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Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu / Live-Action TV

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  • After all of Season 3's build-up to the superpowered Big Bad from a distant planet, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to have to do this, possibly a few times. After a few times hindering Hive with various means, he's finally taken down for good in the finale by having a warhead explode in his face.
  • In the miniseries Alice (2009), Alice is attacked by the Jabberwock (you know, the gargantuan, terrifying monster from the poem?) and is trapped on the ground as it tries to reach her through a tree. So what does Hatter do? He punches the Jabberwock in the face and hauls Alice away from it.
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  • The finale of Ashes to Ashes (2008), in which - among other things - Gene Hunt PUNCHES SATAN IN THE FACE. No, seriously; Jim Keats is Satan.
  • In the Grand Finale of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Ash manages to kill Kandar the Destroyer by using a tank to fire the Kandarian dagger through its head and out its mouth.
  • Babylon 5 is one big epic about punching out Cthulhu. It ends with the remaining Cthulhus just deciding to leave, only for the viewers to be treated to the Thirdspace Aliens who are as close to Cthulhu as the other First Ones are: they're immeasurably OLDER than even the Vorlons and Shadows, they live in a dark dimension, they have immense telepathic powers surpassing even the Vorlons, AND a (presumed) member of this race which tried to kill Sheridan looked like a squid/octopus. Series creator Straczynski has also said that the Thirdspace aliens were based on the Cthulhu mythos.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • For the Judge in "Innocence", all the mystical texts declare that "no weapon forged" can stop him. However, as Xander realizes, those texts predate modern weapons. And thus, Buffy takes the Judge out with a rocket launcher, more specifically, one with a self-forging warhead.
    • Some of their Big Bads were essentially demon gods, who they eventually had to defeat to go on to the next season. By the end they faced against The First Evil.
    • Let's not forget Willow. She hurt the Egyptian God of Death when he refused to bring Tara back from the dead. She hurt a god!
    • In "Tough Love", Willow did this to Glory long before Osiris. Twice. Once in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge via lightning and a bag of knives (although all this really did was piss her off), and the second when she restores Tara's sanity and blew Glory away like she was a piece of paper. Granted, Glory got back up seconds later but seriously weakened. Justified in this case, the act of restoring Tara's sanity took energy out of Glory.
      • Buffy does the same thing in "The Gift", first with the Orb of Dagon, then with a hammer, then Xander does it with a wrecking ball.
      • Giles does so in an unusual way, by smothering Ben, the human holding cell for the Hell God Glory, thus, indirectly killing Glory. It's more astounding in retrospect than in the moment, but still.
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    • The Scooby Gang has, several times, killed an Old One, the original, nearly all-powerful demons that originally inhabited Earth.
      • The first time was in mid-season three, in "The Zeppo", when they killed the Hellmouth demon from "Prophecy Girl".
      • They did it again in "Graduation Day Part 2". When the Mayor turns into an enormous demon after his Ascension, he's morphing into an Old One, which Buffy proceeds to kill with lots and lots of explosives.
      • Taken a step further in the Angel and Faith comics as part of Season 9. Angel and Faith go to Quor'toth, the dimension Connor was imprisoned in during season three of Angel. Once there, they inadvertently awaken Quor'toth, the extremely powerful Old One residing there. Willow then proceeds to fight it, one-on-one. And wins. Keep in mind, this was an Old One so bad that its dimension is called "the darkest of the dark worlds".
    • In "Peace Out", Connor once punched a god so hard its head exploded on Angel. Because he was wangsty.
    • Buffy also took out the invincible Mayor and Caleb.
  • Played for laughs in the Argentine comedy Casados Con Hijos. Pepe Argento is visited by Death, who wants to take him. First, they try to settle things playing Truco (an Argentine card game) and get to a tie. Then, they improvise a net and decide things by soccer penalty kicks. Death is about to win... and then Coki gets into the house, confuses Death with a common burglar, and attacks him. He missed the penalty kick, so he lost.
  • In the Grand Finale of The Colbert Report, the final "Cheating Death with Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA" segment starts with the usual intro of Stephen playing Chess with Death, then distracting him while rearranging the pieces. Except that this time, Death finally catches him in the act and starts strangling him. Stephen manages to shoot and kill Death in self-defence with his revolver, Sweetness, and absorbs Death's power Highlander-style, becoming immortal.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor does this quite a lot.
    • For example, in "The Satan Pit", the Doctor and Rose destroy a being from "before time" which claimed to be Satan.
