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"We're going to do battle with ancient Egyptian laser beams."

A very common trope in Speculative Fiction across all media. One opponent sends out a beam of destructive energy intent on frying their opponent, and the opponent does the same. These two beams slam against each other in the middle, and begin "pushing" back and forth, essentially becoming an energy arm-wrestle. Either one consumes the other and goes on to greet the enemy, one opponent collapses from the effort involved, or else they both explode.

When more than two opponents are involved, they usually join their beam attack with their respective ally (or give them more energy) so that the "intersection" gets closer to the opponent. They almost never think about sneaking behind their defenseless foe and beaming them (or stabbing them) In the Back.

A slight variation of this trope will have one character creating a "shield", attempting to hold it up as long as they can, lest their opponent's beam of death destroy them.

This has little justification in real-life science. Lasers, for example, will simply pass through each other unimpeded, although their point of intersection may experience any constructive or destructive interference between the two beams depending on the characteristics (wavelength and phase) of the lasers involved. Of course, energy beams in fantasy and sci-fi are up for grabs in terms of how they react to one another, but even then there's the improbability of the beams being fired nearly simultaneously at perfect enough angles to result in a head-on collision with similar enough initial force to force equilibrium without planning such things beforehand. It does work for matter projectiles (partially, see below), but those are rarely used.

Despite that it makes no sense even in fiction, physical projectiles or strikes are sometimes portrayed meeting midair and "pushing" each other until one side wins in much the same pattern used for beams.

