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Back-to-Back Badasses

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And then their third guy comes out for Back-to-Back-to-Back.

Kodlak: Would you raise your shield in his/her defense?
Farkas: I would stand at his/her back, so that the world might never overtake us.

When two people (or more on the rare occasion) are completely surrounded, outnumbered and outgunned, by simply coming together and having their backs against each other, they are suddenly much more capable. Usually involves a lot of spinning and may lead to Radial Ass Kicking. The fully realized fight scene of this image is the Bash Brothers. A warrior's most vulnerable area is his back, and by putting their backs together, two warriors can eliminate this disadvantage and turn it into an advantage.

The Rival will do this instantly with the hero should any third party interfere, because naturally they are the only one who should be allowed to fight the hero. It also underlines the respect and trust they each, despite their banter, have for the other. Battle Couples and their non-romantic counterparts, Fire-Forged Friends also love this trope. Occasionally this backfires on one character, when the other proves not so trustworthy, but not often. May result in an Offhand Backhand by one character to protect another.

Obviously invokes the Conservation of Ninjutsu. Contrast Badass Back. Geometrical opposite of Mexican Standoff. May overlap with Back-to-Back Poster and Badass Minds Think Alike.

This is Truth in Television. The method allows the two fighters to split their opponents between them, and keeps anyone from literally stabbing either person In the Back. Military historian Mike Loades speculates that medieval knights fought on foot in this manner, and at the present, Special Forces operatives storming buildings clear out rooms this way.


