went so far as to use Mokuba as a shield! Doesn't your heart hurt, even for a bit!?
      Noah: It was all part of my plan. For my flawless victory.
      Yami Yugi: "Flawless victory" you say!? The one who really lost in this Duel is you!
      Noah: Say what!?
      Yami Yugi: If Kaiba had played Different Dimension Dragon in his turn just now, the Monster can't be destroyed by battle! If Kaiba haven't summoned Blue-Eyes, he would've draw through the effects of Last Turn! Kaiba threw away his desire to win and summon his Blue-Eyes out of love! So he could get Mokuba's heart back! Noah! If that was YOU up there, wouldn't you choose the same thing!? A lonely child like you, who can't even understand the basics of human nature, wanting to run Kaiba Corporation!? Don't make me laugh!
  • The final move he uses in the duel with Noah is golden. He gives both players the maximum amount for a hand and then begins by reviving the Blue Eyes that was sent to the graveyard while Kaiba was dueling. Then, he fuses them into the Blue Eyes Ultimate dragon, a monster far more powerful than anything that Noah has even come CLOSE to bringing out. He then blows his monster out of the water. Noah of course begins to gloat because he feels confident he can survive a few more turns against the Blue Eyes, only for Yugi to activate De-Fusion. 8300 life points do not look so nice now that you have three individual dragons ready to direct attack.
    • What makes it even better is that Noah had been a Smug Snake the entire duel, acting as though he was a great duelist despite the fact he was using a blatantly broken deck and an even worse Deck Master. Once Noah realizes he's doomed he begins panicking. Yami's words hit home; "You've been exposed as the frightened child you truly are." Break the Haughty at its finest.
    • Even better is that Yami started his duel with Noah with Kaiba's 400 life points and still won.
  • In the Gaiden manga Yu-Gi-Oh! R, he's dueling against the possessed brother of the Big Bad, who has an "anti-god" monster that causes all non-god monsters to suffer having their stats halved, a special 1000-attack point boost that specifically works for god monsters (negating the "spells only work for one turn on gods" effect), and a trap card that prevents him from summoning a god monster of his own. He summons a fusion monster instead from his King's-Queen's-Jack's Knight combo, along with a trap to negate the anti-god's effect and decrease its attack power by 500 points; in turn, he uses a spell card to increase his fusion monster's attack power by 800 points, which puts him at 100 AP more than the anti-god. The duel is subsequently called off when his opponent is depossessed.
  • Despite the Tear Jerker that it represents, Atem's final line in the dubbed anime could count as this.
    I am the son of King Aknamkanon. My name... is Atem!
  • There's also when Yugi banished the mimic/Kaiba's evil half. Then, as a silhouette against a fiery background, with only the puzzle and the rainbow eye on his forehead, he yells at Pegasus, who was watching from a security camera, destroying Pegasus' wine glass.
    • The line he gives Pegasus just as the glass shatters was chilling considering the look he had when he gave the message.
    I'm coming for you, Pegasus!
  • Yami summoning every monster he has to help take down Dark Marik and the Dragon of Ra qualifies. The sheer ballsiness of it has to been to be believed—by playing Ragnarok, he is throwing away all of his monsters, banking that the shock of losing Ra will be enough to let the real Marik regain control of his and Dark Marik's shared body. It works.
    • Also a bit heartwarming as Joey's Red-Eyes Black Dragon is among the group. Joey may have lost to Dark Marik by a shadow game, but the spirit of his ace monster helped take Dark Marik out.
  • In an early episode ("Give Up The Ghost"), when Yami is dueling the Mimic of Doom (who was formerly disguised as a fake Kaiba), he uses Monster Reborn to bring back a Blue Eyes, and increases its Attack with Mystical Elf. Right before he has his Blue Eyes attack Mimic's, he says:
    Dub!Yami Yugi: Consider this a message from the real Seto Kaiba... YOU LOSE!!! NOW, BLUE EYES!!! OBLITERATE!!!
    Japanese!Yami Yugi: Prepare yourself! This is Kaiba's anger! Let's do this! HOLY BURST STREAM!
    • And then there's how Yami Yugi's speech before dealing the finishing blow on the Mimic in the Japanese version.
      Yami Yugi: You stole Kaiba's deck and stained his heart! I won't forgive you! MIND CRUSH!
  • In the first few turns against Dartz, Yami Yugi and Kaiba manage to summon Dragon Master Knight. Even though it doesn't work when he attacks, hearing Yami and Kaiba say the attack in unison is just awesome.
    Kaiba: Take this Dartz!
    Yami: Go! Dragon Master Knight!
    Yami and Kaiba: GALAXY CRUSHER!
  • During Yami's final duel with Dartz, when even Kaiba falls and Dartz starts messing with his head, Yami almost gives in to despair and surrenders. But at the last minute he's reminded that he's not alone and the millennium puzzle overpowers the Seal of Orichalcos. Yami then goes on to deliver what is probably the best Power of Friendship speech in the entire franchise. And that's no easy feat.
    Yami: You forced me to gaze inside my heart, thinking I would find only darkness. But you were wrong.
    Dartz: Then you gazed in the wrong place!
    Yami: Look, believe what you wish, but I know the truth. My heart is filled with the light of friendship. And no magic can take that away. No matter how strong it is. So thank you, you reminded me that my friends are always with me! And we're going to win this fight and take you down together, Dartz! It all ends right now!
  • The final battle against the Great Leviathan. All through the arc it's been repeatedly stated that the Orichalcos is far more powerful than Yami's Egyptian Magic and the three Legendary Dragons/Knights are the only thing that can defeat it. Except the Leviathan has Curbstomped the Knights and swallowed up Yugi, Kaiba and Joey, though Yami is able to unite everyone with a Patrick Stewart Speech. Then the Puzzle starts glowing and this happens:
    Yami: "In the name of the Pharaoh. Awaken from your ancient slumber!"
    Corresponding Blue, Red and Gold beam shoot out of the Leviathan
    Yami: "Now I call forth: The Three Gods of Egypt!"
    • The Japanese version is no slouch either:
      Yami: "Crossing over three 3,000 years of time, engraved in the name of the Pharaoh!"
      Corresponding Blue, Red and Gold beam shoot out of the Leviathan
      Yami: "It is time to be reborn! Come forth! Three Phantom Gods!"
    • Followed by the Egyptian Gods basically Curbstomping the Great Leviathan.
  • Him taking on the full brunt of Dartz's attack— not a card game attack, a real magic attack— in episode 183.
    The Pharaoh: Alright, come on! All your anger and hatred, aim it at me! All the people's darkness in the world, let it rest on my shoulders!
    • He makes a similar awesome comment that he will 'take it all on my back!!' when referring to Yami Marik attacking him with the Winged Dragon of Ra (an attack he took to shield both Mai and Joey.)
  • In his duel with Leon, he finds out Zigfried has not only hacked the Golden Castle of Stromberg card to be ridiculously overpowered, including immunity to destruction, but it requires Yugi to discard half his deck every turn to keep it on the field. How does he get rid of it? By reducing his own deck to one card, so when the Castle requires him to discard half his deck, he can't, so it destroys itself. He then draws that one card for his last turn and proceeds to win the duel. Fridge Brilliance makes this awesome because he outsmarted Zigfried two-fold — a real life card with such a cost would probably specific a minimum cost of one card to avoid such circumstances, but Zigfried probably didn't think of that when he changed the card's effect.
  • Finally recalling his name, summoning Horkathy, and sealing Zorc Necrophades, while in the process concluding his 3000 note  year old battle with the Spirit of the Millenium Ring. Seeing the final conclusion to that battle, and everyone gathering around Atem, is truly amazing.
  • We never get to see it, but the fact that he could seal the entire magic of the Shadow Games by himself, and maintain that seal for 3,000 years, willingly sacrificing his life, name and identity in the process, creates a double whammy Awesome Tearjerker. Not only that, but retaining some semblance of sanity whilst trapped for that long (the true state of his consciousness is never explained) must take some willpower.
    • It becomes even more powerful if you know a bit about Egyptian mythology - specifically, knowledge about the Soul. They believed that the soul was made up of five parts: Ib (Heart), Ba (Personality), Ka (Life Force), Sheut (Shadow) and Ren (Name). It was believed that if you erased someone's name, then they would essentially be wiped from existence. Atem used his own name - a piece of his soul - as the seal knowing that he would be dooming his soul to oblivion. And he still went through with it.
  • His win-loss track record in general, especially in the manga. For both tournaments he does the vast majority of the heavy lifting towards winning the title crowns.
  • A bit earlier in the manga, Bakura busts into the throne room in the Millennium World arc with the corpse of Atem's father dragged from his sarcophagus. The priests promptly start battle with Bakura, but Atem calmly walks right through the chaos straight up to Bakura with a simple demand of 'Move'. He then shoves him out of the way and calmly scoops up his father, before delivering the chilling promise 'Stay right there...I'm going to destroy you.'
    • Particularly because at this point he has no memories of his past. And admits to himself that he cannot even remember his father's face. He's just furious that his father's corpse is being desecrated like that.
  • Basically any time he summons one of the Gods during the Millennium World arc. Bear in mind, he did this for real in the past - the Gods were representative of his soul. Egypt being the most powerful nation in the world takes on a whole new meaning when the young king can summon something with the power to level cities.
  • Strangely enough, his final act of awesomeness in the show is...losing his duel against Yugi. It's stated that one of the tests of that duel is whether or not Atem can accept losing—which, previously, he couldn't. This was played up in the Doma filler arc of the anime, where Yami Yugi played the Seal of Orichalcos to try and prove himself to Raphael rather than accept a loss. In the end, though, he accepts his defeat at Yugi's hands with a smile on his face and sincere congratulations to his former partner, completing his character arc.
  • His duel with Kaiba in Battle City has some extremely understated moments in addition to the obvious. He has Queen's Knight out the entire game until he brings out the other Knights to sacrifice, without it getting destroyed. How does he do this? Though not explicitly stated for the first, he summons monsters that he knows Kaiba won't be able to resist destroying; Kuriboh in the manga, which Kaiba is infuriated enough to destroy, and Aplha the Magnet Warrior in the anime, which is his own self-fusing monster like Kaiba's XYZ monsters, thus Kaiba immediately goes after it to prevent Yugi from using the same strategy to summon Slifer. The second time is when he puts out Big Shield Gardna, knowing that Kaiba won't be able to resist the massive DEF target.
    • His Exchange play is awesome enough, but in the Japanese, he, like Kaiba, was aiming to take Kaiba's Egyptian God. One can only imagine how pissed Kaiba would have been had he succeeded, given how angry Kaiba was after Yugi merely reclaiming Slifer.
    • He utterly plays Kaiba in the final stages, predicting his strategy and being ready with a trump card after making a feint to decisively win. Dark Paladin shredding Kaiba's Blue-Eyes is a sight to behold.
  • As of Darkside of Dimensions, he's been promoted to Big Good status and helps the gang from the Afterlife, including (it's implied) helping Kaiba summon Obelisk against Aigami, rescuing Jounouchi from being destroyed in another dimension and helping Yugi deal the final blow against a corrupted Aigami. When Kaiba goes into the Afterlife at the end of the movie, Atem is sitting on the throne even though all his predecessors and successors should be in the Afterlife, too, suggesting he's ruling the Afterlife also.
    Yugi Mutou/Yugi Moto 
  • The roots of Yugi's friendship with Joey and Tristan. The two of them took extreme pleasure in picking on the nerdy and timid Yugi so most people wouldn't have blamed Yugi if he had decided to call them getting beaten up by a bigger bully Laser-Guided Karma... but he didn't, standing up for them and getting beaten up for his trouble. That action earned him the Undying Loyalty of both of his former bullies with Joey's Big Brother Instinct towards Yugi being so strong it's been stated it's a bad idea to threaten Yugi in any way, shape or form if you are on the same plane of existence as Joey.
  • Yugi standing up to Panik, resolving to duel him to help Mai. The Hidden Eyes accentuate the awesome.
    Yugi: I've dealt with a lot of bullies in my life, and I'm afraid there's only one way to deal with them. [raises head, staring at Panik] You have to stand up to them!
  • Yugi's contribution to the duel against Pegasus. The mind-shuffle strategy that threw off Pegasus' mind-reading powers was all Yugi's idea, as was the strategy that destroyed Toon World and all of the Toon Monsters. Essentially, it worked by the two personalities trading places - one would come up with a strategy while the other masked it by being the 'front mind'. And when the duel moved in to the Shadow Realm and Yugi knew he couldn't last long, he still kept fighting long enough to set the stage for Yami to summon Magician of Black Chaos.
    • That's impressive in itself, but consider that this meant they could not plan ahead because if either of them thought too far forward, Pegasus would figure out the strategy they were developing. They literally had to wing the entire duel like an amateur. While one of them was dying. They still won.
  • The anime-only duel against a Marik-possessed Keith. While the duel wasn't finished, Yugi caps it off by destroying Zera the Mant despite Keith cheating.
  • When dueling Arkana, Yugi doesn't trust the magician's opening hand and convinces Yami to play Card Destruction, instantly ruining Arkana's plan to summon his Dark Magician on his first turn.
  • Yugi's duel against the Marik-controlled Joey. He holds his own despite Marik's overpowered cards and emotional manipulation, and sets it up so he will lose so his friend doesn't have to die. Even better is his speech to Marik, telling him point blank that he will lose the duel because Joey's willpower is just that strong.
  • Yugi staying to complete the Millennium Puzzle (which took him eight years the first time) in the middle of a burning building that was collapsing all around him, (and refusing to let go of the puzzle and leave it even while practically unconscious) because he wouldn't leave his other self behind was pretty awesome. Especially impressive is that it took him months to put the puzzle together the first time - this occasion, he does it in minutes.
    • In the original Manga version, the same scene takes place in the Black Crown gaming shop. Yugi has begged his friends to get out while they still can and leave him to complete the puzzle. Physically there is absolutely nothing stopping him from getting up and leaving in either version, but he stays so he can see the Other Yugi "one last time". It's also awesome for Jounouchi in that he stays right there outside of the door waiting until the last possible moment, giving Yugi as long a time as possible to complete his task.
  • An anime only moment for Yugi and Joey is the finals of the Duelist Kingdom tournament, where after Joey loses he gives him the money card anyway.
  • Yugi's best move in the last duel was when he used a spell card to seal away Monster Reborn, despite knowing how useful it was to him. It paid off fairly soon afterward, when Yami tried to summon Osiris, but the card prevented him from reviving Osiris and left him defenseless against the powered-up Silent Magician. Not only did Yugi predict what Yami would do (probably based on his using a spell card to fill their hands), but he also made a clear point that the dead cannot remain in the world of the living; as Ishizu put it, "Yugi's trump card was also his way of saying goodbye..."
  • Yugi verbally bitchslapping Marik through a Brainwashed and Crazy Jounouchi in episode 78 qualifies. More impressive yet was that afterwards he stopped Jounouchi's final attack in mid-fire, reassured Jounouchi that it was all okay - they were never really fighting with one another, and that the duel was over, and then let the 1500 point attack loose on himself anyway, so that he'll lose the death match, and Jounouchi can live.
  • Let's face it, the very first time Yugi transformed in the anime was just plain wow. This also doubles as a CMoA for 4Kids, because let's be honest: For all the crap they catch, rightfully or otherwise, this is one thing where they actually trumped the original. See for yourself.
    Kaiba: Are you ready to play, runt?
    Yugi: Playtime is over, Kaiba!
    (The Millennium Puzzle starts to glow, then envelops Yugi in a column of light)
    (the column of light disappears, revealing Yami)
    Kaiba: What the—?
    Yami: Now, Kaiba, prepare yourself, because it's time to duel!
  • Doma had this moment early on when Yugi, having just received Timaeus in a dream, uses the card Eye of Timaeus on the Great Leviathan and defeats it before it could suck up any more Duel Monster souls, thus freeing them.
  • Yugi's entire solo duel with Yami Bakura, holding his own the entire time and eventually managing to defeat him, despite the fact that he has no help from Yami and an entirely new deck. Especially epic is Gandora, his ace monster, who annihilates every one of Bakura's monsters with a ground-shaking Beam Spam.
  • The final duel of the original series between Yugi and Atem, where Yugi won. There were no strings attached, Atem accepted his defeat, and Yugi proved he could handle things without Atem.
    • It was also one of the few times where everyone, even Yugi's friends, was hoping the Pharaoh would win so he could stay here forever, but Yugi knew better. Even after defeating all three Egyptian God Cards, the pharaoh still had an ace up his sleeve, which allowed him to resurrect one of the cards. However, Yugi's Golden Sarcophagus negated that ace, and the Pharaoh realized that it was over.
  • During the final duel, he thoroughly whups Yami Yugi during the final duel using a deck based mostly on toy monsters to decide whether or not he goes on to the afterlife. The fact that he falls to his knees in tears afterwards at having to defeat his best friend doesn't dampen the awesomeness one bit. At one point Yami has all three Egyptian God Cards on the field... and Yugi dismantles them in a single move.
    • How he did it bears explaining. Not only does Yugi spend a whole episode repelling the three Egyptian Gods, he's carefully preparing a strategy to destroy them at the same time. Yugi remembered from the first duel with Marik that Slifer had a bit of a trigger finger with its Second Mouth special ability, so he abused that by comboing Magnet Force,note  Valkyrion the Magna Warrior, Atem's own Mirror Force, and Magnet Reverse. He starts by disassembling Valkyrion into its three material monsters and activating Magnet Force, letting all of them repel the subsequent Second Mouth shots. He then lets Atem's Mirror Force destroy them, only to revive Valkyrion with Magnet Reverse, repeating the entire reflect combo again, with Valkyrion's revival adding an extra shot. By the time of the second volley, the Gods don't have enough ATK to weather Second Mouth's effect and are all destroyed at once. Even Kaiba was vocally impressed.
    • How carefully did Yugi plan this out? He needed Atem to activate Mirror Force to clear his side of the field before reviving Valkyrion because he didn't have enough Monster Zones to dismantle Valkyrion again. If Yugi hadn't correctly predicted Atem had set Mirror Force, he would've been two Monster Zones short (one Zone was occupied by Silent Swordsman) and the surviving God or two would've done Bad Things. Yugi didn't just destroy all three Gods with this maneuver, but also removed the threat of one of Atem's nastiest Trap Cards.