Beam-o-War is also known as a beam "struggle" or "clash" in certain circles. If a video game has Destructible Projectiles, a variant of this can occur. Compare Air Jousting, Brawler Lock, Blade Lock, and Pummel Duel (the Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs variation of this) for more physical examples. May be preceded by Blasting Time.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Sailor Moon often fights the Big Bad this way. One battle that stands out was when she fought the Snow Queen in her second movie.
  • Dragon Ball
    • The Trope Codifier. Nearly every major battle had at least one of these, referred to in video games as Energy Clashes:
    • The first of the series was Goku's Kamehameha vs Master Roshi's, who invented the move. Interestingly, this case was Goku showing that he could keep up with Roshi using a move he barely learned, rather than a struggle for dominance like most others.
    • In the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai we had Goku's Super Kamehameha vs Piccolo's Explosive Demon Wave. Goku wins.
    • Easily the most iconic example is Goku vs Vegeta, where Vegeta fires his Galick Gun in an attempt to destroy the Earth, while Goku uses his Kamehameha with a Kaio-Ken, eventually upping to Kaio-Ken x4 to win the clash (at the cost of messing up his body). This example is usually what most fans think of when it comes to Beam O Wars in the series, and was used for the first intro to Dragon Ball Z Kai.
    • Goku vs Frieza: Round One, Goku's Kamehameha vs Frieza himself, surrounded by a force-field. Frieza wins by breaking out of the struggle and ramming him. Round Two, Frieza pulling a Backstab Backfire after being cut in half by his own technique and saved by donated energy. Goku snaps and finishes him off easily.
    • The second most iconic example is the arc-ending one in Gohan vs Super Perfect Cell, which would last an entire episode. Gohan, having lost feeling in his left arm, summons the support of his father for a Father-Son Kamehameha to keep up with Cell. Amusingly, this is the only instance where the victory is through someone distracting one of the participants, in this case Vegeta attacking Cell, giving Gohan his window to snatch victory.
    • In the movie The World's Strongest, Goku uses a Spirit Bomb against Dr. Wheelo's enormous energy beam. Goku's tiny little ball wins with ease. For many Z fans, this is an odd case because the Spirit Bomb is normal-sized, about that of Goku's head, wheras it's more known for being the size of buildings in the Namek arc and beyond.
    • Dragon Ball Super episode 65 has two: Future Trunks and Vegeta's combined Galick Gun vs Fused Zamasu's Holy Wrath, which ends with them throwing Zamasu's attack back in his face. Being immortal, he just powers up *another* one, which Goku has to counter with a Kamehameha and the next episode shows he also throws his attack back at him, to an even greater extent.
    • The Universe Survival arc used this no less than four times involving either beams or a beam and a shield. In one iconic scene, Goku pulls off a highly unorthodox variant by using ki attacks' ability to block each other to evade and surf along an enemy beam by grinding on the side of it with a part-charged Kamehameha until he reaches his opponent and blasts them in the face.
  • Gundam:
    • One happens in Gundam SEED Destiny when Kira and Shinn fire their primary beam cannons at one another.
    • Another such clash closes out the final battle of Gundam X. The big difference here: it's between dueling satellite cannons, and Garrod's Gundam Double X proves that two satellite cannons really are better than the Frost brothers' one.
    • Zeta Gundam had a much weaker version in the final battle; since the beams fired didn't have constant energy output, they just flared and burst.
    • The final battle between Domon and Master Asia in G Gundam plays this straight with their dueling Sekiha Tenkyokens.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: this happens between Yuta Okkotsu and Suguru Geto, due to the fact that Geto's ultimate attack was weakened, Yuta won and dealt Geto fatal wounds in a massive explosion. Yuta does this again against Ryu Ishigori, however he loses this time as Ryu has the highest cursed energy output of any Sorcerer in history
  • Mazinger Z: Sometimes Mazinger Z and a Mechanical Beast engaged in this, and usually Kouji used Mazinger's Breast Fire to couterattack their energy beams or waves. Some examples happened in episode 11 and episode 30.
  • The final battle in season one of A Certain Scientific Railgun ends with one of these. Despite Therestina boasting that her artificial railgun attack was more powerful than the original, Mikoto's railgun overpowered Therestina's for victory. The problem with this scene is that railguns use physical ammunition, and if two projectiles actually did collide, the result would be an explosion with supersonic shrapnel, not a power struggle.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pegasus and Bakura have one between each of their Millennium Items using ancient Egyptian laser beams. Since Pegasus is exhausted after having already dueled Yugi, he loses and gets sent flying into a wall. The Abridged Series couldn't even think of anything to add, aside from Ominous Latin Chanting and a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer. The ancient Egyptian laser beams have become a recurring joke.
  • Spoofed in Excel♡Saga, during the final struggle between Pedro and That Man. During a Beam-O-War struggle, That Man one-ups Pedro by taking one of his shoes off and firing an energy beam from his foot.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, there is a notable subversion in the battle with the Fifth Angel, Ramiel: both it and Shinji fire energy beams at each other, but the beams don't meet; their energies warp each other when they get close and they both veer off wildly. Shinji's weapon fires a positron beam, implying that the Angel's weapon is similar and the two electrically charged particle streams are therefore repelling each other. Played straight in Evangelion 2.22, though.
  • Similarly, in My-Otome, Natsuki and a gigantic laser battery fire beams at each other, and both are diverted away from their target — but the battery's shot still hits close enough to seriously damage the nearby Macguffin.
  • In a subversive twist, the title character of Lyrical Nanoha wins a beam-battle against rival Fate, only to lose when the resulting lightshow blinds her to the latter's movements. A smokeless Smoke Shield, as it were. Later on, however, she does win both a "shield versus beam" match and a "beam versus shield" match, one right after the other. This gets played around with several times later in the series. Fate attempts to use the same "use explosion from beam of war to hide movement" trick against Chrono in the A's manga only to fly right into a delayed Bind spell prepared by the more experienced Chrono. And in the penultimate episode of StrikerS, Vivio used the same trick on Nanoha, except Nanoha was prepared enough to raise a shield against the sneak attack. Unfortunately it still proved useless before her attacker's powered punches. The trope is also played straight, such as the Beam-O-War with Dieci in StrikerS where Nanoha, who has been operating under a Power Limiter for the whole season, shows that she is not left handed after all (well, she actually is, but that's besides the point),and wins effortlessly. During ViVid, Nanoha and Teana both use Starlight Breaker at the same time, the collision causing a massive explosion that knocks out pretty much everybody in the vicinity. It should be noted that that last one took place during a training match.
  • A slight variation in Naruto, when Naruto and Sasuke fly at each other with hand-held forces of destruction, which they smash together. It creates a lightshow more appropriately a "Ball O War", which then expands and envelops them both in a black sphere. At the end of the series, Naruto and Sasuke present a good reason as to why a "Ball-O-War" is less effective than a standard Bean-O-War: the two blow off their dominant arms.
    • Itachi and Sasuke then do this, but with breathing fire. Itachi wins by using Amaterasu, which burns the other fire.
    • The video games, like the Dragon Ball ones, frequently have this as a mechanic. This can lead to combinations such as Kakashi's lightning-enhanced chakra strike vs Might Guy's foot.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi - Negi's fight against Evangeline in the earlier chapters ends in one. (Well, technically it ends right after one occurs, the actual Beam O War really didn't decide anything.) 150 (or so) chapters down the line, the same happens between Negi and Chao Lingshen, literally deciding the victor of the Battle of Mahora.