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  • In a commercial for Dungeon Siege III, two ordinary guys pull swords out of nowhere and start fighting ugly humanoids. They briefly fight back to back.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Nano and Mimimi do this in Chapter 43, when they are fighting off Hahari's tentacle hair.
  • Appleseed: Ex Machina has one of this right at the beginning with Deunan being surrounded by a bunch of cyborgs as Briareios comes to the rescue, does a fairly Unorthodox Reload ejecting magazines out of his arms, then the two of them proceed to shoot up the cyborgs, "to ask them", with Deunan showcasing her incredible mobility.
  • Berserk: While it only happens twice briefly during a fight, Guts and Casca go back to back while facing off against one hundred enemy mercenaries.
  • Mr. Chang and Revy do this in Black Lagoon using their Gun Kata techniques.
  • Bleach:
    • Inverted in anime Episode 14 "Back to Back, a Fight to the Death!" Ichigo forcibly gets newfound rival Ishida to do this to stave off a legion of Hollows while at the same time trying to convince him that they are similar.
    • The anime season "The New Captain Shusuke Amagai".
      • The opening title includes Ichigo and Captain Amagai back to back.
      • In Episode 186 Rukia and Rangiku Matsumoto (who had been fighting moments earlier) end up back to back facing off against an attack by ninja mooks.
    • Toshiro and Rangiku at the beginning of Episode 222.
    • Referenced in the Zanpakuto tales filler arc, with Kuchiki Byakuya and Senbonzakura.
      Senbonzakura Master, I will watch your back.
      Byakuya That's not necessary.
    • Anime Episode #319. While fighting against the Reigei guarding the Senkaimon gate, Ichigo and Rukia briefly stand back to back facing them.
  • Cage of Eden: Protagonist Akira and his best-friend-turned-insane-murderer Kouhei do this immediately after fighting when surrounded by dinosaurs at an underground lake.
  • In the final episode of A Certain Scientific Railgun, Kuroko and Kougou fought MAR back to back.
  • A flashback in Cowboy Bebop shows Spike Spiegel and his arch-nemesis Vicious performing this trick in the past when they were hitmen partners working for the Syndicate.
  • Deadman Wonderland: Senji and Ganta. The next page, Minatsuki comments on how badass they are. Senji and Ganta then proceed to brofist.
  • One Case Closed Non-Serial Movie references Anne Bonney, who fought this way with her (female) partner so that they could watch each others' backs.
  • Digimon Frontier: The Royal Knights do this on their debut. The Digidestined run around them to try to catch them off guard while the two knights stand calmly together, casually taking them down when the digidestined attack.
  • Dragon Ball:
  • In the American-produced second season of Duel Masters, main character Shobu and dark rival Kokujo do this to fend off a pair of evil duelist twins. They are playing a children's card game.
  • A staple of fight scenes in Endride, the chiefest example being Emilio and Shun, who almost always fight in tandem.
  • Kenshiro and Rei do this in Fist of the North Star when they fight the Fang Clan and later during the Cassandra arc. Also Bat and Ein during the Tentei arc, and Ken and Shachi during the Shura arc.
  • Col. Mustang and Lt. Hawkeye pull this for a second in Episode 57 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
  • In Gintama, Zura Katsura and Gintoki are shown doing this in what appears to be a Last Stand against the Amanto aliens in a flashback. They do it again in the Benizakura Arc, when they are fighting against space pirates hired by Takasugi.
    • Gintoki and Hijikata give us an example that manage to be both comedic and Badass. Handcuffed together, they end up in a room full of criminals, and curb stomp them with perfectly synchronized actions, despite how much they claim to hate each other.
    • Later during the four deva arcs, Gintoki and Jirocho fight back to back during a Enemy Mine situation against dozens of elite assassins.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders:
    • Polnareff and Kakyoin when they are surrounded by beggars while doing revenge speeches, an awesome music plays and turning the tables on Geil. There's no denying it's a Moment of Awesome.
    • Polnareff and Iggy are quite an odd example, as they're only fighting one enemy (albeit an invisible insta-killing one) and one of them is a dog.
  • Yuuichi and Mai with swords while fighting demons in Kanon, although Mai was about a thousand times more badass than Yuuichi was.
  • Lupin III: Episode 0: First Contact: Jigen and Goemon when they're attacked by Galvez's men.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • In the Grand Finale of Macross Frontier, Brera and Alto do this in their space-plane robots against the Galaxy task force defending the suborned Vajra queen.
    • This itself is a Shout-Out to the final major battle in the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross where the newly married Max and Millia Jenius (the show's two big aces) did the same during a charge into the heart of the enemy formation.
  • During a surprise nighttime training exercise in Maiden Rose, Taki and Klaus end up the only students still not defeated. The moment they decide to take on all the attackers together they pull out their knives and stand back-to-back, laying the foundation for their future Battle Couple status.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Sherlock and William have a moment with their backs to each other in a fight together against all comers.
  • My-Otome:
    • Subverted: Shizuru and Natsuki do this during the attack on Garderobe in episode 17, but since they have no chance of winning without their Robes anyway, Shizuru allows herself to be captured so Natsuki can run away.
    • Played straight in the finale with Shizuru and Haruka, who engage in a Body-Count Competition to see who can destroy more Slaves.
  • In Mazinger Z Kouji and Boss often did this when they were fighting Iron Masks; Kouji and Tetsuya also did some fewer times. It looked more impressive than the former instance because Tetsuya is a bigger Badass than Boss, because both youths were riding their respective Humongous Mecha when it happened, and because they are Bash Brothers.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: The Virgo mobile dolls in use use the groups-of-three variation a lot. It's justified, however — while one Virgo alone has enough planetary defensors to only generate a shield in front of them, a squad of three have enough to generate a shield around the squad — and by keeping their backs to one another, it allows the squad to fire in any direction.
  • Naruto:
    • Neji and Hinata do this during the Fourth Shinobi War Arc. It's funny because they're the two primary characters who specialize in being able to see behind themselves, but it's also awesome and heartwarming because it really shows how far they've come since the Chunin Exams in Part I.
    • Naruto and Bee become this in the later chapters. And we get a redux of Guy and Kakashi during the Tobi Battle and during the early parts of the war.
  • Asuna and Setsuna from Negima! Magister Negi Magi fight off Chigusa's minions in this fashion while Negi runs ahead to take on the Big Bad. When more minions try to stop Negi, Kaede, Mana, and Ku Fei show up, and Ku and Mana fight stock baddies in the same back-to-back fashion while Kaede goes one on one with Kotaru Inugami.
    • Later, the previously mentioned Kotaro does this with Negi.
  • Noir:
    • Near the end, Kirika and Chloe use their signature weapons to take on a score of fighters thus in a jaw-dropping display of badass.
    • Kirika and Mirielle also do this in the final episode.
  • One Piece:
    • A unique Chained Together-Back to Back Badass variation with Luffy and Zoro in Movie 1.
    • Another odd example happens during Zoro and Ryuuma's duel. The two swordsmen each pull out moves that end up missing and they suddenly find themselves standing back to back. After a moment's awkward pause, they go right back to fighting each other.
    • Even stranger is Luffy and Buggy in Impel Down. Followed by the somewhat more conventional Luffy and Mr. 2 Bon Clay.
    • Also, in a straight example, Luffy and Ace in chapter 571.
    • The rare occassions Zoro and Sanji work together instead of fighting, their teamwork turns them into a nigh unstoppable force. Case-in-point: the Davy Back Fight.
      Zoro: Hey, cook. We'll work together for 10 seconds.
      Sanji: I can deal with that much.
      • The anime of the Alabasta arc has Zoro and Sanji (much to their dislike) play this straight.
    • In a cover page, we have Whitebeard and Roger standing back to back. What makes it particularly sad is that both of them are dead.
    • Usopp, Nami, and Brook pull this off pretty nicely in a three way version when they're fighting off the palace guards on Fishman Island.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Jesse and James' signature pose whenever they're reciting Team Rocket's motto, complete with their very own leitmotif.
    • Diantha and Steven Stone, Champions of Kalos and Hoenn respectively, get into this pose during the Flare arc finale.
  • Being badass magical girls who can kick ass while wearing the frilliest of skirts, anyone from the Pretty Cure franchise is shown to pull off moments like this, no matter how many are on each team!
  • The last episode of Psycho-Pass has Akane and Kogami do this, with a gun and Dominator, respectively.
  • In Ranma ½, to defeat the dojo destroyer, Ranma and Akane stand back-to-back and link arms to knock the enemy out. This is only in the anime version; the manga has Ranma take it down with one Offhand Backhand. Ukyo and Ryoga also get a moment of this in the OVA version of the Cave of Lost Love story, when the ghosts compare their teamwork and alliance of convenience to Ranma and Akane's relationship and promptly decide that Ukyo and Ryoga are the only couple present — ignoring their protests that they are not interested in each other that way at all.
  • Reborn! (2004): Tsuna and Byakuran in The Curse of the Rainbow arc.
  • In R.O.D the TV, Anita and Yomiko get back to back when fighting MirorMan. Anita still hated Yomiko at this moment, but considered this situation to be a Enemy Mine.
