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Beat Them at Their Own Game

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Long Feng: You've beaten me at my own game.
Azula: Don't flatter yourself. You were never even a player.

Our hero is really in a pickle this time. The latest villain uses a unique weapon, technique or tactic which beats anything else the hero can do. So how does the hero get out of this? By using the same tactic himself!

Some authors, especially video game designers, like to have their hero use a villain's own methods against him. This could be due to the reason stated above: because the only option the hero has to counter said tactic is the tactic itself. Other times, it might be an honor thing. Or things could have just turned out that way. Whatever the reason, equally matched fights are cool.

Perhaps this is so popular in video games because it allows for variety in gameplay. In fact, many a Fisticuffs Boss fight is against a similarly unarmed opponent. When the enemy's fighting style is radically different from the hero's typical style, this can be an Unexpected Gameplay Change.

Villains can use this tactic, too. It's sometimes cited as a reason for creating an Evil Knockoff of the hero. Playing Tennis with the Boss and Throw the Mook at Them are specific sub-tropes, with the former involving deflecting the enemy's own energy back at them. Whereas the latter turns the villain's own flunkies into ammo.

Compare Faustian Rebellion, where the villains really should be in charge of the game, yet are at risk. Also compare Hoist by His Own Petard, which is where villains are defeated by their own weapon or plot, but not necessarily by a hero. See also A Taste of Their Own Medicine, which is a type of Revenge; and Ditto Fighter, as some variants take the form and fighting style of their opponents, thus invoking this trope each time they fight.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A variation in Aldnoah.Zero: while trying to take back New Orleans, Inaho and his team face off against the occupying Martian Knight's Solis Kataphrakt. The Solis uses terrifyingly powerful Frickin' Laser Beams, allowing it to blast opponents and even missiles to slag before they even get close. Inaho's solution to this long-ranged opponent is even longer-ranged combat: he relays the exact position of the Solis to the Deucalion, allowing them to lob shells at it from behind the safety of the horizon.
  • In Assassination Classroom, in the battle between Karma and Nagisa, Nagisa deliberately decides to not use his superior assassination skills and instead defeat Karma in hand-to-hand combat, despite the fact that he clearly was a better fighter. Nagisa did this because he understood that rest of the class would think that he tried to use his superior natural talent to force them on his side, and only fighting on Karma's terms would be considered "fair" by others. Karma understood this as well and decided to surrender, even though he had the opportunity to win.
  • Beet the Vandel Buster could fight effectively against the gun-wielding Frausky only after he had learned how to properly use his own gunlike Empathic Weapon, as opposed to his other four Empathic Weapons, which are all melee.
  • In The Circumstances Leading to Waltraute's Marriage, Waltraute manages to beat Thor in a fight using lightning. He didn't take it well.
  • Don't Meddle with My Daughter!: In chapter 11, Zenovia uses Athena's own libido to enslave her by subjecting her to increasing amounts of sexual pleasure, 'til her mind breaks. Then puts her in plugsuit with a butt plug and dildo harness, to keep her in heat. But in chapter 12, Point Blank uses the same ploy to free Athena. Thanks to the suit she was wearing, he knew she'd be too horny to resist him. So he strips down to his underwear and challenges her in the sack. It works. Athena removes the harness without hesitation to let him bang her, and reverts to normal afterward.
  • In the first Tournament Arc of Dragon Ball, Goku uses this against his far more experience opponent, "Jackie Chun" (Actually his mentor Master Roshi in disguise). Whenever Roshi uses a new technique, Goku comes up with something similar to counter it: for instance, Roshi uses Drunken Boxing, a style that relies on unpredictability, so Goku invents "Mad Dog style" where he pretends to be a rabid dog and is similarly unpredictable. As time goes on, Roshi pulls out ever more esoteric and bizarre techniques, and Goku develops increasingly esoteric and bizarre counters, until they end it all with a perfectly symmetrical kick. Unfortunately, Roshi is taller than Goku, so his kick hit harder... As the series progresses, quickly inventing techniques similar to those used against him becomes Goku's signature method, and it wins him a lot of fights... especially after he gets taller.
  • When Erza's Requip armor and weapons prove utterly useless against Ikaruga in Fairy Tail, an assassin with Implausible Fencing Powers, Erza decides to fight her using an outfit with no magic and ordinary swords. She wins.
  • Food Wars!: Protagonist Soma Yukihira often challenges other chefs in their own specialty fields, and manages to beat them through his creativity, and often uses techniques he learned from his opponents (either against them or to beat new rivals) to give his dishes unexpected twists.
  • Fist of the North Star:
    • When Kenshiro fights Shu he managed to defeat him through a secret Hokuto Shinken technique that allows him to emulate Nanto Seiken.
    • During his battle with Raoh, Toki artificially increases his strength to use his opponent's fighting style. Unfortunately he doesn't succeed.
  • In an episode of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Kaname is kidnapped by a gang of thugs. Sosuke's answer is to kidnap the gang leader's younger brother, and threaten her to kill him if she doesn't release Kaname. Not only that, but he also reveals that he knows a whole awful lot about the other gang members' personal belonging and loved ones, and declares it would be a Shame If Something Happened to them. This does the trick marvelously well: the gang members run away in terror, and Kaname is freed. Then it's revealed that the brother was never in any danger and Sosuke had bribed him to play along. This doesn't stop the scene from being tense, as Sosuke and the kid were both damn convincing.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders:
      • The favored method of the D'arby Bros. is to force the heroes to play an innocuous game (poker, a video game, or Rock–Paper–Scissors) and then cheat like hell at it to win (since, according to them, it isn't cheating if you don't get caught). Naturally, the heroes have to cheat right back while catching the D'arbys in the midst of their own cheating. The results were... memorable.
      • In the final fight, DIO is able to stop time, giving him a huge advantage... until Jotaro, in the midst of battle, discovers he has the same ability and uses it against DIO.
    • JoJolion: Upon studying that Wonder of U is activated by having the mere notion of pursuing its user, Josuke decides to simply wait at the hospital, knowing there's no danger if the Stand comes after him instead.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS Nanoha defeats Teana using her own attack, Crossfire, specifically to teach her a lesson about how effective it could be when used properly. She gets even in ViVid: during a 5-on-5 mock battle Nanoha and Teana use Starlight Breaker against each other, defeating most of their opponents in the process; in the end, Nanoha is shot down by her own trademark spell, while Teana (barely) remains standing.
  • Medaka Box: Ajimu Najimi points out that this is typically how Kurokami Medaka operates; whenever an enemy appears, Medaka habitually engages them in their own specialty in order to truly win against them. To wit, Najimi, despite being the antagonist of that arc, insisted on not directly engaging Medaka in a straight battle, convinced that there was no way even a Physical God like her could defeat a "Main Character" like Medaka. In response, Medaka naturally elected to oppose Najimi indirectly as well.
  • In an episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the SOS Brigade are challenged by the Computer Society at a video game of the latter's own design to keep their computer (and their Emotionless Girl, thanks to Haruhi's tendency to treat brigade members like property.) The SOS Brigade ends up winning in spite of only having a week of practice, having a strategic moron for a leader, and rampant cheating on the part of the Computer Society. In the light novel Nagato ended up cheating even more blatantly than the club to win, but in the anime the only thing she did that wasn't within the rules of the game was to turn off the computer club's cheat.
  • Attempted during the rematch between All For One and All Might in My Hero Academia; All For One decides to finish his nemesis with a Megaton Punch rather than blasting All Might from afar with some of his other Quirks, in a perverse mockery of All Might's signature Smashes. Unfortunately for All For One, All Might gains a Heroic Second Wind and dodges, leaving All For One helpless to counter All Might's United States of Smash.
  • The Naruto character Kakashi Hatake is known as the "Copy-Ninja" for his ability to flawlessly copy an enemy's moves, using his Sharingan eye, even as they are performing them. In one instance, the ninja he was copying was so surprised by Kakashi's perfect move for move copy that he stopped cold in the middle of his sharingan. Kakashi continued anyway and completed it despite having never seen it. This actually involved a bit of trickery: Kakashi hypnotized the other ninja to complete the moveset and then forget he had done so, allowing Kakashi to learn it. But he still used the technique without ever having seen it fully performed.