    • Played with in the Negi vs Chao battle. In most other shonen action manga, one would expect the battle to be won by overwhelming power and Heroic Resolve; here it's decided by Negi's superior battle experience. While Chao's spell was more powerful than the one Negi used, Negi's spell had a shorter incantation and covered about two-thirds of the distance between him and Chao before she was able to launch her attack, immediately putting her on the defensive and critically over-straining her artificial magical abilities.)
    • Negi subverts it again during the fight against Rakan. He tricks his opponent into unleashing an enormous Kamehame Hadoken by putting (supposedly) all of his remaining energy into producing a giant "Titan Slayer" lightning spear and appealing to the opponent's love for contests of strength. Rather than throwing his spear to cancel out the blast, Negi absorbs both his Titan Slayer and Rakan's blast and uses the power boost to beat Rakan into (near-)submission.
  • An interesting shield vs shield variation happens in Transformers: Cybertron between Galvatron and Starscream, where their Battle Auras are extended as an attack and meet. This creates a spectacular lightshow, but is ultimately the warm-up and the battle is decided by Punch Parry instead.
  • Trigun had one in the final episode, when Knives tries to fire his angel arm at Vash, who responds with his own. While a chunk of perfectly good real estate is turned into a crater and the sky turns that distinctive post-apocalypse red color, the destruction is relatively limited and both Vash and Knives are unharmed, suggesting that their weapons largely nullified each other.
  • Pokémon: The Series had a few of them. Notably an Ice Beam/Night Shade collision at the Orange League final, which exploded in a Yin-Yang esque light ball and knocked out both Pokemon. Or, for that matter, some kind of variation every single time two Pokemon attack at the same time in the new series. And they always make the exact same explosion. Even if it's LEAVES AND WATER.
  • Seen in one Yakitate!! Japan opening between Azuma and the Kayser brothers, but never actually done in the anime, thankfully.
  • The Big O, between the Big O and Big Duo in episode 12.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, in its duel between Simon and Nia in the Lagann and Lordgenome in his Lazengann, features a variant on this that can only be called a Drill-O-War. No beams involved, but every other factor was classic Power Struggle.
    • They also play it's straight, albeit in their typical fashion, in the end when Anti-Spiral makes a beam with as much energy as the Big Bang and the Gurren Brigade still beat him (with a little help from Lordgenome).
    • In Lagann-hen, another Drill-O-War happens, this time beyond their typical fashion. Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann unleashes its universe-sized Giga Drill Break, and the Anti-Spiral follows with its own Giga Drill Break. In other words, the Spiral Nemesis (or at least some form of it, as the Spiral Nemesis explanation was very specific), what the Anti-Spiral was trying to prevent, happens. The universe starts to collapse in on itself as the two drills spin against each other. Good thing it was the Anti-Spiral's pocket universe, with no other life-forms (hopefully, after all they were throwing galaxies around like shuriken), or else everyone would've been dead.
  • Saint Seiya, the final battle between Aquarius Camus and Cygnus Hyouga. The latter even falls unconscious during it, having put his entire being into projecting the Aurora Execution attack at his master, who is moved to tears by his student's dedication. Hyouga still stands however, and is able to counter, disperse, and defeat Camus' own Aurora Execution by the sheer power of his will alone.
  • Happens in the first season of Slayers.
  • Occurs several times in Code Geass, all in the second season (at which point each side had acquired beams with which to war).
  • Used in the fifth episode of Tenchi Muyo! during the fight between Ryo-Ohki/Ryu-Oh and the Souja. The Souja wins.
  • During Ranma ½s duel between Ranma and Ryouga in which the former canceled out the latter's depression-fueled Shishi Hokodan with his own arrogance-powered Mouko Takabisha. But then Ryouga, depressed further by his attack being countered, delivered an even bigger Shishi Hokodan that popped Ranma's Mouko Takabisha like a soap bubble.
  • Tsuna and Xanxus of Reborn! (2004) in the Sky battle. One shoots them from his guns and the other from gloves. It was pretty much Tsuna's only defense and attack then.
  • So far Digimon Fusion has had this twice, once with Shoutmon X4 vs. DeathMeramon and another vs. AncientVolcanomon. The first time, Shoutmon X4 fired a drill from his shoulder at DeathMeramon's feet as a distraction. The second time, AncientVolcanomon fired another Big Bang Fire on top of the first for an extra push.
  • It also happened a few times in Medabots, most of them involving Metabee when he taps into the Medaforce.
  • Macross 7 pulls it off in episode 27 between a Protodevlin and the Basara/Mylene duo. The twist? The latter use The Power of Rock as their beam - literally.
  • Actually invoked at the end of YuYu Hakusho's Dark Tournament arc, when Toguro proposes he and Yusuke skip what would doubtless be a protracted battle, drop all their limiters and put everything into one blast, winner take all.
  • This happens multiple times in Fate/stay night, particularly when Saber's Noble Phantasm is involved. In the Fate route, she uses Excalibur against Gilgamesh's Ea three times; while she loses the first two times, the third time lets her create just enough of an opening to play her hidden trump card and defeat him. In the Heaven's Feel route, Rider opposes her by using her Pegasus as a beam-like attack rather than a mount, and manages to scrape by a win with the help of Shirou's Rho Aias.
  • In Fate/Apocrypha, this is averted when the Sabers of Black and Red unleash their respective Sword Beams against each other. The two attacks don't so much "clash" as mix together and erupt into a giant Sphere of Destruction that blows away quite a few Mooks on either side of the conflict and end up damaging both of them, though they continue the fight with Saber of Red overpowering the fake Saber of Black.
  • In Symphogear Episode 11, Chris uses her superb song to essentially go strike freedom on an Ion Cannon named Kadangir, which is supposed to be strong enough to destroy the moon with one blast. She fails, but she manages to weaken the blast enough to only have a chunk of the moon be blown off at the cost of her life.
  • In one of the Inuyasha movies, a baddie copies Miroku's Wind Tunnel and they duel....somehow. You'd think they'd instantly suck each other up or something.
  • During the Naturals Election arc of Kill la Kill, Ryuko and Jakuzure engage in this, using sound waves amplified by the Life Fibers in their Goku Uniforms.
  • Pretty Cure
    • The main attack of the team in Futari wa Pretty Cure is a beam, so, naturally, this happens a few times. Notably, Pisard tried to use his own beam to prevent his death, but it failed.
    • A few of the Pretty Cure All Stars movies would end with the gathered Cure teams launching one massive beam attack with the main villain using one of his own.
  • In Zoids: Chaotic Century, one of these occurs between Thomas and his Dibison and Raven and his second Geno Saurer. The two were evenly matched for a short time, but since the Dibison has no way of dissipating the excess heat from its attack like the Geno Saurer does, it's eventually overwhelmed and defeated.

    Audio Play 
  • In the World of Warcraft audio drama "The Tomb of Sargeras", Archmage Khadgar follows the warlock Gul'dan to the Tomb of Sargeras and attacks him with a huge torrent of arcane magic energy. Gul'dan counters with his own of fel magic. (Pictured here.) The contest is left undecided because Gul'dan's demonic master tells him to retreat. Soon it becomes a moot point as Gul'dan gains the power of the tomb and becomes overwhelmingly powerful.
  • Yuno engages in one with Rill using his Spirit Storm against his Scream of the Mystical Dragon Vouivre in Black Clover. Rill emits so much intense magical power from doing so that he breaks his team's crystal, winning Yuno's team the match.