    Katsuya Jounouchi/Joey Wheeler 
  • Joey and Yugi's tag-team duel against the Paradox Brothers had awesome moments from both duelists.
  • His duel against Bandit Keith in the semi-finals of the Duelist Kingdom. Despite Keith cheating Joey thoroughly kicks his ass.
  • Joey explaining to Bandit Keith why he's a lousy duelist and person, and won't win.
    Keith: Yeah, you ain't nothin' but a speed bump on my way to duel Pegasus, and that goes double for that dweeby friend of yours, Yugi!
    Joey: [calm] Yeah, right, Keith.
    Keith: What'd you say!?
    Joey: I got news for you, pal. Even if you beat me, which you won't, Yugi'd cream you. And you know why, hotshot? Cause you're a selfish sleazeball who's only in this tournament for your own greedy reasons!
    Keith: Say what!?
    Joey: People like you never win. Sure, your tricks may get you a little ways... but only 'til people with good intentions show up. Like me, and like Yugi, too!
  • Jonouchi outright mocking Keith during their Duel.
    Keith: You better enjoy gloating while you can. I have a ton of different ways to beat you! I'll show you that a worthless ameteur's lack-of-strategy deck don't stand a chance against a professional! The key to victory is the difference in our skills!
    Jonouchi: Huuuuuuuuh? "Difference in our skills", eh? But your Life has been falling lower than mine.
    Keith: Don't bullshit me!
    • And later, when Keith attempts to antagonize Jonouchi over the entry card, Jonouchi shuts him up with an Armor-Piercing Question. Even Pegasus is amused.
      Keith: This Duel is invalid!
      Honda: What did you say!?
      Anzu: There are limits on how low you can go!
      Keith: The entry card wasn't even his! He wasn't even permitted to participate in this Duel from the very beginning!
      Jonouchi: You're right. I couldn't find my card anywhere. So Mai gave me her card in its place. But you know, how the hell do you know this wasn't my card in the first place? Isn't it a bit strange? Hey! How the hell do you know about that!?
  • Joey's duel against Yugi in the anime was very impressive, with both playing their hardest and Joey coming within inches of victory.
  • In the Legendary Heroes anime arc, Joey resolves to fight the tournament's champion despite having less Life Points than Mokuba and Yugi because he has less LP and feels Yugi's too important for him to go down. Mokuba sincerely thanks him for his help.
  • In another case of Cheaters Never Prosper, his duel against Haga/Weevil. The look on Weevil's face as he lost the duel and his place in the tournament with it? Priceless. Especially since Jou used Weevil's own magical can of bug spray against him.
  • In the duel against the Big Five, Leichter/Daimon uses Berserk Dragon to destroy each of Yugi's Magical Hats as well as his Dark Magician Deck Master, which would instantly defeat Yugi. Joey blocks the attack with Flame Swordsman, his own Deck Master, then uses the Silver Dollar trap card to negate the attack, saving both of them at once. Then he uses a card combo to turn Dark Magician into Dark Magician Knight and power it up further with Flame Swordsman's ability, letting them defeat the Berserk Dragon and the Big Five.
  • His battle with Dark Marik in the semifinals of Battle City. He would've won too if he had just a few more seconds to call out his monster's attack before passing out/dying. Dark Marik had used Ra's Phoenix Mode on his monsters in a Shadow Game that made the players feel the same pain their monsters felt. Joey got up despite having felt the full force of the strongest God Card and was ready to attack with Gearfried because Marik was wide open for attack, and he then fell unconscious due to the damage. It is quite a feat to say when you caused the Big Bad to have an even bigger Villainous Breakdown than his duel with Yugi and he didn't even have to have help to weaken him. Even though he was defeated, the aftermath turns this into something of a Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Marik ends up completely physically drained and puking in a sink. That's right, Joey literally took the Big Bad to his limit.
  • During his duel with Yami Marik, Joey uses Question, which forces the opponent to guess which of his monsters was sent to the graveyard first. Yami Marik, at this point, has sent so many he can't remember, and Joey caps it off with "Stunned silence was not the answer we were looking for!"
    • Correction, the monster in the bottom of Joey's graveyard was sent there RANDOMLY via one of Yami Marik's cards. Hoist by His Own Petard indeed.
  • This line during his duel against Yami Marik is both funny and awesome.
    Yami Marik: You could use a rest, little Joey!
    Joey: And you could use a haircut, so what's your point!?
  • Joey's duel against Yami Marik is so awesome that even after he loses, Kaiba is impressed with his skills.
    • There's something really unsung about this awesome moment. We learn according to Kaiba that in order to defeat Ra, Yugi would have needed two god cards and the Fiend's Sanctuary. Without Fiend's Sanctuary his win chances would have been 3%. Even with all of those cards, the win percentage was 20%. Joey had neither the god cards nor the Fiends' Sanctuary and he Had Yami Marik dead to rights finished with a single word standing between victory and defeat!
  • During his duel with Kaiba in Battle City, Joey calls Kaiba out on not having fun with dueling and asks if winning is all that matters to him. While Joey loses, he acknowledges that there will be other times and what matters is that he gave it his all.
  • And then there's the aftermath of Battle City, where he picks a fight/duel with Seto Kaiba after he insults poor Mokuba during his Freak Out! after losing to Yugi. He still loses, but the utter brass balls he displayed when doing so is worth noting. The best part? He uses a combo to summon a Blue Eyes to his side of the field! Kaiba pretty much SNAPS at that point, as he damn well should.
  • He had non-duel crowning moments in the first seven volumes of the manga, namely beating up a guy in an alleyway with both of them having knives in their mouths with the help of a can of soda. Not to mention hanging those four yo-yo wielding thugs by their pinkies using nothing but Yugi's millennium puzzle and a conveniently placed hook. It should be noted in the fight with the knifes, the thug had his knife be a fake with a retractable blade, but Jounouchi tells him to take it out anyway, while still keeping the very real knife in his mouth. Serious balls man, serious balls. And it get's better — Joey demands that the other guy pull the knife out of his opponents mouth. His reasoning behind handing the thug a serious advantage? it allows him to punch the guy in his face without killing him.
  • During the duel against Pegasus, Yugi has passed out and Yami is trying to keep Pegasus from seeing the card he just drew with his Millennium Eye. Suddenly, images of his friend appear and give the usual spiel about Friendship, ending with Joey's image telling Pegasus to stay out of Yugi's head; and Pegasus reels back like he's just been punched in the stomach. Let's face it, mind powers really shouldn't be used against Joey Wheeler.
  • Half the beatings he gives in the manga qualify as CMOAs. How about knocking out a former Green Beret commander with a SINGLE KICK in the Death-T arc? The beating Jonouchi gave to Bandit Keith in the manga was a damn cool moment.
  • Him knocking out Saruwatari with one punch in the manga when he tries to prevent everyone from entering Pegasus' castle. Especially since that guy was a Smug Jerkass most of the time, so Joey giving him some much-needed comeuppance felt especially rewarding.
  • From the Death-T arc, his battle against The Chopman. Tricking him into setting himself on fire is the height of badass.
  • In the manga, after Anzu calls out Kaiba for making Yugi forfeit to him, Jonouchi calls out Yami Yugi for nearly killing Kaiba and Yugi for thinking it was his fault and refusing Mai's Star Chips, saying that if that's what being a true duelist means he doesn't want to be one.
  • In episode 87 of the series, after Yugi has basically set himself up to die in a duel so Jounouchi can live (they're both attached to an anchor which will drag the loser of the match down into the ocean) and Yugi's let himself lose leaving Jounouchi with the key to escape. Jounochi makes a flying leap across the platform - doesn't get there in time, so both of them are dragged down. Not to be deterred, Jounouchi unlocks Yugi's restraints using his key while underwater and lets himself sink. Screw Marik, that whole match was basically a CMOA and a CMOH battle back and forth with Yugi and Jou.
    • How awesome is this scene, which also included the first CMOA for Shizuka below? So awesome that Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series played it straight. Heck, if anything, it made it even more awesome by setting it to "Total Eclipse of the Heart."
  • In the manga version of the warehouse duel in which Yugi completed the Millennium Puzzle while the building was burning down around him. After Yugi has basically begged his friends to get out alive and leave him to complete the puzzle, Jounouchi accepts his request calmly, and then stands steadfast outside of the blazing door, giving Yugi until the last possible second he needs, without so much as flinching at the flames. His dialogue sounds nothing if not awesome.
    Jou: Yugi... I'll stay with you on the edge of the River Styx... but I won't let you cross over. If you get too close, I'll drag you back, even if I have to hit you!!
  • All of his duel against Valon, especially his summonings and uses of: Rocket Hermos Cannon, Aura Armor, Lord of the Red, and Big Bang Dragon Blow.
    • Also, when he wins the duel and punches Valon across the field.
  • When the Orichalcos-using Mai throws a card at him like a shuriken, and he catches it without breaking stride, instead of being his usual clumsy, idiotic self.
  • Joey dying and coming back to life through sheer force of will. The fact that he doesn't really bring it up again says a lot about how nonchalant he is about life and death by that point. On a related note, the way he calmly talks to Mai after losing his duel - and his soul - is both a CMOA AND a CMOH.
  • Defeating Espa Roba by making Jinzo attack one of the duelists at random, basically leaving the game up to a roulette spin, took titanic balls.
  • The Joey Vs Odion duel contained some CMOA for Joey - from managing to summon all of the rare monsters he had won over the course of the tournament so far, to being the first person to work out that Odion wasn't really Marik, to managing to drag himself back to his feet after being blasted from above by Ra, Joey was pretty awesome in that duel.
  • In the Virtual World, after Nezbitt disarms Kaiba with his kendo skills, Joey comes to the rescue and kicks him into a wall so hard they crash through it.
  • Becoming the first person to survive Siegfried's Ride of the Valkyries One-Hit Kill combo.
  • How Joey defeats Johnson: he required a tribute to power up his Flame Swordsman, but he didn't have another monster at the time and so he trusted his fate in a card that forced Johnson to pick one of two cards. If it was a Monster, Joey has the tribute he needs to finish Johnson off. Otherwise, his turn ends and Johnson could win next turn. Despite looking like one of his usual luck-based gambits, he turned the odds in his favor by giving a pleased grin at Johnson's first choice (with which he endlessly bragged about his Hanging Judge experience), thus causing him to panic and choose the other card: Goblin Attack Force. Especially satisfying considering how Johnson previously rigged all his luck-based cards against him.
  • Joey beating Solomon in the KC Grand Prix. We reiterate: Joey beat the guy who taught Champion Duelist Yugi how to duel. And Solomon was every bit the tough duelist you'd expect him to be, too.
  • His rematch with Rex during the DOMA arc, when he uses his Red-Eyes Black Dragon (which he won from Rex) for the first time since the start of Battle City. Not only that, but he adds Metalmorph to it, creating the Red-Eyes Black Metal Dragon, and uses it to turn the duel around, in a great callback to his battle with Bandit Keith. It's made even better when you contrast his performance in this duel to Yami's simultaneous one with Weevil—while Yami is growing more and more uncontrolled and enraged, Joey remains calm the entire time, and beats Rex at his own game. It also marks the reveal of his Gearfried the Swordmaster, a rare card with a great effect, that no one but Joey seems to know about. Perhaps no other duel better represents the degree to which Joey can dominate an opponent when he really puts his mind to it.
  • In Evil Spirit of the Ring, Flame Swordsman!Joey's Heroic Sacrifice against the Man-Eater Bug. He even goes so far as to whack Tristan in the gut with his sword to prevent him from taking his place.