  • Rune Soldier Louie: Louie and Jeanie get a color page image, in the manga version, that shows them covering each other while they're surrounded by spirits.
  • Sailor Moon: Uranus and Neptune. The other girls also do it sometimes, but it rarely works as well as for the above two.
  • In the two-part Samurai Champloo episode, "Elegy of Entrapment (Verse 1 and 2)", both Jin and Mugen fight a blind jumonji-yari expert with their backs against each other at one point. However, she holds back and lets Mugen kill her, since she lost her reason for living.
    • Likewise, in Mugen and Jin's first fight, Mugen does a flip over Jin's back that temporarily puts them back-to-back.
  • In Samurai Deeper Kyo, half-brothers and rivals Shinrei and Hotaru do this in a Moment of Awesome, each striking out with his strongest technique to defeat a room full of giant automatons.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Constantly. Most of times it was Ken and Joe or Ken and Jun who did the back-to-back fight, but it any member of the team could and did find in a situation that demanded fighting back-to-back with a teammate.
  • In the final episode of the second season of Soul Eater Maka and Crona do this when fighting the golem.
  • Vash the Stampede and Wolfwood in Trigun, notably in the manga where it doesn't only happen twice, but they flawlessly switch places in the blink of an eye both times to combat the opposite opponent(s) when seen fit.
  • Fai and Kurogane get a lot of these moments in the first half of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, especially in the anime. After Tokyo, though, everything changed.
  • Variable Geo: Yuka and her best friend/rival, Satomi, are depicted this way on the cover of the Complete Visual Collection artbook for the OVA.
  • Ditto for rivals Sho and Kenzan in another 2-on-2 duel in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
    • They're not rivals, but Kenzan and O'Brien do stand back to back against a horde of oncoming duel zombies.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Joey and Tristan move behind Yugi in Episode 3 as they attack Neo Aqua Madoor while Yugi fights La Jinn.
  • Hiei and Kurama do this in the episode-length YuYu Hakusho "movie." In midair.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Aliens, the two smartgunners do this in the hive.
  • Done in The Art of War with the protagonist and The Dragon who are trying to kill each other, as they reload after simultaneously running out of ammunition. There seems little reason to do so except Rule of Cool.
  • In the aptly-named Back To Back, ex-cop Malone and Yakuza man Koji team up to fight off a small horde of thugs.
  • Subverted/Lampshaded in Blankman. Eager superhero wannabe Blankman (Damon Wayans) and his brother/reluctant sidekick Kevin/"Other Guy" (David Alan Grier) finally get on the same page regarding crime fighting, and have some generic henchmen to defeat. Blankman dramatically announces "Back to back!" They take up the standard pose, and Blankman is immediately subdued, complete with a girlish squeak, while Other Guy competently dispatches opponent after opponent.
  • A few times in The Boondock Saints, most notably when the two of them fall through the ceiling tangled in rope. One might say this is an "inverted trope."
  • Butch and the Sundance Kid from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Throughout.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick:
    • Johns and Riddick (briefly) in Pitch Black.
    • Kyra and Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick (2004).
    • Subverted in Riddick. Two Bounty Hunters do this when they realise Riddick in on the prowl. Until one of them realises no-one's behind him. He spins round in time to see his partner's corpse being dragged into the darkness. Played straight later with Riddick and Boss John.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman and Selina do this when they're facing off against Bane's mooks on the roof.
  • Wikus and Christopher fight like this briefly in District 9.
  • In the movie Dog Soldiers, Spoon and Joe share a moment like this, keeping each other covered as they pepper the werewolves attacking the house with machine gun fire.
  • Both times during the final battle in Expend4bles, which involve Decha. First with Christmas, then with Lash when she and him team up against The Dragon.
  • Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
  • Done thrice in the Harry Potter films: Harry and Ron in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Sirius and Harry in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry and Ginny (and later other wizards) in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
    • Which is interesting, since spells are normally ranged weaponry and you can only block a certain range of things, so if your block fails or you know you don't have one that will work, you have to duck — and if you dodge without really good communication skills, your partner is going to get it in the back. This is always true, but the variety of attack types in Harry Potter makes it an especially risky thing to do.
  • Peter and Rufio, while crowing, in Hook.
  • Kamen Rider: The First: the Double Riders back-to-back before a face-off with a group of Shocker goons.
  • John Woo's The Killer had the titular assassin and his maverick cop ally fighting back to back against an army of bad guys during the final shootout at the church.
  • In Kung Fu Hustle Coolie almost gets overpowered by the Axe Gang until Doughnut and Tailor join him in combat. Landlord and Landlady may also count.
  • The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires: Hsi's twin brothers stick close to each other in battle, holding hands so that each can tell where the other is and so that they can stay back to back or side by side while killing opponents with the swords in their free hands.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Happens twice in The Fellowship of the Ring:
      • First, the Hobbits take this stance when they face the Nazgul at Weathertop till Sam tries to fight, and he's promptly shoved aside, as are Merry and Pippin.
      • Second, by the party in Moria, when they were surrounded by hordes of orc/goblin things... until the Balrog showed up and scared them off.
    • The Two Towers: Gimli and Aragorn at the gate into Helm's Deep. For several minutes at least they hold off the entire Uruk-Hai army.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man and War Machine in the climax of Iron Man 2. Originally, they planned on having one take the high ground while the other drew the approaching Hammer Drones in, but they got surrounded on open terrain while bickering about who did what, forcing them to abandon that plan and defend in place back-to-back.
    • In one of the film's signatures shots, once all six arrive on the scene, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Hulk form back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back badasses in The Avengers (2012).
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the heroes form a defensive circle facing outward during the climactic battle with Ultron's army.
    • In Avengers: Endgame, during the final battle with Thanos' army, Iron Man and Pepper Potts (armored) do this in a short scene while flying in the air and shooting lasers.
  • The Matrix Revolutions:
    • A version of this occurs with Seraph, Trinity, and Morpheus going through the Merovingian's club toward his table, back to back, all three with a gun in each hand. They didn't actually do any fighting, but no one tried to stop them.
    • This also happens with fighting, in the "reality" of the movie, during the battle at the docking bay. After many Sentinels managed to break through the barrage of machine gun fire, the APU, (15 foot-tall mech suits armed with 30 mm cannons) users were forced to stop their barrage fire and defend themselves in all directions, with three of them going back to back on each other covering 120° in front of them (covering 360° this way). The scene also involved a dramatic camera movement showing them from above being surrounded by enemies.
  • A three-badass gunfight in Moon Child, where a fight between Sho, Kei, and Son is interrupted by an external enemy.
  • The ending of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) is one extended back-to-back scene (and, at points, front-to-front).
  • Pirates of the Caribbean, where most of the protagonists do this at some time during a fight scene. Most notably Will and Elizabeth during their wedding in the third film.
  • Also any fight scene without guns in the Rush Hour films.
  • In Shane, the homesteader and Shane get into a bar fight and wind up backing each other up.
  • Star Wars:
    • Utilised by Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
    • Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan also employ this defense during Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
    • Rey and Kylo Ren fight the Praetorian Guards this way in The Last Jedi. At one point Rey grabs onto him and leans on his back for leverage.
  • Subverted (kind of) in Stuck on You. Walt and Bob get into a bar fight and use this method to defeat a much larger group in a decidedly badass action scene. They're conjoined twins attached at the hip, so they were not truly back-to-back and weren't really given a choice about how to fight.
  • Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in the climactic fight in 2 Guns.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Diana and Steve briefly fight with their backs to each other against some enemy soldiers after crossing no man's land.
  • Jimmy and Victor in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Several times, and lampshaded the firstnote  and lastnote  times, providing Book Ends to the film. It's particularly notable at the end where they did so as part of Victor's The Only One Allowed to Defeat You moment and the two of them go back-to-back to fight Weapon XI.
  • In one of the most memorable moments of Xx X Return Of Xander Cage, Adele and Serena are this in the most literal way imaginable during the final shootout, going Guns Akimbo on the mercs like they never did anything else in their lives.