    Comic Books 
  • Dark Willow in Angel & Faith did this with the Old One Quor'toth. She wins when she drops a mountain on him.
  • X-Men:
    • Havok and Cyclops can do this, but there's very little point. Since they're brothers with powers that operate similarly, they simply absorb and metabolize each other's blasts.
    • Havok once engaged in a beam-o-war with his evil counterpart, the Living Pharaoh. It ended with Havok getting sealed in a case that shielded him from cosmic rays (thanks in part to a Spider-Man blunder), resulting in the Living Pharaoh taking all the cosmic rays for himself and transforming into the Living Monolith.
    • Cyclops tends to do this a lot. In a crossover with the Agents of Atlas, he and M-11 get into a Beam-O-War. Since they both shoot beams out of their eye(s), Iceman calls it a staring contest.
  • Agents of Atlas: In their first ongoing, M-11 has a Beam-O-War with the more powerful M-21 — and loses, getting blown to kingdom come (it's okay, he gets better).
  • Supergirl:
  • In the original Squadron Supreme mini-series, Hyperion fights his duplicate this way, each using their atomic vision. The battle is so intense that even though the evil Hyperion gets hit with all of the accumulated energy, the good Hyperion damages his own invulnerable eyeballs to the point of blindness just from the exertion, and Hype is basically Superman.
  • Les Légendaires: The fight between Anathos and Elysio/Darkhell is this. It gets quickly subverted as Anathos uses a second beam to stab his opponent in the back once they are evenly matched.
  • Asterix: In Asterix and the Magic Carpet the villainous fakir Owzat tries to stall Watziznehm and our heroes by driving his carpet head-to-head with theirs and projecting a beam of kinetic force at them. Watziznehm fires back the same way and the two fakirs spend the next several scenes deadlocked with their powers crackling in the air between them like lightning while invoking the 33 million Indian gods gods to curse each other, until Watziznehn breaks the stalemate by flying upwards and sending Owzat hurtling into a minaret.
  • In the second-to-last chapter of the Legion of Super-Heroes storyline The Great Darkness Saga, Wildfire pits his antimatter fire against a Servant of Darkness' telekinetic bolts. Their beam-o-war seems to be evenly matched until the Servant gleefully expresses his intent to rape Wildfire's girlfriend after killing him. Wildfire blasts him into oblivion immediately.

    Fan Works 
  • There exists a comic crossover of Superman and Goku, where there is one of these between the former's heat vision and the latter's Kame Hame Ha. Except Supes wasn't really trying to push back the attack, he was piercing it to get close and punch Goku.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series there is a brief Beam Struggle between Armmagedemon's Ultimate Flare technique and Seraphimon/Magnadramon's Dual Force: Golden Absolution technique.
  • Inner Demons has this pop up during the rematch between Princess Luna and Queen!Twilight Sparkle. Luna still loses again.
  • My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: When the Elements of Harmony are used on Nightmare Moon, she responds with a blast of concentrated shadow magic. Despite momentarily managing to gain an advantage, she's still overwhelmed and defeated.
  • Queen of All Oni does something similar with Uncle and Jade's first Wizard Duel. She manages to force his chi back for about ten seconds, then he curb stomps her.
  • Rainbooms and Royalty: Twilight and Blackened Armor's magic duel climaxes with this, with Blackened Armor firing destructive energy and Twilight firing redeeming magic.
  • Fate/Black Reflection features a Beam-O-War battle between Kurosaki Ichigo and Saber. After a long struggle, Saber's beam overpowers Ichigo's, but Saber then runs out of mana, causing her beam to shut off before it can reach him.
  • Atlas Strongest Tournament: When the changeling plot is exposed and leads to a big battle, we get two examples of this: Amber Spark and the changeling impersonating Rainbow Dash launch their special moves (Jupiter Lance and Sonic Rainboom, respectfully) at each other, causing an explosion when they overwhelm each other. Later on, Twilight and Luna do this jointly with Chrysalis and Aurelia, which ends in a draw.
  • Chapter Seven of Monsters In Paradise, a Touhou Project/Pokemon crossover, features a showdown between Marisa Kirisame's Magicannon: Final Master Spark and the Terraformation, a superweapon created to purge emotion-heavy life from existence. The Terraformation has the upper hand at first, but Marisa's Mismagius accidentally damages the Terraformation's power supply with an attack of her own, letting the Master Spark overwhelm the superweapon's output and destroy it.
  • The Greater Good has one in the Wizard Duel between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald.
  • In The End of Ends, Count Logan and Terra engage in one.
  • In an entirely fan-made Homestuck flash titled Rex Duodecim Angelus, Sollux gets into one of these with the Black King—the latter using a more powerful version of his telekinetic eye blasts. The Black King's overpowers his, and a doomed Aradiabot shoves him out of the way to save his life.
  • Ripples has one between Phobos and Allora at the climax of the Darkest Winter Night. She loses.
  • There are several instances in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters has this pop up during the fight between Nerissa and Daolon Wong.
  • The Stronger Evil:
    • Chapter 11 has one of these between Shendu and Tarakudo as they trade chi lightning. It's a tie until Drago's sneak attack on Tarakudo breaks it.
    • Chapter 13 has this in the form of Valerie's chi lightning versus Queen Jade's shadow chi.
  • Megami no Hanabira: The final battle culminates in a clash between Shiva's Pashupatastra and Metatron!Phillips's Fire of Sinai: all six of the girls have their other demons pummel Phillips to throw his concentration off, but even then the balance is only tipped when Trumpeter hurls Matador at his head, at which point Shiva gives it everything he's got and blows a huge hole through him.
  • SAPR: The magical battle between Sunset and the Remnant version of Sombra eventually devolves into this by the end of the chapter "Grimm Magic."
  • In Street Fighter/Evangelion crossover Neon Genesis Evangelion Senshi No Michi, Ramiel's energy beam smashes into a massive Shinkuu Hadoken fired by Shinji's Evangelion. Both energy attacks struggle against each other briefly before causing a massive explosion.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: Averted with the clash of Catrina's Gran Rey Cero and Spitfire's Godfire technique. The narration explicitly describes the two spiritual-based attacks as not clashing in a show of wills, but mixing together before exploding in an uncontrollable burst that sends both combatants flying.
  • Kabbalah: The Passive Conqueror: Arturia Alter clashes Excalibur Morgan's Sword Beam against Inverse Tohka's Paverschlev's Sword Beam. It balls up and explodes like a nuclear bomb. Mashu Kyrielight using Lord Camelot and Circe erecting a barrier saves the city from being destroyed.
  • The J-WITCH Series:
    • There's a variant in the Season 1 finale "A New Dawn", where during the Final Battle Shendu counters the elemental chi magic that the Guardians are trying to use to seal him by conjuring an endless column of Shadowkhan and flinging it at them.
    • There's another variation at the start of Jade and Drago's fight in "What's More Dangerous?", when she counters his flame breath with shadow flames of her own.
  • In Fleet Of The Homeward Bound, Anubis' Mothership charges up her ancient weapon to destroy the Earth after Enterprise manages to tie up her entire fleet. Unfortunately for her, SG-1 had badly damaged her reactor, and it would take the weapon a while to charge up and fire... just long enough for Yamato to bring the Wave-Motion Gun into play. The results are suitably epic, creating a giant disk of energy thousands of kilometers wide. Telepathically monitoring the emotions of the people of Earth, Babylon 5 notes that much of Japan starts getting excited when both ships start charging their weapons, despite the danger of imminent annihilation.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Despicable Me 2, there's a brief one between Gru's Freeze Ray and Lucy's miniature flamethrower before the latter cancels the former out.
  • In Incredibles 2, during the battle on the Everjust, there is a quick tug of war between Reflux spitting out lava versus Frozone shooting an ice stream. Frozone wins out and frees Reflux from the effects of the hypno-goggles.
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Superman and Ultraman briefly do this with their Heat Vision beams when they battle, but Ultraman quickly gains the upper hand.
  • The Magic Roundabout (2005), of all things, has this, as Zebedee and his Evil Twin Zeebad fire beams of heat and cold at each other.
  • Superman: Doomsday. The two Supermen get into this with their Eye Beams.
  • White Snake (2019): Blanca and the "Little Daoist" fight at the start of the film ends with one, with both blasting their magic at each other via energy beams. The "Little Daoist" wins, throwing Blanca out of the boat and into the water, where she passes out and is later found without her memories by Xuan.