    • Given the Doctor's status to various people across the universe as basically a demigod, you can argue that a few people have done it to him too. Including Rory.
  • The made-for-TV movie Fallen on ABC Family, where the hero is the Antichrist, and he exists to redeem his father Satan, but instead, he kills him.
  • Happens damn near literally in Farscape — the invincible space vampire Maldis is defeated in his second appearance with a couple of punches and gunshots.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Sam discovers the White Walkers' sole Kryptonite Factor completely by accident.
    • Jon Snow is the second man confirmed to have killed a White Walker, and the first to do so in single combat.
    • Meera Reed becomes the third living human to kill a White Walker in the series, and the first living woman to do so.
    • Bronn manages to shoot a bolt into a dragon's wing mid-flight with a scorpion.
  • Satan appears on Good Eats, usually getting his ass handed to him and/or getting blasted with the fire extinguisher by Alton, who was a Christian in Real Life when the show was made.
  • In Kamen Rider Double, the Utopia Dopant isn't a God but is pretty close to Omnipotent. In the end, Double beats the stuffing out of him. Though in his defense, he was just caught in his evil lair blowing up around him and they turned his strongest ability to overload him, still, up until then, he was he steamrolled everyone in his path.
  • In the season 5 finale of Lost, Benjamin Linus kills Jacob. Yes, that Jacob; the guy who's pretty much been played as God since his offscreen introduction to the series.
    • A milder version in the next season when quasi-immortal Richard, the one character who never suffered an injury, gets knocked out and carried away. Not as big a deal when you realize the guy knocking him out was the series's real Cthulhu...
      • Subverted a few episodes later, again with Richard. Much like Ben, Richard is talked into killing Jacob. Unlike Ben, he gets his ass kicked. Clearly, Jacob got lazier over the years or tired of the job.
      • Another mild version occurs in "The Candidate", Jack and the Man in Black/Flocke are running towards the submarine while Flocke is (unknowingly) saying that Locke was wrong about Jack needing to stay on the Island. Jack reveals this and then uses his gun to knock Flocke into the water. For a being who had wiped out countless people without suffering a scratch, this was quite the humiliating moment.
    • An even better example, in the Series Finale Jack leaps off of a cliff in the middle of the rainstorm from what seems to be 10 feet and bashing The Man In Locke with an earth-shaking right hook. And, credit where credit is due, Kate saved him a bullet.
    • What about when Eko stares down the Smoke Monster? Yes, not quite punching out, but back then, when Smokey was the pilot-mutilating, howling-in-the-jungle, enigmatic death machine, just seeing him and surviving was pretty lucky.
  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger has the Infershia Pantheon as the villains of its third arc, a group of ten Gods of Evil who serve under their master the Absolute God N Ma. Three are killed by their own members for one reason or another, one performs a Heel–Face Turn, and the rest are killed by the Magirangers.
  • The Power Rangers do this very, very often:
    • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa summons this ancient spirit Lokar (in the original Japanese series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, Lokar's name was "Dai Satan". Yeah). The Power Rangers defeat Lokar and send him running, screaming in pain. That's right. The Power Rangers beat the devil in a fight. In their first year (!).
    • Season one also had a normal-sized Green Ranger take on Megazord, who is a talking creature called the Great Beast God in the source material. His lasers are no match for the mastodon shield, and later he sort of cheats by kicking the team out of the cockpit, but he still gets points for trying.
    • In season three, Rita's father Master Vile arrives. Vile is described as the most evil being in the Universe. The Power Rangers deliver such a beatdown that Master Vile runs back to his home planet within about five episodes.
    • Villain example in Power Rangers Zeo. Rita creates a monster that's able to beat all the Zeo Zords, including all the Zeo Ultrazord configurations. God. Damn. Beware the Silly Ones indeed.
      • Also Lord Zedd and Rita giving the Royal House of Gadgetry a "surprise present", which was really a bomb in disguise. The Royal House of Gadgetry gets blown up and destroyed, and Zedd and Rita drive away laughing.
    • In season eight, the Lightspeed Rangers' major arch-enemy is a demonic elder being named Queen Bansheera. Bansheera's ultimate plan is to open the gates to monster hell and have demon spirits lay waste to planet Earth. Carter, the Red Ranger, manages to defeat Bansheera in hand-to-hand combat, then drops her into monster hell, and seals her in.
      • Admittedly, Carter DID have a bit of help as the other 5 Rangers were trying to pull him OUT of the portal to hell whilst Bansherra was pulling him IN, until Diabolico got her to let go and pulled her in whilst Carter was pulled out and the portal sealed.