  • Best friends Ed Finch and Harry Card do this in Below when the quest fights a Spider Swarm.
  • The Bible: Ecclesiastes 4:12 New Living Translation: "A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer."
  • Dawn of War:
    • In C. S. Goto's Dawn of War: Ascension, at the Blood Rites, aspirants form bands for this, but many are stabbed In the Back by others whom they had trusted to guard their backs.
    • In Chris Roberson's novel Dawn of War II, Aramus and Thaddeus at the end just before The Cavalry arrives.
  • In Bound in Blood, the fifth novel in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, Jame and Gran Cyd hold off a good number of assailants like this. A rare moment of teamwork for Jame, who's better known as a loner.
  • Conan does a one-man version: he can fight off any number of anything, provided he has his back to a wall so nothing can sneak up on him.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld books features fighting back to back as a part of Ankh-Morpork pub brawls (which has become a team game rather like American football). For the most points, two people have to back up against one another, turn around, look surprised at meeting an ally, then proceed to attack an enemy behind their ally. This is known as a "Double Andrew."
  • Dora Wilk Series: Trumped in the fifth book with a quadruple version, as Dora, Miron, Joshua and As fight back-to-back-to-back-to-back against waves of enemies in the book's finale.
  • Dreamscape Voyager Trilogy: The cover of Skies of the Empire depicts the scene where Cassidy and Zayne meet in battle to fight against a swarm of harpies.
  • In The Dresden Files novel Changes, Sanya and Murphy go back-to-back during the final battle with the Red Court of vampires. And by "the Red Court" we mean all of them.
    • During the same scene, Harry and Molly do this as well, using impressive spells to stall the Red Court army (Harry a gigantic field of ice, Molly her seizure-inducing light show) while Thomas and the two mentioned above slice up the stunned and baffled vampires.
    • Thomas and Lara Raith do this against the Ghouls in the Deeps.
  • Dune has this with the Sardaukar, who are trained to fight in groups of three in a formation so that none of them has their back to the enemy. So, it's Back to Back to Back Badasses.
  • Twin brothers Boindil and Boendal from The Dwarves do this all the time. They usually run around back-to back in battle, enabling them to cut through groups of enemies.
  • Arthur Miller, of all people, wrote a moment like this in Focus, in which Mr. Newman and Abe fend off a bunch of para-Nazi thugs with baseball bats.
  • Forest Kingdom: In the spinoff series Hawk & Fisher, the titular Battle Couple frequently fight like this. This is especially helpful for Hawk as he lost an eye and needs Fisher to watch his blind side.
  • In Assassin of Gor, the climactic fight scene in the Stadium of Blades begins with Tarl facing down six of the enemy single-handed; then, as more enemies appear, the enigmatic gladiator Murmillius helps with this trope followed by Relius, Ho-Sorl, and Ho-Tu joining in, forming a pentagon of extreme badassery.
  • In Catching Fire, Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick during the Quarter Quell.
  • The In Death series has Eve and Roarke doing this on at least two occasions.
  • In R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden novels, this happens at least twice with Drizzt and The Rival Artemis Entreri. Being two of the finest swordsmen on the face of Toril, they handily kick ass doing it.
  • In Galactic Patrol, Kinnison and vanBuskirk are forced to drop into a Delgonian jungle when their power runs out, and have to fight their way out, back to back.
  • Aragorn and Éomer against orc troops several times in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
    • Related: This was originally a planned feature of the Return Of The King video game adaptation.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Annabeth and Percy do this against, amongst others, Ethan Nakamura.
  • In Phoenix Rising Tobimar does this with both Xavier and Kyri.
  • Happens sometimes in Redwall. One specific instance has a Salamandastron hare with a spear back up to a badger with a tree limb, completely invulnerable. The Guosim crank it Up to Eleven in Outcast with the Guosim Windmill, in which dozens of them form a circle which works in roughly the same way.
  • Skylark Series: While floating through the air with enemies inbound, Seaton and Margaret actually interconnect their belts to hold them together, along with interlocking their legs, ensuring that they can't be attacked and disabled from behind while they sweep the skies clear.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire gives us this in A Clash of Kings, when Ser Mandon Moore and Ser Balon Swann fight off a dozen of spearmen this way on the Blackwater.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation original novel Debtor's Planet by W. R. Thompson may be the only claim of a Klingon metaphor "to live back to back", meaning to double-up with a trusted partner on alert during a longer-lasting crisis.
  • Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade had a "Back To Back Badasses" moment in Vision of the Future. They were only surrounded by two droids, but the droids weren't the kind that sucked at shooting.
    • Three years later in Survivor's Quest, they were married and went back-to-back while linking minds in order to strike at the exact same instant to cut both wires in an elevator of death.
    • Mace Windu and his Padawan Depa Billaba had a frequently used maneuver that involved this, with one going high and the other low. Even years after she had become a Master and gone off on her own, they were still able to work this in perfect harmony.
  • Frequently used in TimeRiders, particularly in Day of the Predator, which takes a survival horror edge with the enemy being a pack of highly intelligent predatory dinosaurs. Justified, in that Becks is a robot and doesn't really have blind spots, so not having to worry about her back allows her better computation for what's in front of her. Also, in the finale of the book, she covers the backs Liam and the remaining castaways so they can reach the time portal in more of a 'Save yourself, I'll hold them back' gesture - Becks is not only physically tougher and faster than the children, but she also believes herself expendable.
  • In The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, Vladimir von Dread and a sidekick are seen going back to back while fighting the possessed students, the sidekick handling shields and counterspells, Vlad staying on the offensive and firing off spells through the gaps.
  • Rose often with Dimitri in Vampire Academy. They co-operate in battle scenes. For example in Spirit Bound they immediately go back-to-back to face the royal guard, and do a good job at taking them out.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf novel Ragnar's Claw, when Sven charges into a horde of tyrannids, Ragnar charges after, and they fight back to back.
    • In Lee Lightner's Sons of Fenris, in the jungle, Nathaniel and Elijah use this tactic.
  • In Warrior Cats, this is a standard battle tactic of all the Clans, especially when they are facing a foe with a numerical advantage.
  • In Graham McNeill's Ultramarines novel Warriors of Ultramar a lowly defence trooper — not even a member of the Imperial Guard — with a chainsword does this with an Ultramarines Space Marine Captain against a horde of Tyranids. He does pretty well, considering. Badass Normal indeed.
  • In Watchers of the Throne, Aleya and Valerian tend to fight this way whenever they're surrounded in battle, which is every time they are together in battle.
  • In The Witchlands, Safi and Iseult are outnumbered all the time, so this happens on a regular basis.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive): Kaladin and Adolin while fighting four Shardbearers in the arena. This noticeably marks the point where the prince's attitude towards Kaladin changes from "disdain" to "respect."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Andromeda, Dylan Hunt and Rommy made a career out of this. Harper and Tyr Anasazi did this, too, when fighting the Magog together, but they were overwhelmed.
  • Angel and Spike do this during Angel's fifth season episode "The Girl In Question". Parodied, as they end up hitting each other.
  • Batman and Robin. The Adam West and Burt Ward version especially loved this trope. (To the point that this was referred to then used, though slightly subverted, in Blankman.)
  • Buffy and Dawn do this in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6 finale.
  • Burn Notice has Michael and Fiona or Michael and Sam pulling these almost every other episode. We are talking about an ex-CIA operative, a former terrorist for the IRA, and an ex-Navy SEAL. It's kind of their hat.
  • In Chinese Paladin Yue Ru and Xiao Yao do this so often they're mistaken for a Battle Couple.
  • Done by Sarah and Bryce in Chuck. It's this sort of display of solidarity between them that makes Chuck uncomfortable.
    • Sarah and Chuck do the same thing (while handcuffed together) in Season 3.
    • Chuck and Casey fight back to back when they're tied together in two chairs in the first season. Though that was more Casey fighting and occasionally flinging Chuck around to kick enemies in the face while Chuck screamed a lot.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Used and subverted in "The Doctor Dances". The Ninth Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness find themselves back-to-back in order to defend themselves from an onslaught of faux-zombies... armed with a banana, a sonic screwdriver and a sonic blaster running low on power. While both characters are decidedly badasses in their own right, the subversion was a welcome one — particularly for such a dark episode so far.
    • The Eleventh Doctor and River do this during "Day of the Moon"'s big fight scene. Of course, River's not sure how he and the sonic screwdriver are of much help while she's blasting aliens.
      River: You've got a screwdriver! Go build a cabinet!
      The Doctor: That's really rude!
      River: Shut up and drive!
  • Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars has an amusing variation on this near the beginning. When John and Aeryn are revived in mid-embrace to find themselves in the middle of a room full of strangers, they don't even bother turning around. They just aim their weapons past each other in a front-to-front badasses moment.
  • In Game of Thrones, there is a three-way version with Jorah, Daario and Grey Worm in Yunkai. Jorah and Daario even get in a Combination Attack on Daario's final enemy. It is awesome.
  • Iolaus and Hercules from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys often do this. They made a pact as children to die this way.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Marvelous/Gokai Red and Joe/Gokai Blue does this twice in Episode 12. First, in human form during a flashback to their first meeting when Marvelous save Joe's life. Second, during the present time while fighting Mooks in ranger form.
  • High&Low is an action series, so it way too many times to count. The first movie makes it interesting by having people from different teams have each-other's back and spout one-liners at each-other.
  • In the original Kamen Rider series anytime Riders 1 and 2 teamed up this would happen, whether it's untransformed or transformed. The rest of the series would do this in a similar fashion (e.g. V3 & Riderman, Stronger & Tackle, Kuuga & Ichijou, etc.), most of the time with some of the previous Riders returning, to the point it has escalated into a Badass Crew.
  • Richard and Kahlan from Legend of the Seeker have many of these.
  • Luke Cage (2016). A useful trope with the title character as he's Nigh-Invulnerable, so anyone fighting alongside Cage puts him facing the men with machine guns e.g one of the best scenes in The Defenders (2017)
  • Happens several times over the course of Majisuka Gakuen; Atsuko and Minami, Yuko and Sado, Atsuko and Sado, Center and Nezumi. Sort of to be expected in a series that involves at east one fight per episode.
  • Agents Don Eppes and Billy Cooper do this in the episode "Man Hunt" in NUMB3RS.
  • Power Rangers does this a lot, usually during the traditional team-ups, in which the current Rangers will generally pair off with the Ranger of corresponding color from the previous season in the big final battle.
  • Used by Turk and The Todd in a dream sequence on Scrubs.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • Ford and Ronon end up doing this briefly when they're surrounded in a Wraith hive ship before being overwhelmed.
    • In the alternate future where Sheppard disappeared, Ronon and Todd the Wraith, of all people, did this in their last stand in one of Michael's labs. After they killed all the hybrids, they came within a hairsbreadth of killing each other. At the end, Ronon detonates a C4 planted on the computer core behind them, killing them both and all of the hybrids.
      Ronon: [sword at Todd's throat] Sorry, force of habit.
      Todd: [knife pointing towards Ronon's heart] Indeed.
    • Topped in "Midway", when Ronon and Teal'c work together to take on a Wraith attack force. To say it's a slaughter is putting it mildly.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: During the huge Klingon raid on the station at the start of Season 4, Garak and Gul Dukat end up very reluctantly joining forces in one of these. Snark-to-Snark Combat while under fire ensues, which is both hilarious and rather badass.
  • Willow (2022): Kit and Elora do this so they can keep watch on Airk and the Gales, but because both of them want to talk to Airk they keep having to awkwardly spin around so the other one can have their turn facing him.