    Seto Kaiba 
  • His finishing move against Ishizu, which changes the future.
    Dub!Kaiba: Hear me now! I won't be controlled! I decide my future! So now, I sacrifice my monsters! Obelisk and Gadget Solider, I send you to the card graveyard! You're so quiet, Ishizu. Where's your magic now? Or have you realized that there's no such thing as destiny? Now observe as I summon my Blue-Eyes! Show yourself!
    Japanese!Kaiba: My pride! And my soul! I decide my future! Obelisk! Gadget Soldier! For my loyal servant, you shall be sacrified! Ishizu! I'll show you. The embodiment of both my pride and my soul, my loyal servant! Come forth, Blue-Eyes White Dragon! Present here in video form.
  • Kaiba disarms guns. With cards. Remember that scene on Duelist Kingdom where he jams Kemo's gun with a card, subdues him with jujitsu, and forces him to lead him inside Pegasus' castle? Well, that scene is nothing compared to the scene in the manga that it was based off of. In the manga, he's flying to Duelist Kingdom by helicopter, but realizes that the pilot (who's on Pegasus' payroll) is flying around in circles. When the pilot pulls out a gun, Kaiba not only jams it and twists it out of the guy's hand, but then points the gun at him, and forces both the pilot and the co-pilot to jump out of the copter into the sea at gunpoint (don't worry; he knows how to fly a copter).
    • For bonus points, the card he uses to jam the gun is a monster that can be considered a "goddess of luck". For even more Irony, the Japanese name is translated as "Goddess of Reversal".
    • Stopping the hammer with a card was a serious hallmark in Kaiba's Character Development, showing that he had actually taken away something from Yuugi's lecture after his last defeat and subsequent months-long coma BSOD. It was a pretty excellent He's Back moment showing Kaiba more badass than ever for understanding the heart of the cards note . And as he thrashed the Mook holding the gun, he complained that the hammer coming down to trigger the bullet firing ruined a perfectly good card.
    • And then after arriving, getting his deck back, and heading to Pegasus's castle, and then demanding to see Pegasus, he's greeted by a very polite guard who assures him that Pegasus will see him eventually, and that there's a room in the annex for him, if he would be so kind as to allow the armed guards to escort him. So what's his status when we check back on him in a volume? He's got that same guard on the floor with his head between the lids of his briefcase, he's got his gun out, and he's making demands, threatening to snap the guard's neck with the briefcase if they aren't met. Then we see how he got there. As soon as the guard told him about his room, he brained him with the briefcase, pulled his gun on him, and intimidated the other guards into backing off from their Mexican Standoff. Then he got the guard to carry his luggage into his room and be his hostage.
  • His summoning of Obelisk the Tormentor for the first time, the entire scene is full of awesome, from the Ominous Latin Chanting letting the audience know things just got serious, Obelisk destroying the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon with a single punch, to the Duel Robot overloading and exploding from the power surge.
    • Also serves as a CMoA for 4Kids, proving that they can do a very good job on a dub when they put the effort in. Compared to the English scene the original Japanese scene is surprisingly unimpressive.
  • During Kaiba's duel with Leichter/Daimon in the Virtual World. Leichter's space cannon can only be destroyed by a high level monster, he thinks Kaiba can't summon it in the current turn. But then Kaiba activates Lord of Dragons' special ability which allows him to summon Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Then he attacks the satellite cannon and says this:
    Kaiba: Aim for space! Blue-Eyes!
    Daimon: Blue-Eyes is a Level 8 Monster! I can't believe you actually drew that monster!
    Kaiba: Blue-Eyes, soar straight through the clouds! At the moment you attack Satellite Cannon, it will lose it's attack strength. So that makes it's true attack!
    Daimon: Dammit!
    Kaiba: My dream of creating games won't lose to some weapon of war! Disappear ghost of Gozaburo! BURST STREAM OF DESTRUCTION!
  • In the Virtual World, his battle with Gozaburo, which ends with him disassembling the elder Kaiba's seemingly indestructible Exodia Necross, then destroying it with his Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Next, while fleeing Gozaburo's collapsing undersea building, with everyone else running towards their transport (a large blimp with a big KaibaCorp logo on it), it looks as though Mokuba wouldn't make it. Seto gets his brother onto the blimp by grabbing the back of his belt and heaving him at the gangplank of the blimp, bowling over Tristan and Duke in the process. And then he jumps over their heads into the blimp. And is the only one to stay on his feet when the thing starts shaking in the explosions.
    • To increase the badassery of this scene, destroying Exodia with his Blue-Eyes was a Take That! to Exodia when he lost a game to Exodia for the first time ever in episode 1, despite having all 3 Blue-Eyes on the field.
    • The "Check mate, Gozaburo" line that he says at the end of the duel made it pretty badass as well.
    • And remember, until he played Kaiba, Gozaburo was an undefeated chess champion, and Kaiba beat him and forced Gozaburo to adopt him and his brother. The whole point of Gozaburo challenging Kaiba was to beat Kaiba at his own game as Kaiba did to him, and Gozaburo knew Exodia was the monster that gave Kaiba his first defeat and used it for that exact reason. So that line is itself a "Take That!" to Gozaburo.
  • Kaiba jumps out of his Blue Eyes White Dragon Jet. While wearing a jet pack. Which then falls off upon landing, suggesting that either it's really durable or Kaiba has more than one jet pack.
  • His duel against Siegfried, which, filler or not, was probably his finest dueling moment in the series. It is so awesome that it needs to be watched several times to be believed and it best described in steps. To begin with, Kaiba has 950 life points, and Siegfried 1600. Due to various effects, all three of Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragons and an Emerald Dragon have been removed from the game. There is also a global spell card in effect that states that a player must declare a certain number of spell cards he will cast that turn and both players gain 500 life points for every one, though if he fails to play that exact number then the declarer suffers 1000 damage per card instead. Kaiba has no cards in hand, and he makes his draw...
    • Seeing his one card, he declares he will cast four spell cards this turn. Both his and Siegfried's life points rise by 2000 (Kaiba now has 2950 and Siegfried now has 3600).
      Kaiba: I predict that I'll use four Spell Cards!
      Siefgfried: What!? Saying that he'll use four when he has one card in his hand!?
      Kaiba: That's right. I'll crush you with those four cards.
    • He casts Card of Demise (1), letting him draw an additional five cards. Normally, he would have to discard his hand over the next five turns, but that won't be necessary here.
    • He plays Soul Release (2), a magic card that allows both players to select up to five cards in their graveyards and remove them from the game. Kaiba selects the Chaos Emperor Dragon to be removed.
    • Kaiba then plays Spell Reclaim (3). By sacrificing two spell cards in his hand, he can retrieve one spell card from the graveyard. He selects Dimensional Fusion.
    • Finally, Kaiba pays 2000 life points (bringing him back down to 950) to cast Dimensional Fusion (4), which special summons all monsters on his side that have been removed from the game, which include three Blue-Eyes White Dragons, Emerald Dragon, and Chaos Emperor Dragon!
  • But Wait!! Theeeeeeere's More!!
    • On Siegfried's side is Valkyrie Brunhilde, a monster which gains 300 attack points for every dragon-type monster on the field, and, if overcome in battle, can sacrifice 1000 of its defense points to remain on the field. At this point, it has 3300 attack points; more than any of Kaiba's dragons.
    • Kaiba attacks with Emerald Dragon, which is far weaker than Siegfried's Valkyrie. Emerald Dragon is destroyed and Kaiba is left with just 50 life points. With one less dragon on the field, Valkyrie Brunhilde's attack is reduced to 3000.
    • Kaiba attacks with Chaos Emperor Dragon. Both it and Valkyrie have the same attack points, so Chaos Emperor Dragon is destroyed. Valkyrie gives up 1000 defense points and is left alive. However, its attack is reduced by another 300 points because another dragon has left the field, leaving it with 2700.
    • Kaiba attacks with Blue-Eyes #1. Blue-Eyes has more power than Valkyrie and deals 300 life damage to Siegfried, bringing him down to 3300. Valkyrie again gives up 1000 defense points to remain on the field, leaving it with none.
    • Kaiba attacks with Blue-Eyes #2. Blue-Eyes deals another 300 life damage to Siegfried, bringing him to 3000. With no defense points remaining to sacrifice, Valkyrie is destroyed.
    • Finally, Kaiba attacks with Blue-Eyes #3. Siegfried has no monsters left and is attacked directly, bringing his life points to zero exactly.
    • Even Pharoah can't help but stare in open-mouthed shock at this win.
    • And in the dub version of his summoning of Chaos Emperor Dragon, which started the whole thing, it includes this exchange:
    Siegfried: You need to give up 1,000 of your Life Points first, and you can't afford that now!
    • After using Chaos Emperor Dragon's effect, Kaiba takes the opportunity to mock Siegfried.
    Kaiba: How's that? I bet you can't hear fate whispering to you anymore.
    • The dub also caps the end of the duel off nicely.
    Siegfried: This isn't over, Kaiba!
    Kaiba: Face it, your Life Points are at 0. That's about as over as it gets.
    • The original Japanese version has Kaiba trash talking Siegfried at the end of their Duel.
    Siegfried: Damn you...
    Kaiba: Hmph... In the end, a rat will always be a rat. There's no way that can beat me, the king of all animals!
  • The scene where Kaiba is cornered before jumping out of the window in the Duelist Kingdom arc is even more awesome in the manga and Japanese anime. He deflects a bullet with his briefcase. Kaiba is hardcore, no doubt about it.
  • His duel with Pegasus to save Mokuba, where he destroys the Toon Blue Eyes White Dragon. Pegasus has a gamebreaker deck and the ability to read his mind. When Yugi dueled Pegasus he was getting stomped with Pegasus taking no damage before he did the mind switch thing. Kaiba was able to do some damage whilst top decking without ever having played Pegasus or using magic.
  • During the Doma arc in episode 171 when Kaiba and Mokuba are making their way to Dartz's headquarters at Paradise Inc., Kaiba commandeers a convertible at an auto dealership to get over there faster. When the owner asks him what he's doing, Mokuba says they're buying it, and Kaiba just casually writes him a check for the car and drives off. Stylish, cool, and hilarious to watch all in one.
    Kaiba: Keep the change. (peels out of the dealership)
    • On top of that, apparently Mokuba picked the car out.
  • His summoning of The Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon in the second Duel against Yugi, early on its revealed he has a Blue Eyes in his hand but hasn't played it which the others note as odd. Unknown to them Kaiba is planning something and after crippling Yugi's deck with the Crush Card Virus and getting his first one out reveals his plan to combine all three dragons into one unstoppable monster. Needless to say, The Oh, Crap! meter exploded when it was summoned and we get this from him as he summons it and you know Yugi is screwed.
    Kaiba: Now I create a duel monster without peer! With an attack force so great no monster can stand against him! I summon the Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon!!
  • His duel with Alister, aboard a plane that's about to crash. Alister plans to give up, and let the Orichalchos take all of their souls, but Kaiba insists on continuing the duel, and ends up saving himself and Mokuba, as well as taking down Alister in the last seconds before the plane crashes.
    • Even better, he thoroughly trumps Alister in the mind games when Alister insists that by destroying humanity, Doma are saving the world. Mokuba basically nails him by asking him what his desceased brother would think were he still alive. The dub makes it even better with Kaiba going full-on Sarcasm Mode and Brutal Honesty. It also marks the first time one of the villains in the arc has been successfully talked down.
  • During the final arc in the anime, our Kaiba, trapped in the past, has seen Yami, Priest Seto, and the entire Egyptian army fail to stop Zorc, who still rampages unchecked. So what does our non-believing, out-only-for-himself antihero do? He puts himself in Zorc's path, summons his Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, and singlehandedly slows the oncoming God of Evil's advance.
    Kaiba: "Okay boys. Let's show this ancient Egyptian windbag how we do things back home!"
    • The dub version of his Badass Boast just adds to the awesomeness. Only Seto Kaiba could mouth off to an abomination like Zorc in such grand style:
    Kaiba: Listen, Zorc! I've been smacking around virtual monsters like you ever since I could talk! As a matter of fact, my first words were Neutron Blast Attack!
  • The Japanese version of Kaiba's confrontation with Zorc also counts as his Badass Bystander moment.
    Zorc: What's this? Ha! I know you. You're Seto Kaiba. So you're planning to oppose me as well?
    Kaiba: Shut up! I don't know a damn thing about you or this world! But I won't accept it...! I'll NEVER accept it: The way you're playing with people's lives as if they're just pieces of a game! Nor my Blue-Eyes' defeat! This is the ultimate evolution transcendening 3,000 years of time!
    Kaiba summons Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon.
    Kaiba: My greatest servant: Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon!
    Zorc: What!?
    Kaiba: Take this, monster! The light that will open the road of my future that can bypass time! Blue-Eyes, ULTIMATE BURST!
  • Also, from the same arc, releasing his Ring of Protection to save Yami long enough for the Pharoah to remember his name.
  • His summoning of Blue-Eyes in the tag duel against Lumis and Umbra was a standout moment. The opponents had Mask Of Restrict in play so he couldn't sacrifice any monsters to summon his dragon. Yugi had Card Destruction in his hand but didn't know if he should use it. Kaiba, disguising his words in his usual arrogant bluster, let Yugi know that the cards in his hand were useless and "better off in the graveyard" Yugi played the card so they would discard their hands. That allowed Kaiba to use a face-down Monster Reborn card to get around Mask Of Restrict's effect and summon Blue-Eyes White Dragon...well played, to say the least.
  • During Joey and Yugi's Death Duel he throws a card at the crane's operator and kicks him while he's down to grab the switch controlling the crane. In the original cut the Card stabs into his hand and stays in until Kaiba retrieves it.
    • The manga version of the above needs some elaboration. Mokuba is being held hostage by two of Marik's brainwashed goons to stop Kaiba from interfering with the duel. Kaiba, knowing he only has one chance to pull it off, yanks a card out of his deck while silently hoping it's just a common card... and ends up drawing a Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Nevertheless, he hurls the card so hard at the goon holding Mokuba hostage that the card stabs right in, forcing the goon to let Mokuba go and letting Kaiba close in to beat both of them up and hurl them both into the sea. It's his comment about throwing the card and his Death Glare that really sells it.
    Kaiba: Unfortunately, my draw was too good. Thanks to you, your filthy blood has stained my card! Die, you pigs! Into the bay!