  • The Straw Hat crew of One Piece tend to fight against similarly skilled members of every Quirky Miniboss Squad they encounter: Zoro fights other swordsmen, Sanji fights martial artists and Usopp fights projectile users, while Luffy inevitably ends up going after the Big Bad for that group.
    • Lampshaded in one fight where Sanji matches up with a swordsman while Zoro finds himself squaring off with a martial artist.
      • Typically they fight similar opponents intentionally. Zoro for example wants to be the greatest swordsmen in the world, so fighting other swordsmen is a bit important for that goal.
    • The Straw Hats were challenged to a Davy Back Fight, where a pirate crew challenges another crew to a series of games with crew members as the prize. The Foxy Pirates used several underhand tricks to get the advantage but the Straw Hats naturally beat them.
    • The CP9, confident in their abilities, made a game out of rescuing Robin where they divided five keys among them (one which unlocked Robin's cuffs) and had the Straw Hats scramble to defeat them and find the right one before Robin was permanently taken away.
  • Pokémon: The Original Series: Averted in "The Punchy Pokémon": Ash comes across what appears to be a wild Hitmonchan and has Pikachu battle it in an attempt to capture it. But rather than rely on the normal electric attacks, Ash attempts to teach Pikachu to box like Hitmonchan. It fails miserably — Pikachu's punches prove virtually useless, and he is thoroughly humiliated by Hitmonchan.
  • Frequently used in Ranma ˝, but notably subverted and then averted when Ryoga learns the Shi Shi Hokodan technique. After being devastated by the technique, Ranma attempts to master it, but this proves impossible, as the Shi Shi Hokodan is powered by depression, and Ranma (despite all circumstances) is a pretty happy fellow compared to Ryoga, and certainly can't hope to match his misfortunes. Instead, he resorts to mastering a variant powered by his confidence. This works for a time, but Ryouga — helped along by the depression of having his technique thwarted — then uses the Perfect Shi Shi Hokodan. It's fueled by a level of absolute depression for which Ranma can't muster an equal amount of confidence, especially once Ranma starts losing. In the end, Ranma achieves victory by finding a way to turn Ryouga's own attack against him.
  • During the Kyoto Arc in Rurouni Kenshin, Saitou challenges Sanosuke to hand-to-hand combat (the latter's specialty), even going so far as to suspend fighting dirty, in order to prove that Sano isn't on his or Kenshin's level (and consequently, a liability in the coming battles). Needless to say, it was a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and not in Sano's favor.
  • In Seven Mortal Sins, Lucifer challenges the titular Sins on their own turf, because she believes in establishing her superiority as "the best in Hell". This leads to her using sex appeal to embarrass the Sin of Lust, beating Melancholy as an Idol Singer, challenging Gluttony to an eating contest, and out-playing Sloth at an MMO.
  • This is the tactic employed by the Anti-Spiral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - whenever the protagonists get a bigger mecha, they field an equally big one to try and instill despair into the protagonists in order to dampen their hot blood powered Spiral Energy.
  • Toriko:
    • In the Gourmet Casino Arc, the heroes are forced to play a high stakes memory game against casino owner Livebearer. In said game, they must pick two matching cards with the ingredients on them and then cook and eat said ingredient in a limited amount of time. Of course, not all ingredients are safe — some of them are poisonous, addictive or even explosive, and you have to eat what you pick, or you lose. Both sides are cheating, but the heroes can only see faint outline of what on the cards while Livebearer knows exactly which ingredient on which card and made sure that each of the ingredients in the game is something that he can cook and eat without harming himself. The heroes seemingly fall into an unwinnable situation, until Coco reveals that he manipulated Livebearer's entire game, making him pick ingredients that will decrease his resistance to poison, contained in the last remaining ingredient, putting the villain in a situation where he can either refuse to eat the last ingredient and thus lose the game, or eat it and die from poisoning. Naturally, Livebearer doesn't take it's very well and tries to kill them, only to be easily defeated offscreen.
    • Midora in his first fight with Joie gets defeated due to Joie's unnatural luck. However, Midora was able to copy said luck in the process. In their second fight, Midora actively uses it to counter his luck, which allows him to take all of Joie's attacks without getting as much as a couple of scratches and then easily defeat him.
    • A Villainous example comes from the battle between Toriko and Starjun. In this battle, Toriko uses his new technique, which allows him to increase his power and use new moves just by believing that he can do it. At first, Starjun seems to be hopelessly outclassed, but after a few attacks he manages to learn said technique and starts using in himself, which allows him to fight with Toriko on equal terms and defeat him.
  • Practically Yugi's M.O. in Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Against the Paradox Brothers, Joey uses the trope name word-for-word.
    • The Virtual Nightmare Arc in Yu-Gi-Oh! was nearly an entire storyline devoted to this Trope. The Big 5 thought to defeat the heroes by dueling them with the Deckmaster System, a special set of House Rules that they thought would give them an advantage. To their dismay - and horror - the heroes adjusted to this system very quickly, and in every duel the Deckmasters played a role in the villain's defeat. Even in Yugi's duel against Noah, where Yugi was using Kaiba's Deckmaster, which wasn't of any use to him, Yugi nearly defeated Noah after the villain carelessly summoned his Deckmaster. Noah only escaped defeat (that turn) because he could pretty much give Shinato any effect he wanted whenever he wanted.
    • Yugi was also able to beat Duke Devlin at Dungeon Dice Monsters by adapting to Duke's game rather easily, but a lot of that was Duke's fault; he had made the DDM version of Dark Magician, Yugi's favorite card, very powerful and very similar to the one Yugi was familiar with. Yugi couldn't help but thank him for creating such a faithful adaptation of his best card before scoring the winning move.
      • It's worth noting, however, that in the original version of the latter case, Pegasus himself decided to expand the DDM game adding new monsters and abilities(including the aforementioned Dark Magician), and Duke failed to check out which additions he had made. When Yugi managed to summon the Dark Magician, Duke had no idea of what abilities he had, which played a major factor in his defeat. Still, seeing that he (Duke) had created the game, he should have double-checked it beforehand.
    • Joey pulls off a double dose of this on Valon in their duel during the "Waking The Dragons" arc. Valon uses an "Armor" deck where the monsters he summons are equipped to his own body as a futuristic suit of Powered Armor. Joey decided to "fight armor with armor" first with his Aura Armor trap card which he then sacrifices along with his Red-Eyes Black Dragon to create his "Lord of the Red" armor. When that alone fails to get him a victory, Joey wins the duel by fusing his Claws of Hermos with a monster that was in Valon's graveyard in retaliation for a move Valon had used earlier in which he made a copy of an equip monster Joey had.
    • Joey also used this in his match against Bandit Keith. Keith used a spell card called Pillager which allowed him to take a spell card from Joey's hand. Joey responded with Graverobber which allowed him to take a spell card from Kieth's graveyard.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Judai manages to defeat a deck destruction expert by deck out. He also beats a guy using a quiz deck with a quiz of his own.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Tron's entire strategy revolved around this. His two Numbers (Number 8: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage and the even stronger Number 69: Heraldry God - Coat of Arms) could both steal the effects and even the names of opposing monsters, using them themselves and leaving the opposing monsters powerless. (Thankfully, the Real Life versions of these cards are far less potent.)

    Comic Books 
  • In My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic #3 it is revealed that Starswirl the Bearded, knowing full well that all his magic would be useless against them, attempted to beat the Sirens with the very thing they were using to hypnotize the Canterlot ponies: music. Night after night, Starswirl and the Sirens competed for ponies' ears. But in the end, he failed. Desperate, he took the magic mirror and used it to banish the Sirens to an alternate world, one he knew there was no magic for them to steal. And the rest, as they say, is history.
  • In one story during the Silver Age, The Joker tried this, figuring that if a Utility Belt works so well for Batman, it could work well for him too, and built his own. (Unfortunately, Batman was a little too good at his own game, and managed to use Joker's belt to his own advantage.)
  • Wonder Woman (2006): The master of disguise Nemesis falls for Circe's disguise as Wonder Woman, which she lampshades and which nearly gets him killed.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin manages to convince his babysitter Rosalyn into playing Calvinball if he finishes his homework. After a bit of confusion, she soon realizes that it's a game where you make up the rules as you go along and quickly defeats Calvin by touching him with the "Baby Sitter Flag" and ordering him to get to bed. Calvin isn't even upset so much as he's surprised at him losing at Calvinball.