  • Ravages of Time:
    • Liaoyuan Huo and Lu Bu teamed up to kill Dong Zhuo, who was one step ahead and ambushed them with a izable force, plus two skilled assassins. By the time reinforcements arrive, all the ambushers are dead.
    • Liaoyun Huo and Sun Ce faced off an army back to back. Or rather, Liaoyuan Huo and 'Sun Ce', a.k.a. Ling Cao.
    • Gan Ning and Huang Zhong against about 5 very pissed off elite generals of Sun clan. And Huang Zhong gets them both out of it with some helps from the sideline and the spirit of camaraderie.

  • The Breaker: Chun Woo and Shiho in the Koa Tower fight.
  • Xing and Tarras from Witch Hunter pull this when they are surrounded by townsfolk being controlled by a Witch.

  • DJ Format, "3 Feet Deep": "Back to back in a pose similar to Jean-Claude" (Van Damme).
  • The band, Underdog sings about this in their song, "Back to Back," both metaphorically and literally.
  • The former quote at the top of the page comes from a Pretty Maids song, appropriately titled "Back to Back" (which has been covered by Hammerfall).


    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Magic: The Gathering there are is a pair of samurai brothers (click in the "Other variations" to see the other card) in the Kamigawa block, who when played at the same time gain bonuses to attack and defence because they are fighting back to back.
  • In the Polish RPG Neuroshima, there is a system of friendship, with one of the highest levels being named "Let's stand back to back and pull out the guns".
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 backstory, before the Emperor and his "son" Horus had a falling out (resulting in a galaxy-wide civil war) they invoked this when ambushed at Reillis.
  • In Warmachine, the Great Bears of Gallowswood from Khador are a trio of survivors/good buddies who stick back to back to back and slam into the enemy like a wrecking ball of death.