    Anzu Mazaki/Tea Gardner 
  • In the anime, Anzu's sheer determination to duel against the much more experienced Mai so she can get the star chips for Yugi no matter what.
  • Anzu's tendency for telling off people more powerful than she is, including several who could do her serious harm, if not outright kill her.
  • In the manga, it's her directions that get the group through Kaiba's falling blocks of death, an ability she learned from dance classes.
  • She calls out Kaiba after he defeats Joey to test his Duel Disk system just as he was gaining confidence.
  • In the Monster World arc, Anzu is the one who defeats Dark Master Zorc with her Final Big Bang attack.
  • In the anime, her dance battle against Johnny Steps is awesome, as she wins despite his cheating. When Johnny says that forfeiting is better than facing defeat after he quits his duel with Yugi, she calls him out on running away instead of trying to face his problems, saying that everyone fails sometimes, but the important thing is to keep trying. Johnny thanks her for being honest with him.
  • Her dueling skills during the Noah Arc, this was the most serious duel she ever went through in the anime because she would have lost her body to Krump if she had failed. Good scene, good duel.
  • You have to respect Anzu for calling Seto Kaiba out after he threatened to commit suicide if Yami beat him in the duel atop Pegasus castle; a scene which resulted in a huge bit of moral dissonance for Yami and a Heroic BSoD for Yugi. In spite of the fact that she doesn't fully understand the reasons for Kaiba's actions, she stands there and calls him out on the way he's been acting the whole series. She [[Anvilicious might ram the]] Friendship [[Anvilicious speech down our ears obsessively]], but you can bet she'll put her money where her mouth is.
    Tea: He spared you! Kaiba, he showed you compassion, which is more than you deserve!
    Kaiba: He lost the game.
    Tea: The game?! Yugi may have lost one lousy Duel Monsters game, but at least he hasn't lost his heart! Not like you Seto Kaiba - you've spent so much time with your machines, you've forgotten what being human is about! Yugi has a heart, Kaiba. Yugi has us. Friends that will stand with him to the end, no mater whether he wins or loses some lousy game. And what do you have, Seto Kaiba? What do you have at the end of the day? Tell me. Tell me!
    • She makes a good point, too — Kaiba does prefer spending time working on his holographic emitters and working than he does with other people. His little brother Mokuba is pretty much the only character who can stand him.
    • This could also double as a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • It's equally moving the the original Japanese, although not quite so sappy. It's more about the price of victory than an attack on Kaiba personally.
    Anzu: You’re the one who lost the game, Kaiba-kun!
    Kaiba: What?
    Anzu: Kaiba-kun, you’re willing to give up your precious life for those Chips? You lost to yourself! In the end, you couldn’t even rely on your own courage. Whatever it is, as long as you have true courage, you’ll always have Chips in your soul. Since you ran away, you’re the real loser. Yugi chose your life over the Chips!
    • The manga version is pretty awesome as well.
    Anzu: That's not true, Kaiba! You're the one who lost!
    Kaiba: What?!
    Anzu: You say people's struggles are a game! That's totally wrong! Facing yourself no matter how tough things get... and keeping up the fight... That's what games are really about! You bet your chip of life as if it meant nothing! You lost to yourself! When you realized you were going to lose, you didn't have the courage to keep living! Listen... real courage is protecting that chip you have in your hands... no matter what! The moment you give that up is when you lose!
  • In the dub, during Yugi's duel against Pegasus, Tea saves everybody by reminding Yugi of his own magic, which gives him the idea for the Mind Shuffle. If she hadn't said that at that exact moment, the duel would have been lost.
  • When captured by the Rare Hunters, she doesn't just play Damsel in Distress. She actually hatches a pretty daring escape plan.
  • In the Memory World arc, Tea's the one who ultimately stops Zorc by realizing that if she and her friends concentrate hard enough, the Pharaoh's name will appear on the cartouche.