    • In season ten, the Wild Force Rangers spend the season up against Master Org. In the finale, when Master Org gains an upgrade, he manages to kill a god, the deity Animus. But through the strength of the Rangers' belief, they summon one hundred zords who focus their ultimate attack on Master Org and turn him to dust.
    • In season thirteen, the final villain that the Power Rangers Space Patrol Delta face is a giant sentient space-ship named Omni (who had been forcing the other villains to rebuild him all season-long). The SPD Rangers bust out their respective zords (including a sky-scraper that gets up and walks around), and you can guess what happens.
    • In season fourteen, the final villain for the Mystic Force Rangers is a Cthulhu-esque demonic entity named the Master, who eats magic. After murdering the Rangers' family and mentors, he consumes their magic. But the belief in the Rangers (from the town they had spent the year protecting) restored their powers (and their dead mentors). The Master exclaimed, "Give me that magic!" The Rangers oblige, channeling their powers into a limitless blast of energy, that they force down the Master's throat until he explodes.
    • In season fifteen, although it was done very badly, and was absolutely anti-climactic, the villain Flurious donned the Crown of the Gods in the season finale, brought down a glacier on the Rangers' hometown, but the Operation Overdrive Rangers manage to kill him.
      • In season fifteen's yearly team-up episodes, a particularly vicious and powerful giant monster is thrashing the team's zords. Mack, the current Red Ranger (although at the time, he'd resigned) runs towards the monster holding the magical sword Excelsior and manages to kill the 30-story-tall monster, using nothing but the sword. Only four Rangers in the entire history of the show have ever managed to defeat a giant monster without using their zords (TJ the Red Turbo Ranger, Eric the Quantum Ranger, and Tommy as the Black Brachio Ranger being the other three). But Mack is the only Ranger to ever destroy a giant monster without even morphing.
    • In season sixteen, the Power Rangers Jungle Fury team spend the season fighting Dai Shi, an ancient elder-being. Once Dai Shi manifests physically, the Rangers team up with Dai Shi's pawns (Jarrod and Camille), and Jarrod lets himself be consumed by Dai Shi to destroy the entity from the inside out. Jarrod survives. Dai Shi doesn't.
    • The Samurai Rangers continue the trend, with their final battle against the demon overlord Master Xandred. They've tried to seal him back inside the Underworld (which failed), they tried to exploit a weakness (which failed), they used a special one-of-a-kind weapon to hurt him (which failed). Growing increasingly desperate, their plan eventually just becomes, 'hit him until he drops'. It works. Twice.
  • In the Red Dwarf finale, The Grim Reaper himself shows up to claim Rimmer. Rimmer knees him in the groin and runs away.
    • This may or may not be a Call-Back to the episode Future Echoes way back in Season 1 when Rimmer tells Lister "[He] can't whack Death on the head", to which Lister responds, "If he comes near me, I'm gonna rip his nipples off!"
  • In the first few seasons of Stargate SG-1, the eponymous group is the main thorn in the side of the Goa'uld Empire, who fancy themselves gods. The Goa'uld are beaten soundly at the end of the second part of "Reckoning", though they manage to survive but are currently warring amongst themselves. Then there are the Ori in the last two seasons, who are the closest thing to godly that the series can get. They're all killed by a MacGuffin, but their physical embodiment Adria gains all of their power. She, however, is apparently occupied in an unending battle with Morgan Le Fay.
  • Star Trek:
    • Captain Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series tended to eat Physical Gods as a snack sometime between lunch and dinner. And almost never used anything superhuman to do it with. This trend starts right with the second pilot (the first with Kirk), where he gets in a bare-knuckle fistfight with his friend who, after traveling through a Negative Space Wedgie, starts gaining super psychic powers. And super asshole powers. Part of this was because, for all his reputation as a space cowboy, Kirk was a master of Talking the Monster to Death, one of the most useful skills to have against vastly powerful opponents.
      • Kirk did, however, manage to actually kill Apollo. Yes, that Apollo.
    • Literally occurs in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in which Q creates a boxing ring and begins taunting Sisko, and when Sisko has enough of it he decks Q.
      Q: You hit me. Picard never hit me!
      Sisko: I'm not Picard.
      • To be fair, Sisko is half God. And Q never came back to DS9 afterwards.
      • This is brought up in the Q-Continuum trilogy of books, where Picard mentions Q getting punched by Sisko, and wishes he had come up with the same idea.