    Film — Live-Action  
  • There's a Beam-O-War between Lo Pan and Egg Shen in Big Trouble in Little China. Amusingly, instead of having the beams just push each other, a pair of Chinese swordsmen form in the middle of it and fight each other. Lo Pan makes finger movements as if he's controlling his fighter in a video game.
  • At the end of the wuxia-fantasy film The Battle Wizard, the hero Prince Tuan-yu managed to empower himself by eating an immortal toad, which allows him to fire a red energy beam from his hands using his chi — to counter the main villain, the Yellow Robed Master's yellow energy. Cue battle of the chi beams... later however the Yellow Robed Master switches to breathing fire instead, so it then turns to Tuan's chi energy beam against raging fire.
  • Buddha's Palm does this in the battle between the Thunderbolt Devil and the Foot Monster, both of them who can fire massive amounts of chi energy, where they then bombard each other with their chi (manifesting in shaped energy bolts; namely, Thunderbolt's chi takes the form of daggers, while Foot Monster's chi takes the form of glowing palms).
    • Later in the same film, Long Jian-fei vs Ouyang Hao.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X2: X-Men United: Jean Grey uses the shield variation against Cyclops' Eye Beams while he is mind-controlled. This shows how much stronger Jean is here than in the first film.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Iceman and Pyro utilize beams of ice and fire, respectively. When Pyro starts to gain ground, Iceman abandons the beam strategy and coats himself in ice armor, allowing him to just walk over and take down Pyro with an old-fashioned headbutt.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Storm's lightning and Cyclops' optic blast collide during a battle. Nightcrawler teleports Cyclops away before a winner is established.
  • In Godzilla films, beam fights are common among Kaiju that can fire energy beams. Particularly in the ones with Mecha-Godzilla, which tend to knock both monsters down.
    • Oddly enough the first monster to get in a beam struggle with Godzilla was the giant spider Kumonga in Son of Godzilla. While he shoots webs and not any kind of energy projectile or super powers, it was impressively able to shoot enough web fast enough to stalmate with Godzilla's Atomic Breath.
  • Shows up in the climax of Descendant of the Sun, a Shaw Brothers film loosely based on the Superman series. The hero is a Superman Substitute facing a General Zod expy, with the climatic battle having them firing palm-beams pushing at each other. It ends with a stalemate, but the villain uses the chance to teleport himself out of sight before ambushing the hero.
  • Dark City: the final fight mostly consists of these, as Murdock and Mr. Book face off using blasts of tuning.
  • In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith a variation of this happens twice: Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi try to Force-push each other, holding each other off momentarily before they're both thrown in opposite directions. During the concurrent Yoda vs. Emperor fight, the Emperor tries shooting lightning at Yoda, who manages to grab it and push it back at Palpatine until the whole thing balls up and explodes, once again sending two combatants in opposite directions.
  • In the movie Howard the Duck, the climactic battle features one of these.
  • In the Film of the Book Stardust, a brief battle between the witches Ditchwater Sal and the far more powerful Lamia manifests as a Beam-O-War. Lamia's green flames overpower Sal's shadowy magic easily, and go on to disintegrate her head.
  • In 1992 The Fantastic Four movie, the Human Torch does a full-body 'flame on' for the first time near the end of the movie to outrace a laser beam (!) that is arcing from Latveria to New York City (!), and manages to win a beam-of-war with the laser (!) using his flames. Because he always wanted to beat this one video game that had something similar. Oy, vey.
  • In Iron Man 2, this happens twice between Iron Man and Rhodey. The first was an unexpected side-effect when they got in a fight; the second time it's used to take down Vanko for the last time. This version is a combination of Beam-O-War and Forbidden Chekhov's Gun; when the beams collide, a massive explosion emerges around the impact poin. Incidentally, the beams in question are thrust streams coming from their flight stabilizers. Unlike lasers, repulsor beams probably actually would "push" on each other violently.
  • In Descendants 3, Mal and Audrey face off against each other with this in the final battle.
  • In Dragonball Evolution, Goku and Piccolo get into one for a few seconds. As Piccolo fires his Ki Blast at Goku, Goku fires his Kamehameha wave and flies up at the time giving him the advantage (somehow) and then... KABOOM!
  • The Phantom (1996): The Phantom does this against a wielder of the Three Skulls, immediately after realizing what it means to have the power of the Fourth Skull.
  • The Harry Potter films use this in the battles between Dumbledore/Harry and Voldemort and occasionally in other duels. It doesn't make any sense in all cases but the first. However, since the films don't explain any of the cases, they all make equal sense in the theater.
  • This occurs in The Raven (1963) between the characters of Vincent Price and Boris Karloff in a wizard's duel. The graphics of the time were naturally not too great, but at least the beams were color coded.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a brief but spectacular one occurs between Superman and Doomsday, both using their heat vision. Doomsday wins, overpowering the Man of Steel and knocking him backwards.
  • The finale of Ultraman Taiga The Movie: New Generation Climax culminates with Ultraman Reiga - a fusion hero created by combining the powers of the eleven New Generation Ultras - fighting Malicious Demonic Monster Grimdo, Reiga's Ultimate Storium Beam against Grimdo's Eye Beams. Reiga wins, penetrating Grimdo's central eye - it's sole weakness - and finally killing the monster.
  • In Yamato Takeru the titular hero and the Big Bad Tsukuyomi fight each other with Eye Beams, ending in one of these struggles. Tsukuyomi wins, being a god and all, but the hero has a more powerful weapon he then uses to greater effect.
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife has one of these occur at the climax, between Phoebe (using a Proton Pack) and Gozer (using eldritch god magic).