    Fan Works 
  • In An Impractical Guide to the Force (a Star Wars crossover with A Practical Guide to Evil by Antony444) during the middle of Palpatine's bid to discredit Supreme Chancellor Valorum over the Naboo Crisis, Valorum displays force sensitivity, mind-controlling the Trade Federation Senator into confessing to the plot. Valorum then proposes a bold series of punishments which will have the side effect of enhancing Valorum's power. Palpatine is left seething at Valorum both manipulating and mind-controlling the senate before he himself could, and hypocritically wondering where the Jedi are to stop this when he needs them.
  • In Justice, Brook defeats Killer Frost by freezing her solid with his Song of Scratches: Blizzard Slash. This completely blindsides Killer Frost because her own cryomantic powers should make her immune to freezing. But Brook's cold is the supernatural chill of the underworld, overpowering her.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, the heroes are faced with an Alien Invasion that's destroyed every attempt to stop it so far. It spreads like The Virus by consuming any organic tissue it finds in order to create more of itself. What do they do? Build starships that need no organic crew, are run by artificial intelligence, and are mobile factories capable of self-upgrade, self-repair, and deploying their own smaller ships while drawing power from consuming dead alien tissue.

Harry Potter

  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality:
    • Over the course of the series, Draco gradually gets better and better at using rationality against Harry, becoming more of a legitimate rival and adversary.
    • Lucius Malfoy is all about using psychological manipulation and political influence to get his way, while Dumbledore counters and keeps him in check. By the end of the Roles arc, however, Harry has carved out a third faction from the less fanatical sub-factions of both sides, and has managed to land Lucius himself as an ally, enabling him to force several security reforms through the Board of Governors and render Hogwarts safer against Dumbledore's wishes.


  • Subverted in Ambience: A Fleet Symphony when Shoukaku's attempt to use Abyssal energy to destroy the Abyssals trying to capture her fails. One of the enemies even lampshades the absurdity of trying to do so.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Played With in Cheshire: Due to Cheshire being a Small Steps Hero who's spent years helping her community, Misterbug and his allies face public distrust over their harassment of the local heroine. Since Master Fu refuses to believe that she's not a Villain with Good Publicity, Misterbug believes that the best way to deal with her is by becoming more popular.
  • Feralnette AU: One tactic Marinette employs against Lila is sarcastically agreeing with her lies and making them sound even more implausible. For instance, she responses to Lila trying to spread rumors about her starting fights by nonchalantly declaring that she took on Hawkmoth behind the bakery.
  • the high road: Lila loves Playing the Victim Card whenever she's called out on her various deceptions. Marinette flips this around by pretending to be taken in, catering to her in ways that inconvenience the rest of their class until they're motivated to investigate themselves and realize that Lila's a Consummate Liar. When they finally confront her, Marinette acts as though she had no idea, letting them turn against Lila en masse in her defense.
  • LadyBugOut: When Alya makes it clear that she refuses to see anything wrong with deliberately misrepresenting matters on her Ladyblog in order to push her preferred narratives, Ladybug decides to start her own blog in order to counter and call out the misinformation.
  • A Lady's Scout (and the Salt within her Soul): One of Lila's favorite tactics is claiming to know various celebrities; this includes pretending to be "Ladybug's best friend" when she actually despises her. She also loves spreading Malicious Slander. Marinette turns both of these traits against her when she starts giving the temporary heroes special clothing designed to be reminiscent of their heroic personas as a sort of 'parting gift' to signify their replacement. When Lila suggests that Marinette is responsible for Alya getting demoted, she turns them to her advantage, spreading rumors that she serves as a talent scout for Ladybug. This causes Lila to start losing favor with their Fair-Weather Friends as most of them try cozying up to Marinette, wanting to be chosen themselves.
  • Marinette Dupain-Cheng's Spite Playlist: One of Lila's favorite tactics is making up stories about supposedly participating at various benefits and charitable acts in order to pass herself off as an activist. Marinette and her allies turn the tables on her with real charity work, defictionalizing the movements she claims to have been involved with... only Marinette and her friends are actually making those things happen.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic


  • Bright Orange: Canonically, Mizuki was a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who pretended to be sympathetic to Naruto's plight. Being aware of this, Arashi pulls the same strategy upon Mizuki, pretending that he regards his teacher as a friend and ally before betraying his trust.

Total Drama Island

  • In The Legend of Total Drama Island, the Eagles copy the Muskies' mass barrage tactics in the dodgeball match. It doesn't work especially well, thereby subverting the trope, because the Eagles don't realize that the Muskies are throwing organized patterns.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: At the climax, Terry turns Joker's old standby, the Breaking Speech, against him, mocking the Joker's fixation on Batman and expressing his disappointment with Joker's backstory. It's all a distraction so Terry can get a hold of Joker's joy buzzer.
  • In The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, Asterix and Obelix face a trial that the magic potion has no effect on... bureaucracy! However, Asterix is smart enough to play the system against itself, causing enough chaos for the head of the place to just hand him the item to make him and Obelix go away.
  • Subverted in YuYu Hakusho The Movie: Poltergeist Report. A demon mimics Kuwabara's signature spirit energy sword, then when Kuwabara pours on the power, continues to do the same. Turns out Kuwabara just wanted to trick him into using up all his spirit energy on the hunch that he wasn't much of a physical fighter, and promptly lays him out with a Megaton Punch.
  • Zootopia: Though not villainous, Nick antagonizes Officer Judy Hopps by exploiting her naïveté to draw her into his pawpsicle hustle and uses proper paperwork and Loophole Abuse to prevent her from arresting him. So when he turns out to be her only lead on a case, she tricks him into boasting about his income as a hustler while she secretly records it and then reveals he is guilty of felony tax evasion which she uses to blackmail him into helping her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: Whenever Freddy Krueger is defeated, it's usually by exceptionally lucid dreamers who can shift the reality and fabric of their dreams just as much as he can. His underestimation of this doesn't help either.
  • In Batman & Robin, Poison Ivy acts as a seductress that lures her victims to their deaths by flirting with them before delivering her signature Kiss of Death. She spends a majority of the film with Robin as her main victim, seducing him, making him think she loves him and will change sides to be with him, and breaking him and Batman apart. During their final encounter in Ivy's lair though Robin tricks her into revealing her plan by pretending to still be in love with her and asking for a sign of trust from her before they kiss. He also wore rubber lips to protect himself against her poison during their kiss. He successfully manipulated Ivy into revealing her secrets and that her love was a lie by pretending to love her like she pretended to love him, and managed to steal a kiss from her, making her signature kiss useless. Downplayed slightly by Ivy shoving Robin into her pond to drown him, ultimately getting the last laugh in their "relationship" before "breaking up with him" but she is still beaten by Batgirl shortly afterwards and is trapped in the same Rose Throne she had just shoved Robin from.
  • In The Matrix, Neo and the other humans are nearly powerless in any direct confrontation with the Matrix's agents, and can only gain the upper hand through luck or the element of surprise (which is nearly impossible to obtain). Neo surprises his fellow humans by surviving a face-to-face encounter with an agent by dodging its bullets (as seen in the famous "Bullet Time" scene).
    Trinity: How did you do that?
    Neo: Do what?
    Trinity: You moved like they do. I've never seen anyone move that fast.
  • The final battle of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. In order to even the odds between himself and the cursed undead pirates, Captain Jack Sparrow picks up a gold piece from the cursed treasure trove, transforming into an immortal undead pirate himself, allowing him to more easily buy time until the curse is broken and the evil pirates are rendered killable.
  • Predator franchise:
  • The Princess Bride: Master Swordsman Inigo Montoya faces off against the Man in Black in a sword duel initially fighting with his off-hand, hoping to make the fight last longer. He soon realizes the Man in Black is actually more than a match for him, so he switches his sword to his right hand to gain the edge he needs... only for the Man in Black to also switch to his right hand and disarm him.
  • Revenge of the Sith:
    Dooku: I sense great fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate, you have anger— but you don't use them.
    Anakin: [proceeds to do exactly that, beating Dooku in a single offensive barrage]
  • Ted 2: To hide from Donny, Ted stands in a display of teddy bears that look just like him. Donny tricks him into dropping his disguise by singing "Sweet Caroline", which causes him to join in. Later, Donny disguises himself as a Ninja Turtle after knocking out John. Ted does the same trick he did to him by playing "I Think We’re Alone Now" on Sam's phone, which causes him to dance and allows the guards to arrest him.
  • In TRON: Legacy, Rinzler, a re-purposed Tron controlled by Clu, uses two light discs in combat, and is considered nearly unstoppable. Sam Flynn finally defeats him by using his father's disc in conjunction with his own.