    Video Games 
  • In the second preview for Another Century's Episode: R, there is one between the 3 Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny mains, each with their counterparts: Kamille and Shinn, Quattro and Athrun, and Amuro and Kira. And it was awesome!
  • At least once per mission in Army of Two, Salem and Rios will go back-to-back when being attacked by waves of enemies. They also gain the advantages of Bottomless Magazines and Bullet Time while doing this.
  • The title screen of most versions of Bad Dudes (including the arcade and NES versions, but not the Japanese Famicom version) shows the dudes Fist Pumping back-to-back.
  • The titular duo of Banjo-Kazooie are this by default, as Kazooie is almost always found in Banjo's backpack.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight introduces this as a game-play mechanic, with Batman doing it with: Nighting against Penguin's goons (and in the Season of Infamy DLC Iron Heights Prisoners), Robin against Harley's goons, and Catwoman against Riddler's robots. There's also a meter slowly filled by combat, once full you can do the "Dual Takedown" allowing you to instantly KO an opponent, and then switch characters.
    • It also features what is probably the most unusual type ever, with Batman (in the Batmobile's combat mode) doing it with a giant plant.
  • Bayonetta and Jeanne do this a total of three times throughout the game. Once during the introduction, as the plummet toward the ground surrounded by angels. Then again, the Epilogue chapter and in the ending cutscene.
  • Bayonetta gets to do this with her mother, Rosa in Bayonetta 2.
  • Cave Story: During the Brutal Bonus Level, Quote and Curly are strapped to each other's backs (Curly has been beaten into submission so many times that she can't even walk by the end of the game.) When Quote fires his weapon, Curly fires hers simultaneously in the opposite direction.
  • In Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Kyle Katarn and Luke Skywalker, two powerful Jedi, are prepared to fight back-to-back against any more attacking dark Jedi. There are no more to kill, however.
  • The Flexile Sentry in Dark Souls II is an interesting example because it is pair of creatures conjoined at the waist with the two torsos facing back to back and only one set of legs.
  • Vergil and Dante pull this one in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, against a huge demon towards the end of the game. Dante tosses Vergil one of his guns, and they do a synchronized, flashy gun-spinning sequence ending with the two back to back, with Vergil holding his pistol sideways over Dante's forming a 90 degree angle and tossing off a one-liner as they blast the demon they're facing.
  • Dylan and Regina, who had not previously been introduced to each other, end up accidentally backing into one another during the opening Raptor Attack siege in Dino Crisis 2. Continuing to fight that way allows them to be two out of only three operatives left standing by the time a T. rex shows up and chases away the raptor horde.
  • In Dragon Age II, the Rogue class skill "Back-to-Back" allows the user to briefly perform Back To Back Badasses with any ally. Party members who have this skill can be tactically assigned to do this with specific companions.
  • Similar to the Dune example, in the few cutscenes that show multiple party members, the characters in Drakengard will fight in groups of two or three this way.
  • The realtime intro of Dynasty Warriors 3 has Guan Yu and Zhang Fei doing this while encircled by enemies before splitting off to fight said enemies. Bonus points for being customizable and allowing any two members of the cast to do so.
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 also has this in Shu's Hypothetical route during the Capture of Luoyang stage, where Zhang Bao comes to Guan Xing's aid to fight off a horde of mooks, before Jiang Wei and Ma Dai join in as well.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IX invokes this trope at the start of disc three, when Beatrix and Steiner run out of Alexandria Castle to fight monsters attacking the town. The scene also becomes a CMOA for Steiner as he confesses his love for Beatrix and then goes into Trance.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 invokes this twice: first, at the end of the opening FMV when Lightning and Caius are battling each othernote , and later during a cutscene in the Void Beyond, after Serah fights Caius solo.
    • In Mobius Final Fantasy, Wol and Cloud do this in their first meeting, grinning over their shoulders at each other. Then, when they get talking, it turns out that they can't stand each other.
    • In the Final Fantasy VII Remake Cloud and Tifa pull this off wonderfully.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Odd example here: In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, there are two characters, Dart (a Pirate/Berserker) and Geitz (a Warrior), who're like blood brothers, and also two of the strongest characters in the game. On the overworld map, if you place them adjacent to one another, their sprites are back-to-back. Whether or not this was intentional or pure coincidence isn't clear.
    • In the finale cutscene of Part 2 of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Ike and Gatrie, while on a rescue mission rescuing Lucia, strike this pose for a split second before the two resume their ass kicking of the Crimean Rebels.
  • In the Game Of Thrones RPG, the two main characters do this when a squad of guards enter the throne room during the final fight.
  • In Halo 3, although the gameplay quickly degenerates into "run around and kill all the Flood you can see", the Master Chief and the Arbiter, quite possibly the two most badass characters in the universe, strike this pose after killing the Prophet of Truth and the Gravemind's sudden but inevitable betrayal.
  • In Jak II: Renegade and Jak 3: Wastelander, Jak does this with Ashelin and Sig.
  • Kingdom Hearts uses this trope very often:
    • Sora & Hercules, Sora & Auron, Sora & Axel, Sora & Riku, and there's also an example of a 3-way back to back with Sora, Donald, and Goofy in the cutscene before the 1000 Heartless battle.
    • A particularly epic example, mixed with I Like Those Odds, is done by Cloud and Leon (Squall) as they take part in the Battle of 1000 Heartless in Kingdom Hearts II, with legendary banter preceding the ass-kicking of a swarm of Heartless.
      Leon: Think you can handle this many?
      Cloud: Well, might be tough if one more shows up.
      Leon: Then that'll be the one I take care of.
      Cloud: What, you're fighting, too?
    • Roxas and Riku also do it in the epilogue of 358/2 Days. Most of the army of Heartless flees instantly
      • Mickey has a literal back to back badasses attack dubbed Holy Burst, where he and another Keyblade user link arms back to back and spin firing Light blasts in all directions. He's done it with Riku, Aqua, and Ven, but notably not Sora (who he rarely if ever helps out directly).
    • The trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] has Xehanort's Heartless and Xemnas doing this as well.
  • Although it never actually happens, much of the promotional artwork for the fifth (and so far final) Legacy of Kain game, Defiance, featured Kain and Raziel doing this. Also invoked, but again not actually shown, in Blood Omen 2 when Kain was remembering the backstory of the boss he had just defeated, his former Dragon, Magnus.
  • This is how Lavitz is introduced in The Legend of Dragoon.
  • The The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures has a configuration where all the Links under your control stand back-to-back to each other.
  • In Luminous Arc 2, if Roland's paired up with Fatima, they go back-to-back as they cast the powerful Frozen Void spell against Mage Queen Elicia, which was augmented by the Final Bond they have together.
  • Done by Trish and Tron Bonne in the second episodic trailer for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, then again by Zero and Chun-Li in the fourth trailer.
  • Your party does this during the cutscene immediately preceding the first rachni attack on Noveria in Mass Effect. Another really subtle example is only obvious if you draw your weapons manually without any enemies in sight: the moment you do so, Shepard's squadmates on both flanks drawn their own weapons and simultaneously turn around to face in the directions Shepard is not watching.
    • In Mass Effect 3, two entire species, the turians and the krogan, go Back To Back Badasses to push the Reapers back from the turian homeworld in a spectacular showdown that becomes known as the Miracle at Palaven.
  • Mega Man X8 uses it with its team-up attacks. If you use it outside of a boss room, your two characters stand facing opposite directions blasting everything in sight. If you use it against a boss, they're instead standing side-to-side facing the boss.