  • Harry Potter:
    • The climactic scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (pictured above) features a magical duel resolved in precisely this manner, due to a rare magical interaction between wands. When Harry "wins", Voldemort's wand is forced to start regurgitating phantoms of the spells he's cast in reverse order. When this reaches his (many) killing curses, it causes shades of his victims to appear, giving Harry moral support and scaring the hell out of their killer.
    • It also happens in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, except this time the fragments of Voldemort's soul have all been destroyed, including the one held inside Harry's body, which results in Voldemort's death when the beams collide. And the second collison of beams doesn't last half as long as the first one did because Voldemort was using the Elder Wand ... only he wasn't the true wielder of it, Harry was! And the Elder Wand refused to kill Harry. That's why Voldemort's Killing Curse rebounds back on him!
  • The Discworld novel Sourcery has two wizards sitting at either end of a long table, discussing the Sourcerer. Both of them want the other one dead, so while they chat, they prepare nicely explosive spells and throw them at each other at the same time. The spells meet at the center of the table and explode, knocking both wizards away.
  • In Deryni Rising, the first of Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels, the final contest of the Duel Arcane between Kelson and Charissa is a straight duel of strength, sort of like magical arm-wrestling: the dome-shield that they placed around them is split in two and each one's half becomes colored with their signature color, red for Kelson and blue for Charissa. Then each tries to "push" the line of meeting toward the other. If the line contacts one of them, that one loses the duel - and their life.
  • In Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time Nynaeve's battle with the Forsaken Moghedien consists almost entirely of the two throwing the flows of the One Power at one another at half strength, using the other half to shield themselves from the other's attack. Interestingly the whole thing is invisible to Muggles (or men period) and its noted anyone walking in would have merely seen two women staring at one another. Several other fights have moments of this too. The straightest example occurs near the climax of the final book, with Balefire and the Flame of Tar Valon described as beams pushing at each other until one overwhelms the other.
  • The Wizard Duel in The Seven Towers by Patricia C. Wrede, with a subversion: after watching for a while, the protagonist realises that the wizards aren't trying to push each others' beams away, but drag them closer. It's explained afterward that if one wizard succeeds in reeling in the other's beam, he is then able to drain his opponent's power.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Joust series, the bad guys use magic to concentrate sunlight into what is effectively a giant laser beam. (The official description is that they're focusing and concentrating sunlight at a specific place, but it appears to be a giant beam of white light.) Ancient Egyptian laser beams, indeed. Note that it was built as an anti-invasion device a long time ago and eventually became a tool of oppression and one reason for the gigantic war that ends at the end of the third book. It also ended the war — because it blew up the city it was in, and that city happened to be a national capital housing most of the population, kinda like Mexico City.
  • The incuels in Tough Magic, basically kung-fu spell-duels, have this on occasion.
  • In Alan Garner's fantasy novel The Moon of Gomrath, the fight between neophyte witch Susan and the older, more evil, witch Morrigan, takes this form. Both wear powerful ancient bracelets which are mirror-images of each other. Morrigan's fires black fire which nearly reaches Susan. But Susan's bracelet responds with white fire, and the two streams of energy are seen to force each other back and forth as the two witches grapple for supremacy.
  • Not quite a beam, and it's not extended, but a duel between Harry Dresden and Duchess Arianna Ortega in Changes of The Dresden Files starts with Harry throwing a beam of fire at her, and Arianna throwing a column of water. Neither blast connects with its intended target, instead instantly evaporating into super-heated steam, which Harry notes nearly killed the both of them anyway.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: There's two main ways to Counter Spell, both of which involve intercepting an incoming spell with one of your own: either of the same element or the opposing one. This typically results in both spells dissipating, as in the case in the climactic battle of volume 1 (episode 6 of the anime) where Oliver and Nanao both cast Flamma to intercept the Starter Villain's Fortis Flamma.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "Trust the Corps", a practice telepath attack/defend training session looked like the tentacle + shield variant.
  • In The Boys (2019), after becoming an Empowered Badass Normal, Billy Butcher manages to hold his own against the Superman Substitute Homelander in one of these.
  • In The Flash (2014), Allegra and her cousin Esperanza (AKA Ultraviolet) have the same light-projecting powers, but Esperanza has always been the stronger. However, when they face off for real, Allegra is made to realize that her true power come from her heart, while Esperanza's is fueled by hatred. While she's losing the beam-o-war, her heart gives her a Power-Up that allows her to win, shocking Esperanza.
  • Heroes did this in the episode "Five Years Gone". And a variant in "Brave New World", when Peter Petrelli copies Samuel Sullivan's Dishing Out Dirt power. Their fight involves shoving a shockwave back and forth.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Quest, Part 2", Daniel Jackson and Adria have one- Daniel has Merlin's consciousness inside him, and blocks Adria's energy beam attack with one of his own in order to buy the others time to leave through the gate. He loses after the others leave (turns out that an ordinary human body has far less endurance when channeling such power) and is taken prisoner by Adria and the Ori.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Reckoning", two ancient wormhole aliens who have possessed the bodies of two major characters do battle with beams of light.
  • The various series/seasons of Super Sentai and Power Rangers have made liberal use of this. A few examples:
    • Seijuu Sentai Gingaman: the battle between the first Monster of the Week, Kolshizer, and Ginga Red's gingabeast, Ginga Lion, featured this kind of fight. The beams in this fight where Kolshizer's lasergun and Ginga Lion's fire breath. Through Gingaman footage, this same battle was also featured in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, with the monster and the gingabeast being renamed as Radster and Lion Galactabeast respectively.
    • Mahou Sentai Magiranger: The Heavenly Saint Snowgel and the Hades God Drake engage in an elemental opposites version, pitting ice vs. fire.
    • Power Rangers in Space: episode 18, "True Blue to the Rescue"; Storm Blaster (one of the cars from Power Rangers Turbo) and the Monster of the Week, Lionizer, engage in a Beam-O-War with their lasers. They are evenly matched, untill Justin and TJ tip the scales by adding their own lasers to that of Storm Blaster.
    • Power Rangers: Dino Thunder: Kira's Super-Scream against a brainwashed Tori's water blast. It ended in a tie, and they just kept fighting.
    • Power Rangers Wild Force has the Rangers versus the resurrected Org Generals using their combined-weapons finishers in a beam-o-war.
    • Power Rangers Super Megaforce episode "Vrak is Back Part 2", the Rangers' Megaforce Blaster and Vrak's power result in a beam-o-war. The Rangers at first strengthen their resolve, pushing it back to a tie, but then use their sidearm blasters to blast Vrak, knocking him down.
  • Smallville: In "Escape", this occurs between Clark's heat vision and Silver Banshee's sonic scream. It ends up exploding near Clark, knocking him back.
  • Happened in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World between a Wicked Witch and her two repentant apprentices. The apprentices win when Malone interferes and knocks the witch's wand out of her hand.
  • Charmed (1998): The penultimate episode features one of these with the Charmed Ones and their opponents both using The Hollow. Oddly, the Charmed Ones fire six beams while their opponents fire four, yet somehow the beams all still block each other.
  • On Xena: Warrior Princess, Callisto and Velasca do this with lightning bolts after both ascend to godhood.
  • The Aquabats! Super Show!: Happens twice in "EagleClaw!", with Eaglebones and Eagleclaw battling each other with guitars that shoot lasers. The second time they duel, a reprise of the episode's song "B-R-O" kicks in, this time with the entire band as backup.
  • Key & Peele: Two elderly black stereotypes have a full-on Wizard Duel for the right to dispense truisms to a successful white man. "There Can Be Only One Magical Negro!"
  • MythBusters tested an Internet viral video featuring this between a flamethrower and a CO2 fire extinguisher. Even with a supercharged fire extinguisher, they could not replicate the video (though the supercharged extinguisher did actually manage to stop the flame from reaching Adam).
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Supergirl and her aunt Astra engage in an Eye Beam version of this in the second episode. Kara wins by redirecting the beams at the ceiling above her aunt, collapsing it on her.
    • Later, Supergirl faces her Evil Knockoff, Bizarro. They get into a heat vision vs. freeze vision duel, and then an arctic breath vs. flame breath duel.
    • When Supergirl is having her Final Battle with Non in the first Season Finale, it culminates in another Eye Beam duel, which ends when she overpowers him, burning out his eyes and rendering him catatonic.
    • Supergirl has another eye beam duel in the Season 3 episode "Trinity", this time with Reign during the DEO's fight with the Worldkillers in the latter's Fortress of Sanctuary.
    • In the Crisis on Earth-X crossover, Kara ends up having one with her Nazi Evil Counterpart Overgirl with them spinning around a common point.
  • Firefly and Mr. Freeze get into a flamethrower-vs-freeze-gun fight in the season 2 finale of Gotham.
  • In the first season finale of Runaways (2017), Karolina and Jonah do this with light beams, forming a glowing wheel in the centre.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: At one point, superhero!Mr. Potato Head and an ancient demon, both of which have Eye Beams, get into a beam-o-war duel. Mr. Potato Head loses and gets an Ash Face as a result.
  • In the Ultra Series, this is pretty much a given since Ultra Beams are a franchise staple.
    • In Ultraseven, the fight between Ultraseven and Robot Ultraseven includes invoking this trope.
    • Ultraman Tiga has a few of these, including one against Alien Regulan (Tiga wins) and one against Evil Tiga (stalemate, both combatants got knocked off their feet).
    • Ultraman Dyna has one between Dyna and Imitation Dyna/Gregorl-Man. Imitation Dyna wins.
    • Ultraman Gaia has Gaia, in his new Version 2 self, which can use Agul's abilities such as Photon Crusher, has a Photon-O-War against Imitation V1 Gaia/Meemos. It's pitifully short; Gaia may have started the clash late, but he quickly overpowers the fake Ultraman thanks to being able to augment said Photon Crusher with his original Photon Edge, and the loss helps expose the fake.
    • The final battle of Ultraman Nexus between Ultraman Noa and Dark Zagi ends with this (with Zagi firing his beam from space). Noa wins and destroys Zagi.
    • The final episode of Ultraman Neos climaxes with Neos and Ultraseven 21 combining their energy beams against Big Bad Menscheit's thunderbolt and winning.
    • Ultraman Ginga: The final battle between Ultraman Ginga and Dark Lugiel is pretty much a 2-minute-long version of this trope, until Ginga's Ginga Especially eventually wins.
    • Ultraman Geed:
      • Darklops Zero tries this twice, and fails both times. The first time, it's Darklops Zero Shot vs. Zero's Wide Zero Shot. Zero, in spite of still suffering from his injuries at the time, beats it and drives Darklops Zero off. The second time, it was Dimension Storm vs. Geed Solid Burning's Solar Boost. In spite of the head start this one Darklops Zero had, Geed overpowers it and destroys it.
      • The final episode has Geed fire his Wrecking Burst while his father, Belial, fires his Deathcium Ray. It doesn't take too long before Geed overwhelms his father, killing him once and for all.
    • Ultraman Z:
      • Z Alpha Edge's debut fight ends with one against Genegarg, with Z swiftly coming out on top.
      • The two last battles in the show, the ones between Z and Destrudos, end with a showdown with Destrudos' D4 Ray and Z's Zestium Beam. Destrudos may have won the first battle and overpowered Z Gamma Future's Zestium Beam, but Destrudos does not win the war, as Z Original eventually destroys Destrudos in the rematch in a Bookends manner.
  • In later episodes of WandaVision, fights between witches seem to come down largely to battling beams of color-coded magical energy — with the twist that Agatha turns out to be capable of absorbing an opponent's attack and even draining their power along the beam.
  • In the Titans (2018) episode "Mother Mayhem", as the Titans are fighting the eponymous villain, Kory and Mother Mayhem engage in a beam struggle that ends with an explosion, allowing Mother Mayhem to escape.