  • In Animorphs kind-hearted Cassie is the one who comes up with this strategy as the way to defeat Sixth Ranger Traitor David.
  • In Crysis: Legion it is speculated (and the third game confirms) that the NYC Ceph look different from the Lingshan Ceph because of trying to imitate human equipment and tactics. They do pretty well until Alcatraz returns the favour.
  • The Heartstrikers: There are only ever three dragon seers at a time; two normal seers and the Black Reach, the Death of Seers, an artificial construct created by the hundreds of dragon seers on their previous plane, trying to find a way to keep their descendants from repeating their mistakes. When, inevitably, a seer commits that sin that led to the destruction of their old plane, the Black Reach sets things up perfectly to kill them; it's been thousands of years since he had to personally get his claws dirty. Every seer tries to avert their death, but fails. Bob had a revelation when he realized he couldn't beat the Black Reach at its own game. No seer can ever out-seer the anti-seer precognitive dragon construct supercomputer. Instead, he found a way to create a future that the Black Reach would not want destroyed, and which all relied on Julius. And since Julius refuses to let Bob die, that means Bob has to live for this good future to come to pass.
  • In the Honor Harrington books, after repeatedly suffering losses due to Havenite deep raids, Manticore's reconstituted Eighth Fleet is tasked with doing the same right back.
  • In the Left Behind book Kingdom Come, Kenny Williams suggests this as a recruiting tactic for The Other Light that they should use against those who are evangelizing for the cause of Christ — that they should become upstanding citizens who simply don't agree with what the other side believes rather than try using drugs and wild parties. Of course, Kenny is also fully aware that The Other Light is destined to lose regardless of what they do.
  • In the Conan the Barbarian story Man Eaters of Zamboula, Conan kills Baal-pteor "The Strangler", a giant of a man from Kush, by breaking his neck. The barbarian badboy even gets in a short speech about how he was breaking the necks of Cimmerian bulls before he was a grown man, and then uses the unwilling Kushman to demonstrate the method.
  • Moon (1985): A psychic Serial Killer, in Jonathan Childes, reawakens similar ability. By the killer's psychically charged Calling Card of a corpse-concealed moonstone, Childes telepathically arranges a confrontation.
  • The NeverEnding Story: Hero Hynreck simultaneously fights three other warriors, who specialise in strength, speed, and endurance respectively, and outdoes each of them in their own specialty. (But then Bastian, empowered by Auryn, trounces him in turn.)
  • The Princess Bride: Master Swordsman Inigo Montoya faces off against the Man in Black in a sword duel initially fighting with his off-hand, hoping to make the fight last longer. He soon realizes the Man in Black is actually more than a match for him, so he switches his sword to his right hand to gain the edge he needs... only for the Man in Black to also switch to his right hand and disarm him.
  • Starfire: In Insurrection Francois Fouchet orders the murder of his political rival Fionna MacTaggart, confident that his immunity from prosecution as a member of the Legislative Assembly will protect him. One of Fionna's political allies breaks Fouchet's neck in the middle of the next session, taking advantage of his own immunity as a member of the Assembly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Columbo would do this:
    • In the episode "Double Exposure", the killer, a marketing specialist, uses single frames spliced into a film (and other things) to subliminally suggest thirst to the victim as part of his plan. Columbo uses single frames spliced into a film to subliminally suggest to the killer that Columbo may find an important piece of evidence, so the killer will check the hiding place, leading Columbo to it.
    • In the episode "Murder, Smoke and Shadows", the killer, a director, uses actors working off a script to mislead Columbo. Columbo uses an actress and undercover cops.
  • When Craig Kilborn hosted The Daily Show and Win Ben Stein's Money was in its prime, Stein was given a set of five questions to answer after an interview. The questions were outrageously difficult and based on very obscure facts. (Stein, to his credit, managed to answer one correctly.)
  • A case where the incident in question prompted a rule change occurred in Extreme Dodgeball, where one player would abuse the 5-second rule regarding delay of game, by placing the balls on the opposing half of the court. Since this forced the opponents to act, and in doing so got them knocked out by the offending player, it was considered a cheap, yet highly effective tactic. Later that game, an opposing player used the very tactic against them, even taking out the original user as the final shot. Afterwards, the rules reflected this unfair tactic, naming it The Benedetto Amendment.
  • A non violent version of this occurs in one episode of Friends. After Joey moves out of Chandler's apartment, Chandler gets a new roommate that is a bit off the loose end and conveniently forgets Chandler's many requests to move out. Chandler then decides to beat the guy at his own game by changing the locks on the door and having Joey move back in while pretending the crazy guy was never his roommate at all. The nut job actually falls for this and leaves.
  • On Heroes, this is now Peter's new strategy thanks to the Discard and Draw ability that he regains after losing his original ability and taking the ability-granting formula.
  • In a championship round of Junkyard Wars, the Turbines stole an entire car from the Pit Crew's lot, and foiled the Crew's attempt to steal it back. This could be karma in action, as the Pit Crew had stolen some motorcycles (yes, several motorcycles) from their opponents in a previous round of the championship.
  • Kaiketsu Zubat frequently abused this trope. Once per Episode, Ken Hayakawa would encounter a crime boss's dragon who believed himself to be the top authority on their field of Martial Arts and Crafts. Ken would proceed to show said dragon that no matter what it was, they were only second-best in Japan.
  • Pretty common on Leverage as many of the team's cons involve using the mark's own tricks and behavior to bring them down. In "The Snow Job", a family of contractors use loopholes to con people into losing their homes so they can buy them out. The team end up using their own loopholes in contracts to take control of the company, send the father to jail and legally kick the sons out of their own home.
  • In an old Sesame Street skit, Ernie has a big sign that says "NO" in big letters. He approaches Kermit and says "I'll bet I can make you say this word." Kermit replies "Oh, no you can't," unaware he just did. Ernie pulls the joke on Grover next, but then he tries it on Bert, who's more clever. Bert tells him, "Okay, make me say it," not falling for it. As Ernie wonders what to do now, Bert says, "I'll bet I can make you say that word." Causing Ernie to say, "Oh no you can't."
  • Since July 2005, when the first Formula One driver was a guest on Top Gear, none had cracked the Stig's record in the Suzuki Liana, and notably, only one actually took the same line the Stig takes going around the track (though it's speculated that the rainy weather was what handicapped him). Then Rubens Barrichello comes on the show, takes the same line as the Stig, and beats his record by a tenth of a second.
  • In the Maquis arc of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Michael Eddington takes to using biogenic weapons on Cardassian colonies in the disputed territory, which forces the Cardassians to evacuate so the Maquis can move in, and at one point he gives Sisko the Sadistic Choice of capturing him or rescuing a civilian ship about to crash (Sisko chooses the latter). Eventually Sisko decides to indulge Eddington's fantasy of being a latter-day Jean Valjean by using Eddington's own tactics, launching an anti-human weapon at a Maquis planet and forcing him to surrender.
  • A non-action example, from the March 22, 1996 episode of Dennis Miller Live. Guest Janeane Garofalo was talking about doing a photo shoot and wanting to look like Kim Deal, and Dennis Miller, the king of all kinds of odd and obscure references, didn't know who she was. He could only say, "I've never felt older," and a sarcastic, "Yeah, Kim Deal, she's my favorite too."
  • The MO of the Doctor of Doctor Who. Villain of the Week raises an Eldritch Abomination? The Doctor will get it to turn on its master. Villain of the Week has a super-awesome machine of doom? The Doctor will blow it up. In general, (s)he excels at getting them hoist by their own petard. Since the Doctor doesn't have much in the way of superpowers, they use whatever their enemy gives them.
  • In Kamen Rider Decade, once Decade gets Complete Form, whenever he faces a Rider or monster from a certain world, his go-to tactic becomes summoning that world's rider in its own Super Mode. This goes as well for the other guy as you would expect.