  • Solid Snake and Raiden do this towards the ending of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, with Snake initiating it and Raiden obliging. Carnage ensues.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Raiden comes to help Snake in a seemingly impossible fight. Even though it's a single player game, it turns to split screen. And it really feels like you are fighting together.
      • Also Meryl and Johnny Sasaki (Yes, the guy who used to spend the games with crippling diarrhea) doing this in the finale, in a sequence that looks almost like it was taken straight out of Mr. And Mrs. Smith.
      • Which isn't that far off base considering that they proposed to each other in the very same scene.
  • Samus and Anthony Higgs do this in one trailer for Metroid: Other M.
  • In Sub-Zero's Arcade Ladder ending in Mortal Kombat (2011), Scorpion and Sub-Zero become Back To Back Badasses fighting both the Lin Kuei and the Brotherhood of Shadow in an epic Roaring Rampage of Revenge after they find out that both organizations, hand-in-hand, were responsible for their families' deaths.
  • One of the special missions in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky involves Grovyle and Dusknoir working together to survive in the bleak future while the main characters are fixing time. The two can be seen in this pose in the mission's official artwork.
  • Humorous variation in the first trailer for Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, where Super Brainz and Kernel Corn, two enemies on opposing factions, fire back-to-back at respective enemy Mooks, both of them unbeknownst to the fact another enemy is standing right behind them. When they realize who's behind them, they simultaneously start firing at each other, returning to business as usual.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, your childhood friend and longtime rival, <INSERT NAME HERE>, challenges you several times throughout the story, usually beats each Gym before you can reach it, and gives the impression of staying one step ahead of you no matter how many times you beat him. But at the end of the main story, as you face down Galactic Commander Cyrus and his two main lieutenants, he decides it's time to put rivalry aside, and jumps in for a back-to-back 2v2 battle against Mars and Saturn.
    • It's worth mentioning that in every other case where you play 2v2, your 'partner' has but a single Pokémon to contribute - and if he goes down, you're left fighting 1v2. The Rival, on the other hand, has a full set of 6 high-level 'mons, including a Munchlax - which only appears in honey trees with an encounter-rate of 0.2%! Damn you, Rival!
  • Similarly, in Pokemon Heart Gold And Soul Silver, during the post-game, you and your rival decide to team up to fight Lance and Clair for fun, leading to this happening. Like the case in Diamond and Pearl, your rival will use all his Pokémon so you don't end up hanging should his first one get knocked out.
  • Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney: The titular duo does a back-to-back unnecessarily dramatic point in the courtroom. This is more of a display of intellectual badassery, but it fits the spirit of the trope. Then again, one of them is an accomplished sword fighter/improv weapons maker, and the other one is a super-resilient fighter who has tangled with The Hulk, among others, so they're not exactly slacking with the physical badassery either.
  • The opening sequence of Project X Zone 2 has Reiji and Xiaomu and Saya and Sheath do this while engaging in a Mexican Standoff. Chrom and Lucina also do this in the opening.
  • Despite Ratchet & Clank being back-to-back for a vast majority of the time, this trope isn't usually in effect because, three games asidenote , Clank plays the part of Awesome Backpack and stays out of any ongoing fights. There is a subtle implication in the cover art for Tools of Destruction, where you can see Clank reacting to the appearance of a Space Pirate while Ratchet remains oblivious. This trope is played the straightest with the Clank Zapper in the second game; Clank remains an Awesome Backpack, but now electrifies any enemies within range, and also has laser eyes aiming at anyone directly behind Rachet.
  • Resident Evil:
  • When facing down the World Salvation Committee in Sands of Destruction, Morte and Agan circle with their backs to each other. None of the other team members pair up with someone to watch their backs; presumably they do because they're familiar with each other's fighting styles due to having been in the Golden Lions together.
  • In The Secret of Monkey Island Smirk brags about the time he and the Swordmaster fought back-to-back against overwhelming odds.
  • Date Masamune and his right-hand man Kojuro from Sengoku Basara tend to do this a lot. This is because Masamune's blind in one eye, so it's Kojuro's job to take care of his blind spot.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic, Shadow, and Silver in this promotional art for Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People has a Game Within a Game known as Math Kickers featuring the AlgeBros. The title characters, Dex and Ryu, spend the whole game back-to-back. Dex is able to defeat ninjas on his side, while Ryu can spawn additional ninjas on his side; if an equal number of ninjas are on both sides, they are all defeated. They finally part from one another to tackle stage bosses, which are just polynomial equations
  • The Mario Brothers. The M&L games have them almost back-to-back. Sometimes they end up just beating EACH OTHER up for unexplained reasons. But, they gang up on you in SSB, don't they? As illustrated...
  • Meta Knight and Marth do this at one point in the Subspace Emissary part of Super Smash Bros. Brawl when surrounded by a horde of enemy Primids.
    • Similarly, Zero Suit Samus and Pikachu are assailed by two dark copies of Samus's Power Suit on a recently isolated platform. The scene ends with the dark suits facing the two, who have gotten into this kind of pose.
  • In the opening video to Tales of the Abyss, Luke and Natalia do this while surrounded by a squad of Kimlascan soldiers.
  • Tales of Legendia has a Victory Pose with Senel and Chloe where they end up back to back, shouting "We Never Lose!"
  • This seems to be the preferred state of existence for Flynn and Yuri in Tales of Vesperia. They do it on the game cover, promotional artwork, the cover of First Strike, standing up in-game, sitting down in-game...
  • In Team Fortress 2's Mann vs. Machine promotional video, we have a circular back-to-back (a la Avengers) between the RED and BLU mercs.
    • In the comic Unhappy Returns, Saxton Hale is shown to have fought dangerous wildlife with his Implied Love Interest Maggie, and they do this trope while facing off numerous panthers. Bonus points for being Australian, as all Australians in-universe are badasses due to Australium radiation.
  • Tears to Tiara 2 has Monomachus and Enneads in the opening movie surrounded and preparing to kick ass.
  • Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima in the Tekken 5 intro movie, until Kazuya betrays Heihachi.
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has this when Nate and Eddy are ambushed by the descendants and you have to fight them off together.
    Eddy: "Drake, if we don't make it out of this, I just want you to know, I hate your guts!"
    Nate: "Likewise pal, NOW LET'S DO THIS!"
  • This one from Wild ARMs 5 is of the Limit Break variety: "Trigger Rondo!"
  • Sufficiently skilled players that are platooned together in World of Tanks will sometimes do this when they enter the enemy cap circle. The reason is because they know that the enemy will respond, or lose to capping. But, if the enemy player so chooses, they just can just reset the capture progress until the match ends in a draw. Putting the weakest section of the tanks together so that the less vulnerable side and strong front are the only things available to shoot is the best way to ensure that even if the other guy gets a shot off, and resets, he will not get away unscathed. This was demonstrated by The Mighty Jingles in Random Acts of Violence #36.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Final Battle in Fate/hollow ataraxia ends in a massive battle between the protagonists and an unlimited number of shadow-wolf-things, swarming and blanketing the entire city. Assassin and Kuzuki Souichirou fights back-to-back at ground-level, surrounded by hundreds, and eventually thousands, of shadows.
  • Angela and Arata do this at one point in Princess Waltz. Not only does this wind up looking awesome, but given the genre, this is also where Angela's respect for him jumps up considerably and provides the bridge to a possible relationship later. In short, this woman apparently finds being badass a turn on.