    Hiroto Honda/Tristan Taylor 
  • Honda also has some nice CMOA's in the anime, such as when he takes on three Ghouls, who were technically only after Shizuka, all by himself while the others escaped. He wins.
  • There was also the time he jumped from the top of the castle to distract the monster that was chasing Shizuka in the Virtual World arc.
  • Death T, where he beats two trained soldiers (A former sniper and assassin) in a shoot-out, getting off a nice Bond One-Liner at the finish.
  • When he tosses Mokuba's body at Yami Bakura to distract him, then closes the gap and punches him out. Then he chucks the Millenium Ring into the woods.
  • In the Virtual World arc during the three-way duel with him, Serenity and Duke vs. one of the big 5, he makes a Heroic Sacrifice with his Deckmaster to protect Serenity and causing him to lose, though he does leave a face-down card behind which Serenity later uses to win.
    • Also in the same arc Tristan saving Serenity from a rampaging dino by jumping on top of it and steering it into the water.
  • In the Death-T arc, he very bravely faces what looks like grisly doom in the falling blocks room when his jacket gets trapped between two blocks. Of course, he could have just taken off his jacket... and this is exactly what he seems to have done after Mokuba saves him.
  • In the anime's Memory World arc, Thief King Bakura seemingly killed the Pharaoh... so Tristan punched him in the face hard enough to leave a mark—and in the Japanese version he hit him hard enough to draw blood. Even the Thief King was impressed by it.
  • Tristan got an offscreen awesome moment in the anime's version of Duelist Kingdom. After punching Yami Bakura out and throwing away the Ring, he carried the unconscious Mokuba and Bakura back to the dueling platform without getting caught by guards. While going through a maze with looping flights of stairs and doors to nowhere that even had Yami Bakura confused.
  • Tristan saves everybody in the anime's aftermath of Battle City by pointing out the medical helicopter, which they use to escape the exploding island.
  • Late in the Memory World arc, Tristan tackles one of Thief King Bakura's soldiers off of his horse and fights him physically.

     Ryo Bakura 
  • Bakura's noble attempt at a Heroic Sacrifice during his first appearance in the Duel Monsters anime, using the Change of Heart card to become the Lady of Faith and attempt to be destroyed in her place, rather than see Yami Bakura use the card to have Yugi destroy his friends.
  • During Volume 7, chapter 56 of the manga, while playing the Monster World RPG, Yugi and his friends are on the verge of losing against Dark Bakura thanks to his brainwashed dice. After a fatal hit from Zorc, the party is assumed dead by Dark Bakura. His confidence is quickly shattered when he discovers that they all have one hit point left on his computer. Right after this, some strange force takes control of his left hand and types the following message on Dark Bakura's computer: "I am Ryo Bakura. I won't let you kill my friends. I'll fight too." revealing that the real Bakura had been fumbling his dice rolls all along. That's just plain awesome. Especially after you take into account that Ryo has been tormented by his alterego for the longest time, having his previous handful of friends being put into a coma and having their souls trapped in miniature figures.
  • At the climax of the Monster World arc, Ryo puts his soul into the brainwashed dice to destroy them, even though doing so would shatter his own soul. After the game, his White Wizard figurine revives him at the cost of all his character levels.
  • In the anime, just before Yugi duels Pegasus, Ryo points out that the outcome of the match wouldn't matter at all. This inspires Tristan to look for Mokuba and Seto so Pegasus wouldn't have every advantage.
    Ryo: Pegasus holds all the cards right now. As long as he holds his prisoners, we're going to be at his mercy no matter what the outcome of the game.
  • In the dub, Bakura yells at Yami Bakura and refuses to do as he says at the beginning of Season 5. While he ends up possessed regardless, he goes down fighting. It's even more impressive when before he couldn't resist being possessed at all, and was only briefly able to fight back while possessed.
    Yami Bakura: Does the term Millennium Item sound familiar? Well, you promised to help me obtain all seven, and at the moment, we only have one. But not to worry; I know where the others are. I just need someone to take me to them, and that’s where you come in. After all, you're the vessel that allows me to exist in this world... now stop resisting and join me!
    Ryo: Never!
    Yami Bakura: What makes you think I'm giving you the choice? You will help me, and the most powerful force that ever existed will be mine!
    Ryo: You can't force me!
  • In the anime, Ryo swings on a rope and tackles Bandit Keith off of the dueling platform to stop him from hurting Yugi and the Puzzle.
  • The 4Kids dub gave Ryo an offscreen moment of awesome, given the properties of the Shadow Realm. According to the lore, the Shadow Realm has very little food, Duel Monsters can be mentally summoned while there, though doing so puts a strain on your mind, running out of energy while there will shred your soul to pieces, and being trapped there increases the power of Millennium Items. It's also implied the bearer of an Item can leech off your soul for extra power. Despite all those obstacles, Ryo made it out okay.