  • Spider One engages in one with an evil overlord in Powerman 5000's music video for "When Worlds Collide."

  • Destroy the Godmodder: The final fight between the Secret of the Void and the Anti-Chuck-Norris-Turret-Tank in the first game.

    Tabletop Games 
  • GURPS: Powers calls this Power Parry and suggests that this only ought to apply for powers that have the same or opposite focus. However it points out that in genres where this is possible in the first place coolness should trump everything.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Many examples in card art, including Double Negative, Mages' Contest, and Battle of Wits, among others.
    • In the tie-in novel The Brothers' War, a young Urza and Mishra have a Beam-O-War battle between the green magical laser beams of Mishra's Weakstone and the red magical laser beams of Urza's Mightstone. When their mentor Tocasia tries to break it up, the resulting explosion leads to her death.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter: In the climax, Ryu clashes his D-Breath against D-Breath of Chetyre, a true dragon. For Ryu, it's Cast from Lifespan, but for his opponent it's not. Regardless, he manages to push back the beam and flatten the foe against the ceiling, before seemingly completely incinerating him. During the battle he pushes his D-Counter beyond 100%, while in the game itself reaching it nets you a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • The game G-Darius actually features this as a gameplay mechanic. Every one of the game's freaky giant robot fish bosses (or "Huge Battleships", in traditional Darius parlance) is armed with a giant beam cannon; luckily, your ship is armed with its own beam cannon, and with good timing and a lot of button-mashing you can turn the Beam-O-War shouting match against the enemy and kill it in one hit.
    • The presence of autofire in PS1 versions made these infinitely easier as it removes the button mashing aspect. However, as soon as later bosses Wave-Motion Gun fails to yours, they throw WMG-absorbing bullets directly at you, followed by bajillion bullets.
    • G-Darius Spiritual Predecessor Metal Black also has this mechanic.
    • Border Down, the other Spiritual Successor to Metal Black, also has it, and is necessary to rack up bullet-cancelling chains vital to high scores, which are needed to move up a border for the next stage.
    • Burst has the Burst Counter mechanic; if your Burst hits an enemy's Burst attack, it will amplify in power and give you a powerful score multiplier. Another Chronicle, however, requires you to time your Burst deployment; if you are anything short of perfect when you fly into the enemy beam or firing your beam at the same time, you won't get a Counter and you'll lose valuable shield points at best and an entire life at worst.
  • Cyberdrive Zoids also uses this in gameplay — if two beam attacks of similar power collide, it turns into a first-to-100 button-mashing contest to decide whose attack actually hits. Even when the AI gets a headstart, you can usually beat it.
  • In Boktai whenever you're using the Pile Driver to destroy a vampire's coffin and kill it Deader than Dead, the vampire will try to push back the solar energy beams with beams of dark matter. You can counteract this by shooting the beam generators with your solar gun to boost their power.
  • All ranged attacks in Little Fighter 2 can cancel each other out or obliterate weaker attacks. Only a few characters have a fast enough rate of fire for an extended Beam o' War, though.
  • The final battle in Feel the Magic: XY/XX consists of a Beam O' War conflict between the protagonist and his rival, using beams of lightning fired from their mohawks and powered by towels rubbed across the backs of their heads.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped: Aku Aku and Uka Uka duel with their eye beams during the start of the final fight. This clash is lethal for Crash, so he has to keep an eye on it while also dodging Cortex's projectiles. The masks duel with a different attack when the second part of the fight begins.
  • The Force Unleashed:
    • If the player and an enemy both use lightning on each other simultaneously, one of these ensues. If the player can push the right buttons fast enough, his attack goes through; otherwise, the enemy's attack does.
    • In the final cutscene, Galen Marek and the Emperor do this with Force Lightning, much like the Emperor and Yoda previously had. Also much like Yoda, Marek pushes it back and the resulting explosion sends everyone flying and (presumably) kills the nearby Stormtroopes. The Emperor and Darth Vader are (of course) fine, but Marek himself is supposedly killed by it.
  • Two rapid-fire tanks facing off against each other in can create a situation like this due to that game's destructible projectiles.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: The climax of the final boss fight comes in the form of a struggle between Malefor's Dark Aether breath on one side pushing against Spyro and Cynder's fury breaths on the other, culminating in the heroes finally overpowering and defeating him.
  • Mass Effect 2: Happens between Samara and Morinth. Instead of outright beams, they end up on opposite sides of a swirling mass of energy.
  • Dead or Alive: Used in the cinematics: once in the opening to DOA Ultimate between Hayate and Raidou, then again in DOA Dimensions between Kasumi and Raidou. In the former, Raidou overpowers Hayate, and the resulting shockwave sends Hayate flying into a tree and snaps his spine, paralyzing him and putting him in a coma, while in the latter, Kasumi only manages to overpower Raidou thanks to Ryu Hayabusa's intervention.
  • Godzilla: Unleashed lets two monsters lock beams if they fire them at each other at the same time. The monsters send pulses of energy down the beams (with a flick of the Wiimote) to push the ball toward the opponent. Whoever loses takes the damage of both beams to the face, knocking the monster on its back. However, if the monsters are very close to each other and lock beams, it immediately explodes and sends both monsters flying.
  • Magicka: Averted, beams containing opposite elements will explode and obliterate anything within a few feet and cancel the casting of beams while beams containing matching elements combine to become stronger.
  • In Honkai Impact 3rd, at the end of Chapter 22 Act 2, Kiana replicates Fu Hua's powerful attack, the Edge of Taixuan's Eminence, to counterattack against the Herrscher of Sentience's ultimate attack. Kiana's move ultimately wins, engulfing the Herrscher of Sentience in a fiery explosion.
  • In World of Warcraft Cataclysm, at the end of the Vashj'ir quest chain, Lady Naz'jar and Neptulon the Tidehunter duel with beams. In the end, Naz'jar has Ozumat attach itself to Neptulon's head.
  • RefleX pulls a variant in the form of Shield-O-War against ZODIAC Virgo, when Virgo activates the same invincible energy shield the player has and tries to ram them. The player is meant to activate their shield, and the two shields then repel each other.
  • From Asura's Wrath: Berserker Asura vs. the Brahmastra. The Brahmastra wins, but Asura does keep it from hitting him temporarily via his now extremely powerful Ki attack. The fact that Asura was able to even briefly match the power of the Brahmastra, a weapon fueled by trillions of human souls gathered through violence in order to kill an Eldritch Abomination, causes The Rival Yasha to begin doubting whether it's Necessarily Evil to "gathering human souls through violence".
  • DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu has this as an important game mechanic: the enemies frequently fire large quantities of purple lasers which must be blocked by your own laser.
  • Dogyuun's second boss has a move where it fires out a Wave-Motion Gun from its chest, and you can try to counter it with your own Wave-Motion Gun if you have the blue weapon. You'll probably lose, though, as he fires out two and you only fire one.
  • The Magic Duel Game Mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim allows mages to get into these with other mages.
  • Skully revolves around a quartet of elemental siblings who spends the whole game quarreling. At one point, Wanda the Water Elemental and Fiona the Fire Elemental tries blasting each other respectively with beams made of water and flames, trying to extinguish and incinerate each other.
  • Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm - Kerrigan and Narud perform one during the Phantoms Of The Void mission. Narud is slowly winning due to being powered up by nearby temples, once they are gone he loses in seconds.
  • In South Park: The Stick of Truth, the Cartman/Kyle fight ends with one, with you performing a massive fart to counter Cartman's Flaming Fart or Kyle's leafblower.
  • The climax of The Wonderful 101 has one of these as Jergingha fires a massive Earth-destroying chest laser, Platinum Robo (under the control of the Wonderful Ones) uses the Virgin Victory, the Meizerr and the Dakkar to push Jergingha's laser back and incinerate him. Red also adds a little whiplash to the scenario by giving the attack a stupidly long name.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai's third game introduced this as a mechanic. Two beam attacks launched at the same time will create a reverse tug of war with both players frantically spinning their joy sticks, pushing their attack until it over powers the other and hits. This is enforced with only energy beam moves being able to trigger it, and blasts simply cancelling each other out, the one exceptions being Piccolo's Destruction Wave.
  • Averted in Dragon Ball Xenoverse, where colliding energy blasts will simply cancel each other out.
  • While not its own mechanic in Dragon Ball FighterZ, when two beam attacks connect, they will push against each other until the stronger beam overpowers the weaker beam, or the beams of equal power cancel each other out.
    • This also happens in Dramatic Finishes fairly often, too. Notably, Goku (Super Saiyan) vs. Frieza, Gohan (Teen) vs. Cell, Goku (Base) vs. Vegeta (Base) and Gogeta (SS4) vs Gogeta (SSGSS).
  • While not possible in gameplay, the end cinematic for XCOM 2 features the Commander's Avatar and an alien Elder dueling in this manner with psionic energy.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe features an inversion: Queen Sectonia's last-ditch attack to finish off Kirby is a massive energy beam. Kirby must counter it by inhaling it as Hypernova Kirby, and the struggle is then between whether Kirby can inhale faster than Queen Sectonia can blast him.
    • The climax of Kirby Star Allies involves Void Termina unleashing a massive laser beam at Kirby and his pals as a last-chance move to get rid of them. They retaliate with another laser, resulting in this trope. Interestingly, only one hit does not suffice to destroy Void Termina, and Kirby and his friends have to go several rounds, each with a different button input.
    • The climax of Kirby and the Forgotten Land has an... unusual example, with Kirby using Mouthful Mode on a Big Badass Rig against a large meteor summoned by Fecto Elfilis. Like the Star Allies example above, it takes numerous rounds of button inputs to win the clash.
  • In Bayonetta 2, Loki engages one with the demonic boss Insidious with the help of the Ark. The player will have to succeed the associated QTE, else the Game Over awaits.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • The final boss of the Dun Scaith raid features this. At the end of his first phase he’ll try to kill the entire raid with what is essentially an evil Spirit Bomb, while the raid group counters with an energy beam created by repeatedly attacking a magical door. If the raid’s damage output is high enough, their beam will slam the boss’s own attack right in his face.
    • In Patch 3.56, the draconic Primal Shinryu and the Allagan superweapon Omega end their battle with one of these. When the two combatants see that their beams are evenly matched and aren’t budging an inch, they respond by cranking up the power. This causes the beams to explode in a massive Pillar of Light, swatting Shinryu and Omega out of the sky for a Double Knock Out.
  • Final Fantasy XVI: This happens a few times throughout the game, notably between Ifrit and Bahamut, and then later between Bahamut and Ultima Prime.
  • The climax of Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion involves Pearl screaming into a giant Killer Wail (read: loudspeaker) to counter Commander Tartar's Wave-Motion Gun aimed at Inkopolis. Thanks to Pearl's singing voice alone already being destructively loud and shrill, she overwhelms Tartar easily with a 888.8% to 0% Turf War victory.
  • RuneScape
    • It had one of the longest beam o wars ever during a temporary event called The Battle of Lumbridge, where the gods Saradomin and Zamorak in their giant forms had a beam o war that lasted for more than 10 weeks while their armies battled each other beneath them to gather energy to tip the fight in their respective god's favor. During those 10 weeks, players could assist either side with gathering energy for rewards, with the winner of the beam o war being decided by which god had more energy gathered for them by players. It ultimately ended in Saradomin being victorious.
    • Another one happens in the climax of the quest "Beneath Cursed Tides" between an Evil Sorcerer and a heroic hydromancer.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario Party 2: During the Cutscene Boss fight between Bowser and the winner of Horror Land, both opponents duke it out by wrestling with the beams that afre cast from their respective owners' wands. At one point, Bowser appears to win the wager, but the board winner eventually strengthens their effort and their beam outpowers Bowser's and defeats him.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: This shows up twice, with Bowser's and Dark Bowser's flame breath attacks. There's also an Inversion - To win the fight once-and-for-all, you need to do this with Kirby-esque inhaling.
    • Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games: During the Boxing event, if you activate your special move and your opponent also activate it then one ensure where you need to press A rapidly to win
  • Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan has a particularly dramatic and cool-looking one in the cutscene after the first major boss fight against Ngarba; Enzo and Ngarba's Kamehame Hadoken, shaped like a giant glowing lion and rhinoceros respectively, are locked in a beam-o-war stalemate, until Enzo's queen Erine comes up behind him and contributes her own beam power to Enzo's.