    Web Animation 
  • Occurs in the Castle Series as the team is escaping the Room Full of Crazy that is the Orb Room.
  • Samus and Master Chief in Haloid. Though they're only back-to-back for a brief moment.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • North and South do this when they're surrounded on the oilrig.
    • In the early seasons, Sarge and Caboose did this when fighting the Battle Creek Zealots.
    • Carolina and Maine do this during the battle on the freeway. Maine started it by intentionally taking a bullet to the chest for Carolina, and then joining the brawl.
    • In season 8, Carolina, Wash, Sarge, Simmons, Grif, Donut, Tucker, and Caboose do this against an army of Tex drones.

  • Sleepless Domain: The cover page of Chapter 9 shows main characters Undine and Heartful Punch standing back-to-back, both ready for battle, as water swirls around them courtesy of Undine.
  • Unsounded: Lemuel and Duane fight back to back, warrior and wright, at points in battle against the Foi-Hellick rebels. They are depicted standing as such in the middle of battle on the chapter 14 cover.

    Web Videos 
  • Marth and Fox in There Will Be Brawl. Made more awesome in that they had been on opposing sides of the law (Marth was a cop, Fox a criminal), and this had marked Marth's Face–Heel Turn.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Vi goes back to back with Jinx against the Firelights and later with Jayce when they bust a Shimmer plant.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Main characters Zuko and Aang are about to face the potential threat of the firebending masters, and they don't know whether or not they will assist or attack them. They invoke this trope to be on the safe side. Turns out to be a good idea, since the masters are two great big dragons, although they do not attack.
    • Also inverted in an earlier episode, when Zuko and Jet are battling each other, they end up with their backs to each other, each turning and trying to get around the other's defense.
    • Played straight with Zuko and Katara in the gaang's training session right before the Grand Finale.
    • Zuko and Iroh also do it while preparing to face off against lay the smackdown on half a dozen seasoned earthbenders.
    • In "The Blue Spirit," Aang and the Blue Spirit have to fight back-to-back.
  • Batman Beyond: In "Out Of The Past", Terry and Bruce, newly-rejuvenated by the Lazarus pit, take on Ra's and Talia Al Ghul's mooks this way, all accompanied by the Batman: The Animated Series theme.
  • In Ben 10: Alien Force anytime that Kevin and Ben's surrounded by a hoard of DN Aliens, or other multiple foes.
  • Interesting variation in Castlevania (2017), Trevor stands back to back with Sypha to support her as she pushes back Dracula's Dark Inferno back at him.
  • Code Lyoko's Yumi and Ulrich do this trope often.
  • Danny Phantom: In "Prisoners of Love," Danny and Skulker against Walker's prison guards.
    • Also occurs briefly in "Pirate Radio," with Danny and Dash battling a group of... well, pirate ghosts.
  • Jack and the Scotsman pull this one every time the Scotsman shows up on Samurai Jack. Also the Spartan King.
  • Generator Rex: Rex himself actually says this word-for-word and invokes this when he and his enemy Van Kleis are fighting sand monsters in the middle of a nanite-destroying zone.
    Van Kleis: Before we are totally devoid of nanites we need to end this now, together!
    Rex: Back to back!
    Van Kleis: What!?
    Rex: Haven't you ever read a comic book? Back to back!
  • In the final episode of Justice League Unlimited, Lex Luthor and Batman wound up doing this together while fighting Darkseid's army. Earlier in the episode it was Batman's suggestion Lex be allowed to fight alongside them to defend against Darkseid.
    • This is a deeply awesome scene. Also points for:
      [Batman runs out of batarangs.]
      Batman: Not my style.
      Luthor: Suit yourself. I'm planning to live through this.
  • Legion of Super Heroes (2006) had Timber Wolf and Lightning Lad do this in the second episode against Dr. Londo's robots and mutated animals. They ended up switching battle partners with Lightning Lad taking care of the robots and Timber Wolf dealing with the animals.
  • Link and Zelda in the first episode of the obscure The Legend of Zelda (1989) cartoon. Although such a thing seemed implausible since they were tied together, which would normally weaken their fighting.
  • Subverted in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, as the protagonists are accosted by a small army of changelings. Twilight Sparkle and Applejack back up against each other and rear up, and it looks like they're about to kick some serious faerie butt until "Twilight" changes back into a changeling.
  • Star Wars:
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): In "Nobody's Fool", Leonardo and Michelangelo do this to face off against the superpowered duo of Mr. Touch and Mr. Go.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Robin and Slade against Trigon's demonic army.
    • Also seen with Robin and Red X against Professor Chang's goons.
    • The reason he doesn't do this with his actual friends is that only his enemies have similar enough fighting styles to make it work.
    • In "Cyborg The Barbarian", Cyborg and ancient tribe leader Sarasim meeting for the first time has them fending off the monster horde side-by-side.
  • In the ThunderCats (2011) episode "Old Friends" Captains Grune and Panthro do this while quite unfazed by the long odds against them on a battlefield full of their Lizard enemies
    Grune: If y'wanna make it ta general, you'll have to do better than that.
    Panthro: *laughs* I'm eleven lizards ahead a' you Captain!
    Grune: *swings his mace, hitting two Lizards, laughs* Make that nine!
  • This happens in the two-part Season 2 finale of Transformers: Animated with Optimus Prime and Megatron fighting back to back against Starscream's clone army... until Megatron grabs Prime in his hands and starts using him as a shield.
  • Transformers: Prime:
    • Optimus and Ratchet against a whole army of zombie Decepticons. 3 guesses who won.
    • Another example, though a little bizarre, thanks to the episodes MacGuffin, Arcee and Bulkhead are stuck together back to back.
    • Breakdown and Bulkhead perform this after Bulkhead frees Breakdown from a human terrorist organization that intends to rip him apart and study Transformers.
    • And pulled for a fourth time, with Optimus and Megatron while fighting inside of Unicron.
  • Subverted in The Venture Brothers in the episode "Tag Sale — You're It!" Dr. Orpheus tries to invoke this when the villains run amok at Dr. Venture's yard sale. Venture, however, wants no part of the chaos and goes inside his house.
  • In an episode of Wakfu, Evangelyne and Remington (who were, up until that point, fighting each other — mostly to a stalemate) pulled this off when they were surrounded by zombies. It was almost immediately subverted as they were quickly and easily overwhelmed and captured.
  • Faragonda and Griffin in Winx Club get such a moment when the Trix invade Alfea.

    Real Life 
  • According to the photographer, these two wolves, after being startled by an engine backfiring nearby.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Back To Back Badass


Rey & Kylo vs Praetorian Guard

In the throne room of the Supreme Leader, an unlikely alliance between light and dark unites against his fanatical guards.

How well does it match the trope?

4.38 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThroneRoomThrowdown

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