    Dark Bakura/Yami Bakura 
  • Dark Bakura's series-long Gambit Roulette, manipulating Yugi into doing his work for him to spring the Shadow RPG trap.
  • In the manga, after Marik threatens to kill Bakura if he won't join him, he takes out a knife, licks it, and stabs himself in the arm as his answer, lending Marik his host to use against Yugi.
  • The duel at the graveyard, where he utterly demolishes Bonz and his cronies.
    • It should get special mention if only because it's the one on-screen game Dark Bakura has in the entire series where he actually wins rather than losing or ending in a draw. But that's only because his only other games have been against Dark Yugi, or the Big Bad at the time with plot armor. Other than this, he's put a bunch of souls into RPG figurines through Shadow Games and was implied to have killed Pegasus in a Shadow Game + tearing off his Millennium Eye from his eye socket.
  • Also Dark Bakura Vs. Dark Marik, Evil vs. Evil at it's finest.
  • In the anime, Yami Bakura and Yami Marik have a brief fight using their Items against each other, but the real awesomeness is in the dialogue.
    Yami Bakura: Hand over the Rod and you won't force me to add you to my other collection, Marik: my victims.
    Yami Marik: My Millennium Rod can easily overpower your pitiful Ring!
    Yami Bakura: Then try me.
  • After being genuinely frightened of Yami Marik and Ra, he laughs in the face of their attack and tells Marik that he is the darkness and can't be destroyed.
  • Thief King Bakura's battle against all the High Priests at once definitely counts. His horseriding stunts deserve mention as well.
  • After his good counterpart's Moment of Awesome as stated somewhere above, Dark Bakura proceeds to impale his left hand through one of the sharp towers on the RPG board and then laughs. He seems to have a creepy trend of stabbing himself and making it look awesome.
  • In the manga, his fake Heel–Face Turn. Watching him help Dark Yugi outsmart the Meikyū Brothers (Paradox Brothers) during the Duelist Kingdom saga and helping Yugi defeat Ryuji Otogi (Duke Devlin) in Dungeon Dice Monsters by outright telling Otogi that fate denies him was pretty awesome. All of this was part of his Gambit Roulette.
  • There's an anime only part where Yami Bakura repossesses Ryou by chasing him into a church, lighting its candles, shattering its windows and basically telling Ryou that he owns him and will force him to do as he says. The scene is one of the most stylized and awesome-looking in the series, and it really highlights just how creepy Yami Bakura is.
  • In the anime, Yami Bakura's duel against Kaiba, which proves he is very much the Pharaoh's equal. He abandons the duel partway through because he has to follow Yugi and the others to Egypt, but when he does the score is 1400 to 900 in his favor, and looking at the state of the field at the time, he was probably set to win on his next turn. Yami Bakura would have probably beaten Kaiba in just four turns, when it regularly takes Yami Yugi a prolonged duel to overcome his rival.
    • Not only was Yami Bakura winning the duel when he left, but he was in control the entire time; he weakened one of Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragons to the point it was virtually useless for attacking, forcing Kaiba to tribute it to summon another Blue-Eyes. That one destroys Yami Bakura's Diabound, but he just counters with two Traps to revive it and power it up so he can attack and destroy the new Blue-Eyes. Kaiba then revives that Blue-Eyes, but Diabound still had 3300 ATK and the powerup was apparently permanent, so the revived Blue-Eyes probably wouldn't have lasted long anyway.
    • Oh, and the spirit wasn't even really taking the duel seriously; his goal in it was to get his Diabound to destroy a full-powered Blue-Eyes so it could absorb the dragon's power for the next phase of his plan. He was beating Kaiba handily and he didn't even really care about winning.
    • To top it off, he ends the duel by calling Kaiba by his first name and laughs in his face afterward.
    Yami Bakura: The answers lie in the sands of Egypt, Seto.
  • When Dark Bakura starts bragging about the impending resurrection of Zorc Necrophades.
    Yugi: Bakura, who in the world are you?
    Yugi: (Trembling) Bakura...are you...?!
    Dark Bakura/Zorc Necrophades: That's right, I AM ZORC!
  • Thief King Bakura's plan to lure the Pharaoh to Kul Elna and have the vengeful spirits that he thought the Pharaoh ordered killed overwhelm him. It would have worked if not for Mahad.
  • The Thief King's grand entrance to the Pharaoh's palace. Clad in stolen gems and robes, he mockingly offers them in payment for the Millennium Items before deciding to take them by force. When Diabound is removed from him and sealed away, he pretends to have been under its control... before revealing that he still wanted to destroy them. Diabound frees itself, and curb-stomps almost everyone there. The dub adds to it by having him use Ryou's voice to mock them before dropping the act.
  • In the anime, Yami Bakura restores the Thief King after his demise, using Seto Kaiba's energy to do so. It's so epic he even gets a spotlight shining down on him.
  • During his duel with Seto Kaiba, the dub has him go into Sarcasm Mode as he taunts him about the magic he's using.
    Yami Bakura: What's wrong? There's no such thing as magic, right? And all those ancient visions you've been having, they don't exist either, do they?
  • During Thief King Bakura's fight with Mahad, he overpowers the sorcerer repeatedly with Diabound. When Mahad is able to fight back, he uses the sanctuary's traps to his advantage. riding a pendulum blade and aiming it at him. Even when Mahad defeats Bakura at the cost of his own life, the thief survives, ready to fight another day. In the manga, he reveals it's because he absorbed the Millennium Ring's power into his own body.
  • Thief King Bakura luring the Pharaoh to chase after him soon after defeating Mahad and attacking Aknadin. He starts to destroy the city and threaten the villagers, ordering the Pharaoh to hand over the Puzzle so he'll leave them alone. Yami does, albeit as a distraction to sic Slifer on him, but Bakura quickly turns the tables by having Diabound corner him and stop the stalemate by killing him. Only Priest Seto's intervention saves the day.
    • In the anime, this was even more awesome. Dartz was watching from afar, but he held off from trying to capture the Pharaoh's soul since Thief King Bakura was in his way.

    Pegasus J. Crawford/Maximillion Pegasus 
  • When Jonouchi/Joey exposes Keith's violations and ask him about that even before their Duel began, Pegasus finishes the job personally.
    Pegasus: The answer is simple. Bandit Keith, you stole Jonouchi boy's card.
    Keith: Wh-What!?
    Jonouchi: You bastard!
    Anzu: Is this true!?
    Honda: In that case, you're the unforgivable one here!
    Pegasus: I personally couldn't even care less about whose card it is. But what I cannot forgive is you cheating during the Duel just now.
    Jonouchi: He cheated!?
    Pegasus: Keith, you added the 7 Completed cards hidden in your wristbands to your hand. Too bad for you, nobody can fool my eyes.
    Jonouchi: Keith, why you!
    Pegasus: And you shall be ejected from the kingdom.
  • The scene where he steals Mokuba's soul, especially in the anime. Pegasus is cold and ruthless all the way through, intercepts Kaiba seconds before Mokuba would have been freed, and mockingly congratulates him on having gotten this far—-right after scene after scene of the Kaiba brothers vowing to see each other again. Then, after previous episodes showed Seto Kaiba was determined to not get involved in the tournament, Pegasus tosses him some Star Chips and a gauntlet, forcing him to play by his rules if he wants his brother back.
  • Pegasus giving the Penalty Game to Bandit Keith in the manga. While Keith is threatening him with a knife, he raises his hand at his bodyguard that there is no need to draw his weapon. Then he calmly explains to him he must be punished for cheating. Then he tells Keith to get ready, and deals the Penalty Game to him. Pegasus' bodyguard is somewhat shocked at the sight, but Pegasus walks on without flinching one bit.
    • The dub adds an incredibly awesome (and simultaneously hilarious) line to that scene:
    Pegasus: Oh, yes, Keith, I'll do whatever you say. Just give my body a moment to recover from the complete paralysis that your terrifying demands have shocked me into!
    • Keith gives him until the count of three. Pegasus goes "Okay, one, two, three" then drops him through an emergency trap door. Do not screw with Maximillion Pegasus.
    Pegasus: You really are a persistent one.
    Keith: Hand over the prize money! Otherwise, I'll take your life right here!
    Pegasus: You see the once renowned "Prize King" like this, you've clearly lost the necessary mind for a Duelist as I witnessed first hand in the match just now.
    Keith: Don't screw with me! Where's the prize money!?
    Pegasus: Begone, weakling.
    Pegasus presses the emergency trap door and Keith is removed from the Duelist Kingdom.
  • His duel against Chronos and Napoleon in GX is also awesome. He takes advantage of their situation, telling them that the player with more Life Points remaining will get the better position at his company, causing the two to fight against each other instead. He outsmarts them both and no one realizes it, allowing him to win the duel easily.
  • Pegasus' anti-friendship monologue in the dub, which foreshadows his reasons for holding the tournament and the fate of his wife Cecelia.
    Pegasus: That's the way life goes, Joey. Never as you planned! The world is a very arbitrary place, isn't it? It's a place where you can be locked in battle with your dearest friend for stakes neither can afford to lose. Oh, I know you'd like to think that your friendship would be enough to sustain you through any mishap or misfortune... but that's not the way the world works.
    No, the world is a place where fate intervenes when you least expect it, with consequences that can turn your world upside down. Just when you think you've etched the perfect portrait of your future, and your life couldn't get any better. Just when you let down your guard at last and open your heart—when, against all odds, you've found that one special person in all the world that fills your heart with joy! The person you know you're destined to spend the rest of your life with...
    That's when tragedy strikes. When fate hits you with the cold slap of reality and shows you who's boss. Yes, the world has taught me that only the strong and the ruthless survive. In memory of all I have lost, I fight on with all I possess—and I intend to win!
  • During Pegasus's duel with Kaiba in Duelist Kingdom, he tries to get the soulless Mokuba to duel in his place. When Kaiba relents and plays Pegasus's way, he toys with him at first before utterly curbstomping him.
  • Pegasus comes within 400 Life Points of defeating Dark Yugi, and manages to take out regular Yugi when he pulls them into a Shadow Game.