  • In episode 17 of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, the Alienizer of the Week was a Drunken Master practitioner. To beat him, Dekapink made it a point to get herself drunk to cause this trope. After he grew giant, Dekapink couldn't pilot her vehicle because she was passed out forcing Dekamaster to pilot it instead and give a PSA against drunk driving.
  • Ziwe is a show centered around humiliating celebrity guests through tongue-in-cheek race-baiting, and the eponymous host is a master of her trade, but her guests occasionally manage to one-up her.
    • Bowen Yang, at the start of his joint interview with Patti Harrison, asks Ziwe if the two were combined into one interview because Ziwe views Asians as lesser, prompting some genuine Stunned Silence from her.
    • Adam Pally manages to bait Ziwe into making anti-semitic statements in "Gay Pride!" after having been very thoroughly baited himself in "Whitewashing". The "Ziwe" logo at the bottom of the screen actually changes to "Adam" to signify his victory.
  • Radio Enfer:
    • In a Season 2 episode, Laplante refuses to let Carl pass his math test after learning that the latter cheated (which he only did because he forgot about the exam due to his father making him spend too much time getting ready to succeed the latter in his bowling business). Aware of the teacher's habit of lying, which includes mentioning that he used to be a CIA agent, Léo decides to lie as well by saying that Carl is not a student, but an agent working for the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) who has investigated on a case involving kidnapping in Hollywood. Laplante completely falls for it.
    • In the first episode of Season 3, Maria decides to manipulate Camille and Dominique into hating each other by telling lies regarding the latter dating Léo after the former broke up with him. Once Camille and Dominique realize they've been manipulated, they decide to tell a lie about Maria to the latter's moral teacher, who then forces her to do some homework that Carl was supposed to do.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Many times a wrestler will have a trademark Finishing Move. As in the WWE game cited below, a point of drama is to use a wrestler's finisher against him/her. This only works if the move in question is unique, though; there's not as much drama if Kane and The Undertaker trade Tombstones and chokeslams, since they both 'naturally' have them. Some of these can cross with Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Also, certain wrestlers usually have matches that are claimed to be their specialty (The Undertaker has casket and buried alive matches, the Hardys are associated with ladders, The Dudley Boys with tables, Kane with the Inferno Match), but generally they tend to lose those matches. Of course, some of this is backstage booking/logistical reasons. The Undertaker is heavily protected and Casket and Buried Alive matches prevent him from doing a clean job, and Kane usually wears a full-body jumpsuit, so it's safer for him to get burnt in an Inferno match.
  • In their "I Quit" match, Bret Hart controversially defeated Bob Backlund with Backlund's Crossface Chickenwing. note 
  • Exploited and subverted during Cedric Alexander's feud with Decade, where he made a point to take up Roderick Strong's moves. When it came time for their "Battle Of The Back Breakers" though, Alexander instead caught Strong off guard with a roll up.
  • Chris Hero defeated Equinox with The Chikara Special after he himself had been defeated by the hold no less than seven times in a single season, once by Equinox in fact.
  • At Final Resolution 2010, Douglas Williams pinned AJ Styles after using the Styles Clash on him.
  • Drew McIntyre:
    • On the Nov. 5, 2018 episode of WWE Raw, McIntyre used the Angle Slam on Kurt Angle and then made him tap out with the Ankle Lock.
    • At Clash of Champions 2020, McIntyre defeated Randy Orton after punting him in the head, which is usually what Orton does.
  • At Crown Jewel 2021, Edge defeated Seth Rollins after hitting him with Rollins' Superkick and then Curbstomp.
  • Gorilla Monsoon frequently would point out – "Turnabout is fair play" – that a heel lost by his own illegal tactics backfiring on him (e.g., his manager accidentally hits him with a signature weapon) or the face is able to use the same illegal tactic to turn the tables on his villainous foe.
  • Hulk Hogan's final match before he moved to WCW had Yokozuna pin him with a leg drop.
  • At Sacrifice 2007, James Storm tried to attack Chris Harris with his signature beer bottle, but Harris clocked him with a bottle of his own.
  • John Cena once made Chris Masters tap out with the Masterlock.
  • Jushin Thunder Liger once used Asian Mist on its most famous user, The Great Muta.
  • Kane has always been a sadistic monster (though his character can be a Noble Demon depending on plot) that loves playing mind games and mentally tormenting his opponents. What did Edge, "The Ultimate Opportunist", do when he had to beat him for the World Heavyweight Championship? Kidnapped Kane's dad and spend the next few weeks torturing Kane in all sorts of sadistic mind games and torturing his daddy. Kane tries to call him out on it, only for Edge to remind him of how he's only doing the exact same thing Kane always does. It seemed Edge one upped Kane as he won the title at TLC 2010.
  • At Hard Justice 2008, Kurt Angle tried to use the Styles Clash on AJ Styles himself, only for Styles to turn it into the Angle Lock in midair and force Angle to tap out to his own finisher.
  • At SummerSlam 2022, Logan Paul defeated The Miz with his Skull-Crushing Finale. In the main event, Brock Lesnar used Roman Reigns' Guillotine Choke on him, but it wasn't enough to finish the match.
  • Ring of Honor attempted to get rid of it's unwanted CZW trespassers for good by beating five representatives from their roster in their own Cage Of Death. The five from CZW were this in turn, as Necro Butcher was the only Garbage Wrestler, for which the promotion is best known for. Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Eddie Kingston and Super Dragon were the best "pure" wrestlers CZW had at the time and from a purely in ring perspective would have fit in ROH just fine.
  • At some point in The Rock's career, he began to make a habit out of hitting his opponents with their own finishers. This included giving Triple H a Pedigree onto a table, giving the Undertaker a chokeslam, spearing Goldberg, putting Kurt Angle in the ankle lock and giving "Stone Cold" Steve Austin lots and LOTS of Stunners. While he usually tried to pick up a pin after this, however, they pretty much always kicked out. Also, this usually meant that eventually the other wrestler would give him the Rock Bottom. At Vengeance 2002, July 21, 2002, in the WWE World Heavyweight Title Triple Threat Match between the Undertaker (c), the Rock and Kurt Angle, Rock chokeslammed Taker, Angle gave Rock the Rock Bottom, and Taker gave Angle the Angle Slam.
  • Roderick Strong apparently had a good plan going into his television title defense against CHAOS wrestler Tomohiro Ishii at Honor Rising Japan but after some taunting from Bobby Fish, he took up the very uncharacteristic approach of trying to beat Ishii using Ishii's own style. It didn't workout so well for Strong.
  • Sara Del Rey beat Amazing Kong by count out when defending the SHIMMER Title so when Amazing Kong was defending the NWA World Women's Title, she threw Del Rey out of the ring and demanded the referee count Del Rey out. Kong forgot NWA rules though and was disqualified instead.
  • Triple H attempted to do this at WrestleMania 27. After putting 'Taker through a hellacious beating, where the deadman was barely standing, and still kicking out of the Pedigree, Hunter proceeded to do a Tombstone Piledriver, culminating in him even doing 'Taker's signature taunt of sticking out his tongue. When he still kicked out, Hunter backed away and looked about ready to piss in his trunks even though his opponent wasn't moving and looked so much as if a small breeze could take him out.
  • At SummerSlam 2008, The Undertaker hit Edge with the Spear, hit him in the head with a camera (which Edge had done to Undertaker several times in the past), then hit him with the Con-Chair-To before finally finishing him off with his own finisher, The Tombstone.
  • Subverted hilariously when Vickie Guerrero attempted to Spear Edge. She comically bounces off him like he was a brick wall.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In Hinduism, the god Indra becames startled that the twin sages Nara and Narayana are gaining too much spiritual power, so he sends a host of apsaras, beautiful female spirits, to seduce them into stopping meditating and such. However, the sages answer by summoning their own apsara, Urvashi, who turns out to be even more beautiful than Indra's apsaras and embarrasses them all. Nara and Narayana then assure Indra that they don't intend to challenge him, and send Urvashi to him so Indra is extra satisfied.