  • This Captain SNES: The Game Masta strip features what is quite possibly the shortest Beam-O-War match in history.
  • Homestuck has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Beam O War duel. Unusually for this trope, this was between a psychic's telekinetic outburst and a purely mechanical Wave-Motion Gun instead of identical "styles" of power. Even odder, both parties survived despite being otherwise normal 13-year-old boys.
    • The characters involved, Sollux and Eridan have a second Beam-O-War duel. This time around, Sollux loses and is knocked unconscious.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: One appears during the Trunks vs Vegeta fight, as a reference to the one between Goku and Vegeta at the start of Dragon Ball Z.
  • In Mystery Babylon, Kill Boy and Delilah fire energy beams at each other using the weapons of ancient super-heroes: Kill Boy wields the glove of Solar Core and Delilah wields Cupid's Bow. Though Kill Boy claims Cupid was the "lamest" of the Twelve Stars and Solar Core was "way cooler", Delilah's beam overpowers his and knocks him unconscious.
    Delilah: That's right! Cupid freak'n owns you!
  • Crimson Knights: Cecilia and Arawn's Wizard Duel in chapter 3 consists of them throwing magic bolts at each other creating a cacophony of blue and purple in the process.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Ellen and Grace train by engaging in a non-lethal shield variant of this.
  • Grrl Power: During the "battle royale" Jiggawatt uses her secondary power to produce positrons (antimatter electrons) to do this with another lightning-themed super, unfortunately thanks to another villain's sonic attack earlier she can't hear Dabbler's warning about matter-antimatter annihilation producing massive amounts of gamma radiation.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Old '60s- and '70s-era Hanna-Barbera adventure shows, like Birdman (1967), Space Ghost, and The Galaxy Trio used this frequently. It's a cheap way to show conflict onscreen, with many re-used frames. This is parodied in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
  • Used in one episode of Kim Possible, the twist being that it's Ron Stoppable's father doing the blasting, inside a dome that harnesses mathematical processing power.
  • Beast Wars:
    • In the episode "Maximal, No More", Dinobot and Quickstrike clash beams in a sparring match (the former's being Eye Beams). Dinobot's beams are initially pushed back, but he wins by simply walking forward and closing the distance between them.
    • The episode "Double Dinobot" has a similar fight between Megatron's pink-ish arm laser and Dinobot's green Eye Beams. They form a roiling pink-and-green ball that's shoved back and forth. It ends when a missile from Optimus Primal strikes the ball and sends both combatants flying.
    • And in the final episode, Tigerhawk loses a Beam-O-War against the Decepticon warship Nemesis. The fact that he was even able to fight it is impressive.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
  • Dave the Barbarian: This happens in the first episode, when Dave fights the Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy. Dave even comments on their beams being evenly matched, but Chuckles says it's just because his mystical item is set on low. Once he sets it on full power, Dave loses instantly.
  • In a Megas XLR episode paying homage to the whole Mecha-Godzilla idea (see below), Gorrath makes a Glorft version of Megas and the two robots have at it at the end of the episode. Gorrath lets loose eye lasers and Coop responds in kind with lasers from the headlights of his robot's car-head. They are evenly matched until Coop flips on his car's high beams.
  • Danny Phantom: During the episode "Kindred Spirits", Danny and Vlad do this with Ectoplasmic Rays, only for Danny to lose when his clone Danielle comes up from behind and knocks him unconscious with her own blast, after he begged her for help since he couldn't keep up with Vlad.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Seen in the episode "Quackor the Fowl", when Quackor and Monkey engage in this and other feats of superpowered competitiveness.
  • Done in the Dora the Explorer special "Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom" as Dora is facing off against the Greedy King.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons parodying a particular death in the Harry Potter books, the death in question occurs in a much more straightforward fashion than in the books with "Lord Greystash" facing the series's Big Bad in a beam-o-war. Unfortunately, he is forced to break off his attack in order to save the protagonist from a grisly death, rendering him defenseless. Homer invokes Fanon Dis Continuity and makes up a new ending on the fly where the duel is resolved in a different manner...
  • The battle between Big Guy and his robot double in Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot involves this. It ends when Dwayne his operator fires Big Guy's hand into the double's cannon, blowing him up.
  • Justice League
    • Superman and AMAZO matching heat vision. AMAZO cheats and uses Green Lantern powers to give himself an edge.
    • And on JLU, Red Tornado goes up against three Wind Dragon clones simultaneously, performing this trope with cyclones rather than beams. Red Tornado comes out on top, almost embarrassingly easily.
    • The various DCAU Green Lanterns also have a tendency to get involved in the 'shield' version, on either side.
  • In Teen Titans (2003), Raven fights against Trigon in this way in "Nevermore".
  • In Doug, one of Doug's Quailman fantasies involves him fighting a mad scientist version of Roger Klotz who uses a hypnotizing "brain drain" ray. He counters it with his Quail Vision, and they are evenly matched until he turns on his "Quail High Beams" and wins.
    • That was actually two fantasies, and Quailman lost the one with the brain drain ray. The one where he won was when Dr. Klotzinstein had an ability called the "Eye of Klotz" which could turn people into rodeo clowns.
  • Superman Theatrical Cartoons: Downplayed in "The Mad Scientist", which features the Man of Steel literally punching the daylights out of a laser beam. A later cartoon, "The Magnetic Telescope", has a closer variation, with a magnetic beam and a comet having a physically improbable shoving match before the comet is finally sent back into space. This gets a visual Shout-Out in Superman: The Animated Series, with Superman using the same laser-punching technique to defeat Brainiac when the latter first invades Earth.
  • Occurs between Ackar and Kiina testing their elemental powers in BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn.
    • Also between Takanuva and the heat-vision Rahkshi in one of the Stop Motion online shorts.
  • Occurs several times with fire blasts during Azula and Zuko's Agni Kai during the finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • Used symbolically in the fight between Aang and Ozai, where the beams spew out of their bodies into the sky, with the latter's color's dominance in the light show showing how close he was to psychically dominating the other.
    • The shield variant also appears, with Aang hiding in a ball of rock while Ozai tries to Kill Him With Fire.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Happens twice in "Fused", once between Ra'ad and the Ultimatrix's scanning beam, and once between Ra'ad and Aggregor.
  • Adventure Time: Finn the Human has one of these in a fight with a wand-wielding evil piglet. Finn's beam is a stream of ice cream.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "The Quest of the Princess Ponies, Part 2", when confronted by the lava demons, G'nash responds to one of them shooting a beam of fiery energy with an icy one of his own. The beams meet in the middle and enter a stalemate, which keeps G'nash distracted enough for two other demons to circle him and hit him from the side with their own beams.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • In "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2", Princess Celestia tries to defeat Queen Chrysalis of the Changelings by shooting out a beam of magic from her horn. Chrysalis counters with one of her own and, to even her own surprise, is able to push back and stun Celestia, due to the strength of the love she has been feeding on.
      • "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2": The climax of Twilight and Tirek's battle escalates into them firing magical beams at one another with all the power they can muster. This results in a stalemate that forces Tirek to try a different tactic, since brute force isn't getting the job done.
      • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games has this during the climactic showdown between Daydream Shimmer; Sunset Shimmer's new Super Mode; and Midnight Sparkle; the Superpowered Evil Side of Human Twilight Sparkle; likely in homage to the Gohan vs. Cell beam-o-war in Dragon Ball Z. Midnight initially has the upper hand until Puppy Spike briefly snaps her out of her rage, allowing Sunset/Daydream to prevail and change her back to Twilight.
      • "The Mean Six": Queen Chrysalis gets into another one with the traitorous Mean Twilight during a power struggle. This time, thanks to being starved of love, Chrysalis finds herself on the losing end and would have been defeated if not for the Tree of Harmony reacting to the presence of the Mean Six and destroying them, allowing Chrysalis to escape.
      • "Shadow Play, Part 2": Twilight gets into one to protect Starswirl the Bearded from the Pony Of Shadows. Later, Starlight and Twilight get into one when the Pony Of Shadows fights back.
  • In the episode "Terrors" of Young Justice (2010), Icicle Jr. and Mr. Freeze do this with their ice beams. They are too equally matched, so Superboy intervenes and takes down Mr. Freeze.
    • There's also one between Blue Beetle and Black Beetle in "Before The Dawn". The two fire their plasma cannons at each other which results in an explosion that sends them flying back.
  • In the season 4 finale of Winx Club, the Winx and Nebula, get into one with the remaining Wizards of the Black Circle. The Wizards are outnumbered and low on magic, so it ends with them being frozen in ice.
  • Wander over Yonder:
    • "The Boy Wander" features a musical Beam O' War between Wander's banjo and Dr. Screwball Jones's accordion; Screwball wins when Wander's banjo breaks a string.
    • The showdown between Lord Hater and Lord Dominator near the end of "The Battle Royale" features a beam o' war between Hater's electrical beams and Dominator's magma blasts.
  • In the season 2 finale of The Legend of Korra, Korra and Unalaq both fire beams of spirit energy at each other while in the form of giant spirits. Korra wins by dialing up the juice on hers, but that's just the start of the fight.
  • The Phineas and Ferb episode "Meap-less in Seattle" features one between Meap and Mitch, who has just ingested large amounts of cute-onium. Phineas clearly enjoys watching this while under the influence of Cuteness Overload.
    "Aww, they're firing really cute Death Rays at each other."
  • In Green Lantern: The Animated Series, the various Lantern Corps, Green, Red, Orange, Star Sapphires, and Blue, all have some kind of offensive beam as one of their basic attacks. Likewise the Anti-Monitor. The Manhunters have beam wands. The Lanterns specialize in hard light constructs, including various types of shields and armor. Most of the conflict between lanterns is beam-to-shield rather than opposing beams.
  • The Strange Chores: Parodied in "Scare Helsing;" after facing their fears, the trio shoots a beam of courage at the Fear Bears, overcoming their beam of fear. It's worth noting that they weren't affected by their powers anymore, though.
  • The second season finale of X-Men: The Animated Series culminates in a Beam-O-War between Cyclops and Mister Sinister, with a laser pistol-wielding Morph as the deciding factor.
  • Notably averted in The Dragon Prince, where the human sorcerer who created dark magic Ziard and the dragon king Sol Regem both launch fireballs which pass straight through each other without interference, blinding the dragon and incinerating the sorcerer.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Beam Tug Of War


Water Kirby

The Water ability made its debut in episode 97 of the Kirby anime, and his primary method of attack is spewing a geyser from his mouth, as demonstrated here. It eventually made its way into the games starting with Kirby's Return to Dream Land.

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