    Marik Ishtar 
  • His almost unbeatable Jam Defender/Slifer combo, which brought Yami Yugi to his knees before he figured out how to stop it.
  • In the manga, Marik threatened to kill Yami Bakura if he refused to join forces with him, giving him five minutes to think it over.
    Yami Bakura: And if I refuse?
    Marik: Then you won't leave this pier alive.
  • The death-match pier duel was an iconic moment in showing just how dangerous Marik could be in that the loser of the match was guaranteed to die, the time limit sinking both players ensured they couldn't stall, and Anzu was used as leverage to avoid outside interference.
  • The sheer fact that he does not let Yami Marik take his body lying down and constantly finds ways, through Bakura and through Téa, to fight back against him.
  • Marik regains control of the duel against Yami Marik at the very end of the match, tells his dark side off, and surrenders, bringing Yugi back and obliterating his evil half for good.

    Dark Marik/Yami Marik 
  • His summoning of the Winged Dragon of Ra to his side of the field... after it had been summoned by his opponent. Turns out you have to have a connection to Ancient Egypt to control an Egyptian God Card.
    Marik: Great Beast of the Sky, please hear my cry!
    Transform thyself from orb of light and bring me victory in this fight!
    Envelop the desert with your glow and cast your rage upon my foe!
    Unlock your powers from deep within so that, together, we may win!
    Appear in this Shadow Game as I call your name...
    Winged Dragon of Ra!
  • Somehow, he still manages to look cool while one side of his face is randomly twisting and distorting.
  • Marik is supposed to be completely crazy after Dark Marik takes him over. Yet, when the situation calls for it, they make him look calm and collected, with a calculating smile on his face.
  • After defeating Mai, pulling a knife on Joey.
  • The first time that he fuses with Ra, during his duel with Dark Bakura, and again when he does it during his duel with Dark Yugi. It's a horrifying mix of Body Horror and One-Winged Angel, as most of his body, minus an eye and a hand and leaking black smoke, joins with Ra, but there is no denying the sheer, mind-bending awesome of it.
  • Destroying Noah's robots by deflecting laser-fire back at them with the Millenium Rod.
  • The anime-only scene in the duel against Jounouchi where Gilford's attack is stopped inches from his face and he just starts laughing.
    • The reveal of Ra's Phoenix form, and the all out insanity of its assault on Joey, as it sets the entire arena afire.
  • During his duel with Yugi/Dark Yugi, Dark Marik maintains control for almost the entire battle, gets rid of both Slifer and Obelisk (and survives a direct hit from the latter, laughing like a madman the entire time), and ultimately outdueled Dark Yugi, forcing him to throw away all of his monsters to get rid of Ra. Not only that, but he would still survive since Marik was the object of the penalty Dark Marik took for losing life points.

    Shizuka Kawai/Serenity Wheeler 
  • In the anime, right after the duel between Yugi and the Brainwashed and Crazy Jounouchi, she snatches the key for Jounouchi's bindings and fearlessly jumps into the water to rescue her brother before he drowns.
    • Hell, just plucking up the nerve to take those bandages off and find out whether or not she was permanently blind was awesome in itself.
  • And during the Noa arc, when with some guidance from Otogi, Shizuka finally gets over her Heroic BSoD following Honda's disappearance and manages to turn the tables on Big 4/Nezbitt, summoning St. Joan and pwning the enemy.

    Mokuba Kaiba 
  • During Death-T, Yugi saves Mokuba from Seto's Experience of Death Penalty Game. As thanks for saving him, he saves Honda from the falling blocks room and persuades the guards to let Yugi's friends go afterwards.
  • At the start of the Legendary Heroes arc, Mokuba runs all the way from KaibaCorp to the game shop in a storm.
  • In the Legendary Heroes arc, Seto Kaiba is trapped in a virtual reality video game and chained to a pillar, with the monsters planning to sacrifice him. Mokuba switches clothes with Princess Adena to let himself be captured in her place, and when he's brought to where Kaiba is being held, he uses Kaiba's own deck to free his brother.
  • Near the end of the Legendary Heroes arc, Mokuba realizes the Big Five are targeting Seto with their dragon and pushes him out of the way, taking the hit in his place. Note that Seto Kaiba is a trained martial artist in the anime and at least twice as tall and strong as Mokuba.
  • While dueling Yugi, Kaiba makes an impassioned speech about how he plans to forget about his past and leave his old life behind once he wins, which bugs Mokuba because younger Kaiba was a lot nicer than the current one. After Kaiba loses to Yugi, Yugi gives him a speech about how he's so full of hatred of his stepfather, his past, and Yugi himself, that he'll never be able to move on as a person until he gets over them. Kaiba ignores him and leaves, set to board the ride home and destroy the Duel Tower anyway, the implication being he's not going to tell Yugi and the gang and is thus basically leaving them to die. Mokuba, Kaiba's little brother who is pretty much the only cast member who can stand Kaiba, finally snaps and shouts "I think Yugi's right!", and cries that he preferred their days in the orphanage because at least his brother wasn't so angry and bitter back then. Mokuba's words convince Kaiba to swallow his pride at long last and help Yugi beat Marik. When Mokuba, the guy who spends most the series singing his brother's praises, calls him out on being a jerk, you definitely know Kaiba has crossed a line.
  • Epic Mokuba Maneuver.

    Mai Kujaku/Mai Valentine 
  • Though Mai gets a lot of flak for never winning an onscreen duel, she gets some decent moments, the biggest of which would be using a special ability of one of her monsters to steal Dark Marik's friggin' God Card right out of his deck. Granted, using it backfired on her, but only because of the requirement for the player to recite a passage in ancient Egyptian (which only Marik, Dark Yugi, and Kaiba knew) to summon it. If not for that, Mai would have blasted Marik's evil little butt back to his little tomb.
    • If she hadn't tried to use it at all, she actually would have most likely won. She was basically kicking Marik's butt until she tried to summon Ra.
    • It doesn't even matter that she rarely gets an onscreen duel win, given 1) her supporting character status, 2) she's paired off against the arc enemies more often than not, and 3) always comes one move within victory even when she loses. Winning duels can boil down to dumb luck rather than skill, but the way Mai always put her opponents through their paces, win or no, never did.
  • Mai's method of cheating. She didn't rely on X-ray contact lenses like Rare Hunter did. She soaked her cards in perfume and then was able to memorize them to know what card she was about to draw. She used the same trick when she was a dealer on a world-sailing cruise ship and can identify a minimum of 52 different scents.
  • Mai was willing to wager five of her star chips to let Yugi advance to the finals. You need ten, so everyone thought that'd mean she'd risk disqualifying herself. Valentine's answer? Throw them the chips and show her duel gauntlet with ten full slots. She picked up five star chips as extra.
  • Until the very end, in Mai's duel against Yugi at Duelist Kingdom, she basically has the upper hand the entire time and would have beaten Yugi if he hadn't drawn the exact card he needed.
    • Yugi wasn't at his best, and Mai could have taken advantage of that. Instead, she called him out on it. It was like, "Hey! You promised me an honorable duel! What is the matter with you? Bring it!" That's sportsmanship.
  • In the Doma arc, Mai taking down a group of bikers by throwing her cards at them and causing them to crash.