  • Oftentimes the only way to beat a Godmodder in Destroy the Godmodder is to use Descendancy, a special kind of reality warping that often acts as its own flavor of godmodding. Many successful attacks against the Godmodder are counter-godmodded with immunity to almost all of the potential methods the Godmodder could use to block or otherwise evade the attack.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This was the plan by ComStar in the BattleTech setting, when the Clan invaders came knocking. Upon finding out that the ultimate target of the Clans was Earth itself—a planet held in exclusive neutrality by ComStar—their Precentor Martial, Anastasius Focht, offered up a proxy battle for the planet instead. In lieu of fighting on and possibly ruining Earth, he deliberately set up the proxy battle to greatly resemble the Clans' Trial structure, specifically a Trial of Possession. Knowing that the Clans and their impulsive, honor-obsessed warriors would never be able to resist the opportunity to take part and presumably win in a single battle, Focht instead set it up so that he could maneuver the Clans into fighting as a series of separate engagements (rather than facing all of the invaders simultaneously) and then brutally bent the spirit of the rules of the engagement while remaining perfectly true to their letter. The end result was a devastating Clan defeat across nearly a month of continuous fighting rather than the brief, sharp battles the Clans favored—Focht had correctly deduced that the Clans' armies fielded frightening power, but no stamina to speak of, and ultimately won the Inner Sphere 15 precious years of truce to try and catch up to the invaders' technological strength.
    • Ulric Kerensky, ilKhan of the Clans, worked tacitly with Focht to this end, as he was an ardent Warden (as opposed to the more martially-inclined Crusaders). In preparation for the Battle of Tukayyid, he told all the other participating Clans what to expect, knowing full well they'd just blow him off. True enough, only Ulric's clan, Clan Wolf, had a total victory in their theater of the proxy battle. Only two other clans got pyrrhic partial victories, and all the others completely lost. The end result was exactly what he wanted: the thwarting of an invasion he staunchly opposed yet was politically compelled to participate in and later lead.
  • Averted in Dungeons & Dragons 4E; although Necrotic damage is an option, often the best weapon to fight evil with is Good. Indeed, the assassin (the first Shadow Striker) is widely regarded as one of the worst classes.
  • At the end of Amonkhet block in Magic: The Gathering, Bolas takes great pleasure in thrashing the primary members of the Gatewatch at their own specialties: he subjects telepath Jace to a Mind Rape so serious Jace can't even remember his own name when he regains consciousness on Ixalan, beats elementalist Nissa by using the plane's ley lines against her, manipulates Femme Fatale Liliana into switching sides, takes down pyromancer Chandra in a contest of power, and rips right through heiromancer Gideon's protective shield. Represented mechanically by the X's Defeat cycle, which has each planeswalker's defeat in their own primary colour.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Boss Snikrot was one of the Ork bosses who came to the planet Armageddon during the Second War for Armageddon. His boyz were massacred by the Imperial Guard's jungle fighting specialists, and Snikrot swore revenge by beating the sneaky 'umies at their own game. Most Orks aren't normally given to things like stealth and subterfuge (it'z all a load of muckin' about if yaz ask me), but in their campaign of guerilla warfare, Snikrot and his Red Skull Kommandos have plagued the jungles ever since and taken a heavy toll on the Imperial Guard. Catachan Jungle Fighters are from one of the nastiest Death Worlds in the galaxy and don't scare easy, but even they tell stories of how Snikrot can pass through a throttlevine grove without disturbing a single leaf, how he leaves his victims with no eyes and no scalps, and how he loots their dog tags and whispers the names of the men he's killed to the jungle moon.