    • Also, in the Grand Finale, Sisko takes out Gul Dukat after he's imbued with eldritch power as the emissary of the P'ah Wraiths with an extremely crude bull rush.
    • This is a recurring theme in Deep Space Nine, albeit mostly metaphorical. The Gods of the Dominion are the main antagonists for much of the show (although they are in fact changelings just like Odo.) And they stated that a type of radiation is harmless to humanoids but kills non-corporeal life forms, such as the Gods of Bajor in the wormhole and their Evil Counterpart, the Pah-Wraiths (the show makes it clear that unlike the Founders, the Prophets are not false gods). You'd almost think they introduced religion into an entirely secular setting just to make this point.
    • Captain Janeway once found herself going toe-to-toe with the personification of fear. It was such a curb stomp that Fear was reduced to a gibbering wreck, begging Janeway for mercy. She offered none.
      Fear: I'm afraid.
      Janeway: I knooooooooooow.
    • A rather horrifying version occurred in "Scorpion". The Borg appear for the first time in Voyager, move menacingly towards the screen, saying their Catch Phrase...and are one-shot by the soon to be revealed Species 8472 before they can even finish it. Voyager was notorious for the Villain Decay of the Borg, but this had yet to happen and at the time the Borg were still the Baddest of the Bads known to Star Trek, excluding the God-like entities, and they didn't even get a shot off.
    • It is an accepted part of Klingon culture that ancient Klingons found the gods to be troublesome, so they slew them. According to Klingon myth their Gods were destroyed by the beating of the hearts of the first two Klingons and set the heavens on fire.
    • In Star Trek: Borg, a Full Motion Video game where Q assists the player in taking revenge against the Borg, the player is given the option to either punch Q in the face or deliver a Groin Attack to him.
  • Supernatural:
    • Sam Winchester, granted he was drugged up on demon blood at the time but he kicked the horseman of famine's ass (in a Ghost Rider-like method). There's also his killing of Alastair and wrestling control of his own body from Satan, before throwing both of them into Hell.
    • Or Dean Winchester, who has taken out at least 6 supernatural beings ( Azazel, the Whore of Babylon, Zachariah, Eve, Dick Roman, and Death) that he had no business defeating or even approaching. With nothing more than a GED and a can-do attitude. Downplayed with Lucifer's death, which required Dean to house the Archangel Michael, even if he was still the one in control.
  • In Torchwood, Owen beats Death in a wrestling match.
    • Technically, he just held Death until it died of starvation for lack of souls to consume, as at this point Owen himself is technically dead.
    • Let's not forget the time that Captain Jack Harkness kills Abaddon by having him absorb Jack's immortal life force until he overdosed (or something).
  • The Ultraman franchise is entirely based on this. In every episode of every show, the heroes battle and defeat living forces of nature, Evil Overlords, Eldritch Abominations, Humongous Mecha, and superpowered aliens. Ultraman Tiga deserves a special mention, as in the Grand Finale he battles Ghatanothoa, who is none other than the firstborn of Cthulhu himself!
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: played fast and loose with this trope. For a time, Xena had the power to kill gods and exercised this ability on most of the Olympian Pantheon.
    • Xena attempted to use this power on the archangel Michael, too.
    • Not to mention how often she beat the living crap out of Ares, the Greek God of War.
    • Or how she killed Callisto, while she was a goddess. And the Bacchae god Bacchus. And the war god Kal. All before ever gaining the ability to kill gods.
    • Or how she killed Mephistopheles. The King of Hell. As in Satan himself. Plus, not a full 72 hours afterward, Xena was singlehandedly responsible for making Lucifer the new king of hell.
    • Or how many times she put a stopper in the plans of Dahak, the ultimate evil god who was once described as 'The blind force behind every evil deed'. Though Xena never got the chance to fight Dahak herself, (something he should be incredibly thankful for) she was indirectly responsible for every defeat he ever suffered including his final defeat, and death, at the hands of Hercules and Iolaus after his introduction in 'The Deliverer', and for the deaths of both his daughter, the demigoddess Hope, and also his grandson, The Destroyer.
    • Or how, in the finale, she killed Yodoshi, a powerful demon-lord, who had consumed both the souls of 40,000 people Xena killed by burning down the town of Higuchi and the souls of anyone to die in all Japan since. After adding all of these souls to his power total, he was effectively stronger, more deadly, and arguably more indebted to Xena than anybody she had ever come up against.


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