    Other Characters 
  • Slifer and Obelisk both collide in the Battle City semifinals with 4000 attack points. The force of the stalemate causes a groundshaking explosion and shatters televisions all over the world. Don't fuck with the Egyptian Gods.
    • It's even more epic in the manga. Obelisk attacks, 4000 vs. 3000. Yami activates Pot of Greed (the only time that it was used in the manga no less!) and draws two cards, powering Slifer up to 5000 just as Obelisk punches through the side of Slifer's face. Slifer then, with Obelisk's fist still embedded in the side of its face, blast Obelisk at point-blank range. Kaiba then activates Life Shaver to discard a card from Yugi's hand, putting the score equal at 4000. Obelisk then uppercuts Slifer so hard that it not only punches through Slifer's two sets of jaws, it punches through its own arm that is still in Slifer's face and breaks that arm off. Not to be outdone, Slifer ends up coiling around it and taking it into the sky, where they finally destroy one another. Bad. Ass.
  • When Yugi duels the Rare Hunter Arkana, Arkana uses a more sinister-looking copy of the Dark Magician. At first the creature appears just as evil and twisted as his master, but it shows genuine fear and shock when Arkana uses him as a sacrifice for a cheap shot at Yugi's life-points. Then, when Yugi summons the Dark Magician girl and gains a power boost from Yugi's Magican being in the graveyard Arkana thinks she's still not strong enough to beat him, then, to his horror he spots a faint image of Yugi's Magician, and his own standing by her side! Thus giving her the power she needs to wipe out his master. The look on the no doubt formerly evil Magician's face is surprisingly not one of rage or maliciousness, but simply of utter contempt for his former master. A very awesome moment for a monster who sadly never appears in the series again.
    • Yugi's own Dark Magician also deserves a mention for sacrificing himself to save Yugi from losing the duel (and getting his legs cut off). No, Yugi didn't play any magic or trap. His Dark Magician freely and willingly gave his very soul to protect Yugi. And considering what Yugi is arguing (treating your monsters as your partners instead of your servants), it's also an act that proves his point: kindness is more powerful than cruelty.
  • Although it's ultimately defeated, in the manga, Priest Seto's Galestgoras acquits itself quite well against Diabound when it effectively outmuscles and outsmarts it. Diabound's serpent tail attacks from behind and Galestgoras catches it, which even catches Bakura off guard for a second.
  • Mahad, in a sheer moment of utter coolness, sacrifices himself to beat Bakura's thieving little rear. Bakura escapes, but we have to applaud Mahad's unflinching loyalty.
    • Also important in that this is how Mahad becomes the Dark Magician. Not to mention that unlike the Kisara and Blue Eyes duel monster reincarnation that Kaiba wields, the Dark Magician used by Yugi is true to its old spirit.
    • In the Ceremonial Duel, he is able to channel himself from the afterlife to possess Atem's Dark Magican. And he speaks, explaining that he's done so to help and be with him in his final battle. No explanation is ever given as to how he's able to do such a thing but it's implied that it's The Power of Friendship.
  • Mana gets one with her development from someone who couldn't even see spirits, to summoning the Dark Magician Girl to save Mahad and fight alongside him.
  • Priest Seto is possessed by his father, and it looks like Akhenaden's about to use him and the Blue-Eyes White Dragon to kill Atem. What does Kisara do? She takes control of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon and then enters Priest Seto's soul room to destroy Akhenaden for good.
  • Raphael beating Yugi. Fairly. He spends the whole duel speaking about how much he actually loves and respects his monsters, something that he accuses Yugi of not actually doing. Then he reveals he's not going to use the Seal of Orichalcos, the overpowered and rule-breaking card that made all the others in Dartz's service a threat, even using a magic card to force Yugi to take it, and taunting him about using it. And then, since Yugi doesn't fall for it, he forces him into a position that forces him to use it. The Seal makes Yugi ruthless, sacrificing one monster after another to attack Raphael, and just when it looks like Yugi is about to win, Raphael uses all the monsters he sacrificed to reach 10,000 ATK, winning the duel. He played fairly, outwitting Yugi and playing him from the very beginning, managed to get the seal's effect without using it himself and held the moral high ground. No other villain in the show could manage something like that.
  • Arkana/Pandora using actual magician's tricks to make sure that he had his Dark magician on the first hand.
  • While the final battle against Zork has several, special mention has to go to Shimon (the ancient egyptian counterpart to Yugi's Grandfather) summoning fricken' Exodia to battle Zorc.
  • Rafael at the end of his second Duel with the Pharaoh. His monster, Guardian Deathscythe, has been destroyed. But he's still in the game. What does he do? He activates Soul Charge, a Magic Card which allows him to revive his monsters from the Graveyard, but in exchange, forces him to pay 500 Life Points for each one. He resurrects all of his Guardians, but in the process is forced to pay more Life Points than he has left. He could have just forfeited the game, but instead he chose to essentially forfeit while apologizing to his monsters for throwing them aside to power up Deathscythe. And the best part? After this, the Orichalcos tries to take his soul, but it can't because Rafael has no darkness in his heart.
  • Odion, upon regaining consciousness after going into a coma for a while managed to drag his injured self all the way up to the top of the tower where Yami Marik and Yami Yugi were duelling to show his unwavering support for Good Marik.
    • His entire duel with Joey. Considering so many opponents have cheated him, including all his Battle City opponents except for Mako, Odion gives Joey his toughest duel yet, but flying in the face of both Joey's past opponents and the Rare Hunter organization as a whole, he does it completely fairly. Not only is it an awesome duel but it helps establish Odion as a Noble Demon Anti-Villain even without the flashbacks through it all.
  • The Gate Guardian's first summoning was rather powerful, as it came out from either three scroll cases or coffins depending on what those three boxes are meant to be. The dub's Rhymes on a Dime theme for the Paradox Bros. adds to it.
    Elements of Thunder, Water, and Wind,
    Suijin, Sanga, Kazejin begin.
    Meld your powers in eternal light,
    Show these fools your unstoppable might!
    Gate Guardian!
    He is pain beyond description
    He'll mark the graves with your inscription.
  • For all the times it's been mentioned in regards to those on the receiving end, Siegfried has to be given some props for the first appearance of his One-Hit Kill. In his debut duel, he takes on Rex and Weevil, who start things off by using card combinations to bring out their biggest monsters. Siegfried draws for his turn, and since how "Ride of the Valkyries'" effect works isn't explained just yet appears to instantly defeat them both with one card, slaughtering their monsters and Life Points in a hurricane of rose petals. Ladies and gentlemen, this arc's Magnificent Bastard has arrived.
  • Rebecca showing Vivian Wong that underestimating her was a huge mistake during their duel. She is completely in control from start to finish, showing that her prodigy label is well-earned.
    • In a non duel related moment, when Yugi and Kaiba infiltrate the American KaibaCorp headquarters(which has been taken over by Doma) so they can use the supercomputer inside to analyze the data from the Atlantean ruins, they quickly find out that security system has been reprogrammed, preventing them from opening the doors inside, and they get cornered by a group of monsters summoned by Dartz. But Rebecca, who Kaiba dismissed as Just a Kid when she offered to help earlier, manages to hack the security system and open the doors, saving both Yugi and Kaiba. She even gets to tease Kaiba about it, saying that his system is nothing special, and offers to write a better system for him if he hires her. Japanese Kaiba actually seems impressed enough to say that he will consider it without a hint of sarcasm.
  • On the villainous side of things, Lector managing to regain control of the Big Five's team duel with Yugi & Joey not once, but three times. Nesbitt, being an idiot, has left the Big Five in dire straits. Lector manages to take back control, using his Deck Master, Jinzo, and his Injection Fairy Lily. When that's undone, he summons The Big Five's ultimate monster, the Five-Headed Dragon, forcing Yugi and Joey to put their Deck Master's in play to defeat it. Then finally, just when it looks like Yugi & Joey have him beat, Lector activates A Deal With Dark Ruler and summons Berserk Dragon, leaving the duel in his hands again. For a guy who only learned how to duel in the short time since being trapped in the Virtual World, Lector acquits himself extremely well.
  • The part when Tristan judo-throws Kemo through the air, only for him to land on his feet, leap up, and nail Tristan with a missile dropkick.
  • Kemo forces Seto Kaiba to run for his life when he triggers an alarm system in Pegasus's labyrinth. Making it more awesome is that Kaiba had been easily pushing him around earlier despite Kemo's own martial arts skills.
  • Nezbitt is the only character in the anime to beat Kaiba in a fight, disarming his lead pipe with a stick.
  • Aknadin gets an awesome radar-dodging moment in the dub when Thief King Bakura first infiltrates the palace.
    Aknadin: I don't know where you came from, Bakura; however, I do know where you must go.
    Trading Card Game 
  • During a Top 32 match at the 2012 European Championships, Thibault Giordan may have ultimately lost the match, but he made the crowd go absolutely berserk in game three when he Tribute Summoned Dark Magician.
    • And Thibault continued the awesome the next turn. His opponent summoned an XYZ monster with whom he attacked Dark Magician. Cue "Forbidden Chalice", which boosted Dark Magician's attack to 2900, culminating with it overpowering the XYZ! The crowd goes wild again!
  • In the finals of YCS Columbus in 2011, Billy Brake played against Alistar Albans in a Plant mirror match, with Brake looking to take his second YCS in two months. During the third and final game, Brake has the misfortune to draw into all 3 copies of Reborn Tengu, a card that is powerful, yet only useful so long as you don't draw multiple copies, and still ended up winning the match and therefore the tournament, despite playing with effectively a 3 card handicap for the entirety of the 3rd duel.
  • Game 3 of the 2016 European Championship final, Samir Bacher, playing Pendulums, had to deal with his opponent opening an absolutely perfect opening hand, most importantly including Anti-Spell Fragrance, a card that stops him from being able to play at all. It looked like Samir was going to lose without being able to play a single card, but, off the top of his deck he draws Mystical Space Typhoon as his sixth card destroying the Anti-Spell Fragrance that would have prevented him from playing the game, and because of it, he takes the the game and the tournament.

  • This scripted duel narrated by the VAs for Yugi and Yusei. For fans of the original series and of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, a real treat seeing the protagonists duke it out, exactly as one would expect (especially with all the old-school cards Yugi unleashes that are currently banned from the metagame).
  • This VA scripted duel is a tag team duel that has Yugi, Joey, and Mai versus Pegasus and Bakura. It is the definition of epic. Pegasus defeats Mai and Joey, but loses to Yugi, and Yami Bakura takes over Ryou as his turn begins, turning the duel into a shadow game.
  • This scripted duel has Kaiba versus Pegasus, the latter using a Wind-Up deck provided by one of the real-life players instead of his usual Toons.
  • This scripted duel is between Joey and Kaiba. While Joey loses, he puts up quite a fight.
  • Another scripted duel is between Yugi and Mai. When Yugi activates Multiply, a pile of Kuriboh cards is tossed between the two to mimic what Multiply does on the show.
  • Then there is the one between Yugi and Astral. Easily one of the best matches, filled with constant gambits from both eras.
  • This one is between Pegasus and Marik. Pegasus wins by using Comic Hand to take control of the Winged Dragon of Ra and turn it into a Toon!
  • This duel is between Joey and Pegasus. Joey takes Pegasus down to 300 LP before losing and earns his respect as a duelist.
  • This one is Yusei versus Yuya. Yusei defeats Yuya with his Stardust Charge Warrior, attacking all of his monsters at once.
  • This duel is between Yugi and Kaiba. It's down to the wire as the Egyptian God cards get played along with the duelists' signature monsters, and new support cards. The duel itself is a combination of their duel in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, their Battle City duel, and Yugi's duels in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, alongside new summoning methods and old favorites.
  • This scripted duel is a double-event of Jack Atlas vs. Pegasus, and then Jack vs. Aster Phoenix. Jack beats Pegasus in a single turn, prompting Aster to duel and defeat Jack while Pegasus commentates.
  • This scripted duel in 2019 is, once again, between Yugi and Kaiba.
    • It begins with Kaiba summoning all three Blue-Eyes White Dragons on his very first turn, and then proceeds into a back-and-forth swing as both Yugi and Kaiba keep destroying the other's field and rebuilding their own, bringing their aces back each time. This culminates in Yugi and Kaiba both summoning a colossal Fusion Monster — Quintet Magician and Blue-Eyes Alternative Ultimate Dragon — and both getting defeated in a Double Knockout, leaving the path clear for a humble Sangan to finally inflict the first instance of Battle Damage.
    • Kaiba then triggers his Crush Card Virus after Yugi wipes out his Giant Germ with his Blue-Eyes (again). This destroys every monster Yugi can draw with 1500 ATK, leaving him with no field and no hand, and little in the way to stand up to Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon or Blue-Eyes Alternative Ultimate Dragon. The final turns comes down to a Call-Back to the very first episode:
      Kaiba: Draw your last pathetic card, Yugi...
      Yugi: I've told you once and I'll tell you again, Kaiba: My deck has no pathetic cards! But once again, it does contain... The unstoppable Exodia! Come forth, Exodia the Legendary Defender!
      Kaiba: Exodia? How can this be?!


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