    Video Games 
  • In many competitive and online games where Mirror Match is possible, sometimes a player is able to defeat his opponent by simply being the same character and using their abilities against their opponent in a more skilled fashion. Similarly, sometimes certain set ups, abilities, or the like can be countered by simply using the same thing against that player.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • The Prowler from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, with his hooded robe and retractable switchblade, appears to be a Templar attempt to fight the Assassins with their own methods. In fact, the Multiplayer itself is this, being a training program used by the Templars in order to replicate Assassin techniques.
    • This is solidified in Assassin's Creed: Revelations: One of the new enemy types is the Stalker, who can be dressed in white, appears out of friggin' nowhere and tries to shank you... just like you've been doing to countless Templars.
    • Freedom Cry gives the player the chance to kill a slaver with his own branding iron.
  • According to the Strategy Guide, it is almost impossible to defeat the final boss in Baldur's Gate II without temporarily giving into your evil nature and turning into the Slayer, which the final boss also starts the fight as. It should be noted that this is rubbish, all you really need is a strong character. They seem to like the idea of you turning into the Slayer for the final boss fight though, and the game drops hints to that near the end of the game.
  • Topo in Brave Fencer Musashi. When Musashi attempts to start a boss fight, she is aghast that he would consider hitting a girl and challenges him to a dance contest instead. Failing to copy her moves in the resulting rhythm minigame will result in being blown into an electric fence.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: The Copycat Deathstreak allows you to clone the loadout of your killer upon your fourth death in a row. Successfully enacting this trope on your killer rewards you with the "ID Thief" Calling Card and the Copycat Emblem.
  • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, you encounter Dmitrii Blinov who can copy powers and will strike back with whatever soul ability you last hit him with. This is ultimately a weakness, as you can hit him with an an easily dodged ability. He also only gets the ability at Level 1. So you can use a Level 9 Cave Troll soul to strike with a screen-long tongue attack, and he'll counter with one that barely gets past his own lips.
  • In Chrono Trigger, one of the fights against Magus invokes this trope; whatever magic is used against you is the only way to successfully fight back, and it changes every few rounds. This can be confusing if you're used to playing Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, though the DS version helps clear it up. For all but one party combination (and that one only works after a fair bit of Level Grinding to get Crono, Frog, and Lucca's Triple Tech), you won't be able to match one (or two) of the elements, depending on your party; hitting him physically with anyone but Frog makes him manually cycle the elements, solving that problem.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening: Subverted in the final fight, where Vergil picks up the Force Edge, Sparda's other broadsword, to use against Dante who mostly fights using a broadsword, particularly the Rebellion which he inherited from Sparda. In the actual boss battle, Vergil starts fighting almost exactly like Dante, going from a Glass Cannon to a full-fledged Perfect Play A.I., but the cutscenes, especially the final clash between the two, make it evident that Dante was far superior with broadswords.
  • Subverted in Doom, as the rocket-firing Cyberdemon actually takes less than normal damage from the rocket launcher, making it rather ineffective. note 
  • In .hack video games you can use Data Drain against the enemies. The same skill the 8 Phases use against people to put them into comas. In fact, Data Drain is the only way to defeat most of them.
  • To take on the true Big Bad of Dragalia Lost, Xenos, they have to find a way around his Story-Breaker Power to simply manipulate fate towards the most optimal path for him. The Auspexes of the party realize their Primal Marks that make them Auspexes, while inferior to that of Beren's, Xenos' real inheritor of his Primal Mark, are able to produce a "world" around their combined power that essentially gives them their own ability to influence reality just like the original owner's power, and defeating Beren with similar powers through it shows them that they can use their new power to cancel out the enemy's Story-Breaker Power, making him actually vulnerable to defeat.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, dragons have the natural ability to use "shouts". When humanity learned how to use shouts (which the dragonborn can do as easily as a dragon) from the dragon Paarthurnax they developed a shout called "dragonrend", which was basically made of the draconic words for "mortal", "finite" and "temporary". As they were basically a race of Time Abyss near-gods, the mere concept of relative time (particularly something ending) screwed with them so much it could be weaponised against them.
  • Eternal Darkness's final boss involves you summoning another final boss that beats it in the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors circle, and letting it loose. While the two gods fight, you tackle the other dude that summoned the first one.
  • In Evolva, you're forced to do this, as you must mutate to get the defeated enemies' attacks and use them against the enemies, if you don't want to complete the game only with your fists. It's still not recommended to use an attack against the enemy that gave you the attack in the first place.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, Vault 21, in which all disputes were required to be settled through games of chance, is shown to have been one of the few Vault experiments that actually works. Enter Mr. House. (The Vault is situated right below the New Vegas Strip, which he owns.) How does he decide to take over the vault? In a game of cards, of course! Naturally, he wins.
  • Black Waltz No. 3 in Final Fantasy IX. As his name implies, he fights with black magic, and your party includes a black mage of your own, Vivi. Black Waltz also has the ability to fly into the air, making him virtually impossible to hit with short-ranged physical attacks but still easy prey for Vivi's magic. And Vivi automatically begins the battle in Trance mode, allowing him to cast two spells per turn. It's obvious what you were meant to do (not that you have to, but...) Black Waltz No. 2, however, is a subversion. If you use Vivi's spells against him, he will taunt you and counter with a higher-level spell, handily discouraging you from "fighting fire with fire". And if you're wondering about Black Waltz No. 1... Vivi isn't in your party then.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a good example of a game where you can cheat just as much as the computer... and possibly even more than that. In the story, Marche often gets attacked by various groups of people, including bounty hunters, that his brother Doned tells about him when he goes out on missions. Marche, wanting to lure Doned out to talk with him, takes an especially promising job. He's able to defeat his foes and reconcile with his brother.
  • More generally in the Final Fantasy series, there's Blue Magic, which allows a character to learn enemy-exclusive skills, usually via getting hit with it. This includes the instant-death skills.
  • Kratos pulls this on Hades in God of War III. The God of the Underworld tries to steal his soul. Kratos takes his soul-stealing weapons, then uses them on Hades.
  • Side boss Valukar in Golden Sun: The Lost Age has the ability to force your party's Djinn into standby mode, which makes them ready to unleash a summon spell. After that, Valukar will use your own summons against you, which can deal a ton of damage depending on how many Djinn were on standby and what types they are. The only way to combat against Valukar's summon reversal is to not to use too many Djinn so that he's forced to use the weaker summons instead of your stronger ones.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a scene where you can fight a Vietnamese gang boss sword vs sword (he tosses one to you to duel). Of course, if by then you've picked up a shotgun, you're still more than free to use it.
  • Subverted in Hype: The Time Quest, the Final Boss, Barnak, has a "Smart Tornado" that follows the character. You can use this to your advantage by getting Barnak in between you and the tornado. It isn't very effective, though, and is absolutely not necessary, but fun.
  • There is a quite literal example in Gran Turismo, where you are supposed to beat a time set by Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the series, in the last Time Trial race.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kurt Zisa in the first game alternates between three distinct phases in a 1-2-3-2 pattern. In its first phase, it only uses physical attacks, after locking the magic abilities of Sora and his teammates; the target is the orbs in its hands that appear after it performs the seal. The second phase has it collapse in the sand, where its own HP bar is vulnerable. Then its third phase uses only magic based attacks, after creating a barrier around itself; the only effect physical attacks have on the barrier is to drop MP-restoring orbs.
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, many of Sora's Reaction Commands involve him copying the enemy's signature moves. For example, he can copy the aerial dive attack of Xaldin, and against Demyx he can challenge him to a musical duel.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: the Final Boss of Ventus' story is Vanitas, his Enemy Without-turned-Enemy Within. During the second phase of the final battle, Ven acquires and triggers a D-Link of Vanitas, which lets him use Vanitas' own attacks and shotlock against him.
  • Kirby:
    • Meta Knight, the recurring sword-wielding Worthy Opponent, usually leaves a sword in the boss arena for you to take and use against him. Originally, in Kirby's Adventure, he refused to start the fight until you took it, but in Kirby Super Star, he will fight you if you wait several seconds without taking it, which isn't advisable outside of the Arena due to the time limit you're given, plus the extremely low amount of ammo he creates makes defeating him without an ability extremely difficult (Though future games and remakes remedy this by making him generate stars after most attacks).
    • King Dedede does the same with the Hammer power in the 'Revenge of the King' section of Kirby Super Star Ultra.
    • Miracle Matter, from Kirby 64, uses attacks based on the 7 abilities Kirby can copy. It can only be harmed by whatever ability it is copying at the moment (or by inhaling the power-granting things it drops and spitting them out at it); its immobile default form is completely invulnerable.
    • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Whispy Woods gains the ability to perform an inhale of his own after taking yet another level in badass, which he tries to eat Kirby with. Then, in the final battle, Magolor's second form and Soul form imitates the various Super Abilities used by Kirby as attacks after he Turns Red. In Deluxe's True Arena fight with Magolor Soul, he even throws in the new Sand and Mecha abilities in the mix.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe: In The True Arena, Queen Sectonia absorbs the power of four Miracle Fruits (the game's new power-up that gives Kirby the Hypernova ability) to come back stronger than ever as Soul of Sectonia.
    • Star Dream also does this during its boss fight in Kirby: Planet Robobot; after being defeated by the Halberd Mode the first time, it screws itself into the Access Ark to continue the battle, just like how Kirby's Robobot Armor is able to use giant screws to screw things in.
    • During the fight with Hyness from Kirby Star Allies, he will use the Friend Circle with the lifeless bodies of the Three Mage Sisters (three logs dressed as the mage sisters as Corrupt Hyness) after he Turns Red. Similarly, Void Termina takes use of the new elemental ability mechanic with his elemental Ultra Swords in the first phase.
    • Kirby and the Forgotten Land: After Fecto Forgo breaks out of the Eternal Capsule in Lab Discovera, their first attempt to chase after Kirby and Elfilin is to take a more sinister twist on the game's new Mouthful Mode mechanic by assimilating several Beast Pack soldiers into itself, creating a massive chimera monster.
  • While most Klonoa series bosses require you to throw enemies into them, the final boss from Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil attacks you with spiked orbs which he controls with chains of energy. To defeat him, you have to steal one of his orbs and throw it at him; conveniently, it can be used multiple times, as it returns to you on a chain of energy after you throw it.
  • A literal example: a team of League of Legends developers was beaten at League of Legends by a team of Heroes of Newerth developers, their chief competitors in the market, which is doubly ironic because HoN is considered by many to have a higher skill cap, which LoL fans often vehemently deny.
  • The LEGO Star Wars games have the player Force-pushing objects, thrown by the boss, back at the boss. Fighting Dooku even lets you do it with Force Lightning (but not in the PSP bonus level version or in Complete Saga).
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo, The Matrix's example (see the Film — Live-Action section) is at the start of the extended roof-top level.
  • In Mega Man (Classic) games, the titular character gains the abilities of the Robot Masters that he defeats, which are typically useful against another Robot Master. However, in Mega Man 2, Metal Man is particularly weak to his own weapon; two shots on Difficult mode (or one on Normal mode) will take him out. This is even more prominent in Mega Man 3, where every Robot Master is weak against his own weapon.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid, Solid Snake has to find a sniper rifle in order to fight Sniper Wolf, who is a Hopeless Boss Fight until you run back to find it, and you fight Revolver Ocelot early in the game when you don't have any guns heavier than a pistol. Inverted when Cyborg Ninja willingly drops his sword in order to fight you hand-to-hand, should you remove your own weapons during the fight with him.
    • And Metal Gear Solid 2's final fight makes you battle Solidus with swords only. Here any use of guns is not possible.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4 had a sequence where you get to pilot Metal Gear REX in a battle with Liquid Ocelot in his Metal Gear RAY. RAYs were created specifically to take down REX's knockoffs. And it's awesome.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has Powered Armor that has weaker versions of the same superpowers of the Quirky Miniboss Squad (which equates to 75% of the bosses of the entire game). It's impractical and you have to fulton a few minibosses to get Parasite Charges for the suit, but you can beat your opponents by using these powers more effectively than they can.
    • This is entirely optional for the most part, as there are several ways to beat each boss or situation. When you fight Sniper Wolf again you can take cover behind an embankment and spam Nikita missiles at her. With MGS3's The End, you could fight fire with fire by sniping him, or you could sneak around and make the fight up close and personal. Or just run out the clock (although this takes several days without cheating). You can even kill him and prevent his boss fight later on; when he is being wheeled out at the docks, you can snipe him down easily.
    • Inverted in the fight with Laughing Octopus in MGS4, where she will occasionally hide in a cardboard box.
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Prime:
      • Enemies in the Phazon Mines include Space Pirates who wield copies of one of your weapons and are only vulnerable to the same weapon they use.
      • The fight with Metroid Prime's exoskeleton form can only be damaged by attacking it with the weapon that corresponds to its current colour and attack pattern. What's more, Metroid Prime's true form always needs Phazon weaponry to finish it off, which it always gives you in some way or another, be it via puddles, projectiles, or injecting you with the crap.
    • Metroid Prime: Hunters: The final boss changes the color of its obvious weak point and its own weapon to match one of the six weapons you have at your disposal.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: There are enemies that can enter Hyper Mode — the best counter being to do that yourself. This also applies to the majority of bosses.
  • Several entries in the Monkey Island series involve the protagonist Guybrush using a knockoff version of the very same voodoo trinket the villain has been using against him:
    • Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge ends with LeChuck stalking Guybrush with a Voodoo Doll. Guybrush's salvation lies in finding the materials to make his own doll. They're evenly matched in power, but Guybrush is a lot more creative in the execution.
    • Escape from Monkey Island codifies the trope with the phrase, "The easiest way to defeat a voodoo curse is with an even bigger voodoo curse", and the game takes this extremely literally. The way to stop a madman with a powerful voodoo trinket is to make a much larger copy of the same trinket.
    • The final chapter of Tales of Monkey Island has Guybrush trapped in the Crossroads, the pirate afterlife, after being killed by LeChuck. To escape and undo his arch-enemy's plan, he has to harness the same spell LeChuck used to become a ghost pirate in the first place.
  • Not about fighting, but in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer you can help a guy from Deal with the Devil by beating the devil with its own contract.
  • In Ōkami, the kitsune lord Ninetails has a Celestial Brush of its own on each of its tails. Trying to use your own Celestial Brush will make Ninetails bring up a Brush to match and disrupt your Technique, forcing you to finish the pattern as soon as possible before the enemy crosses it out. It can also perform techniques similar to your own. In the sequel Ōkamiden, the final boss can strike out your Celestial Brush techniques until you manage to make the sun re-appear, at which point he will start attempting to use Brush techs of his own...which you can, of course, strike through and interrupt yourself.
  • Painkiller has a demon morph Super Mode which is devastatingly effective against the game's demonic enemies.
  • In Pickory, one of the boss fights is actually a clone of KSpaceDuel. You get a ship which is identical to the boss in every way.
  • Averted in Planescape: Torment: a mage duel with the final boss is impossible to win even if you cheat to get so high level the XP meter refuses to register more. Instead, you can defeat him by: beating him with something, having your buddies beat him, talking him into surrendering, talking him into suicide, nullifying him out of existence with sheer force of will, or even killing yourself.
  • In Pokémon, several types are weak to themselves, and in some cases, that is the only thing that is super effective. As an example, Dragon-type Pokémon are weak to Ice- and Dragon-type attacks. However, later games in the series introduce two Water/Dragon-type Pokémon, Palkia and Kingdra. The Water type cancels out the Ice-type weakness, and the Dragon type cancels all of Water-type's weaknesses, meaning that the only easy way to take one of these down is to beat them at their own game with a Dragon-type attack. (This only applies up until Generation VI, which introduced a new type strong against them.)
    • The move Mirror Move allows the user to use the move just used by the opponent, and the move Transform literally allows Pokémon to beat the opponent at their own game, as the Transforming Pokémon gains access to the target's typing, stats, and moves. To a lesser extent, the move Role Play can change the user's ability to that of the target.
  • The original, 2D platformer Prince of Persia forces the player to leap through a mirror at one point, creating a "shadow twin" who bedevils the player in later levels. When the hero finally confronts his twin, the player discovers that striking the twin damages the hero, and killing the twin results in the hero's death. The only way to defeat the twin is to sheathe your sword and run into the twin, causing the hero's dark side to be re-absorbed.
  • In Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy telekinesis is one of the best ways to deal damage to Edgar Barret, a much stronger telekinetic specialist (how much stronger? You can throw boxes, he can throw trains!).
  • Don Flamenco in Punch-Out!! uses this against you. For most opponents, you have to block or dodge their attacks and then counterattack. Don does the same trick against you, refusing to land a blow on you unless you strike first so he can counter. Of course, you can counter his counterattack.
  • In Red Steel (the first), your character proceeds through each level with the usual assortment of FPS firearms. The Boss Battle of each level, however, is inevitably a swordfight, requiring you to put away your guns and use your blade instead.
  • When you kill The Dragon in Rune, he falls into a pit of green goo, accidentally transforming into a super zombie. He realizes that he has basically beaten you and jumps over the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence you're now trapped behind; you then commit suicide by jumping into the goo and becoming a super zombie yourself.
  • Saints Row 2 has a similar scene where you fight a rival gang's (A yakuza style gang who fight with swords) enforcer and his men with samurai swords, although unlike in GTA you can't use any other weapon during this part of the game.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • In SpongeBob's Truth or Square, all of Plankton's robots fight using the same 3 attacks SpongeBob can do in the game: wielding an item they can slam (SpongeBob can turn into a spatula or hammer, and the robots often wield the latter), spinning (SpongeBob by turning into a ship wheel or fan, the robots with anchors attached to their arms), or shooting projectiles (cannonballs in their various forms, usually).
  • Subverted in Summoner, when the White Magician Girl and The Lancer go two-on-two against the evil queen and dark prince. The queen is a powerful magician, but totally immune to magic, while the prince is a powerful swordsman, but totally immune to physical damage.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario 3D World has the final boss invoke the trope against the players. Bowser uses a Super Bell to gain the same scratching and wall climbing abilities the players can use. Bowser then uses Double Cherries to create up to 4 clones of himself with all of them attacking the players at the same time.
    • In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, the final boss, Wario, does this. Hit him enough in his first phase and he uses a carrot on himself to give him the same flying bunny-ears power that Mario could use in the game; hit him enough then and he swaps the carrot for a Fire Flower and starts chucking fireballs at Mario instead.
    • Villainous version in Luigi's Mansion. The giant Bowser robot that King Boo uses has a vacuum-like weapon of its own that it can use to swallow Luigi and do a lot of damage.
    • Wario Land:
      • The final boss of Wario Land: Shake It!, the Shake King, uses the same techniques as Wario for the first stage of the battle, which includes charging and ground-pounding. Wario, who is smaller and faster, can take advantage of certain things, like jumping on the Shake King while charging to disrupt him and run headfirst into a wall.
      • There's also B Bunny, a rabbit type boss in Wario Land II and Wario Land 3 that has to be beaten at a variant of either basketball or football (soccer in the US), by using the boss as the ball. While the boss is trying to use Wario as the ball instead. (In case that was difficult to explain, see the end of this video.)
    • In Super Paper Mario, Chapter 3-1 has a Koopa Troopa running away from Mario, hitting a ? Block, and snagging a Mega Star to grow into a giant 8-bit version of itself that proceeds to try and crush Mario. This is more of a joke rather than a dangerous mook since running to the left snags you your own Mega Star, allowing you to thwart the Koopa with your own giant 8-bit self. (Additionally, unlike Mario and friends, the Koopa can be stomped out of your way as always. You simply need to gain enough height to reach his head.)
    • In Super Princess Peach, Bowser uses the Vibe Scepter to power himself up with Vibe powers during the final battle with Peach, using the same Psychoactive Powers Peach has been relying on throughout the game. When he uses the Rage Vibe, he Turns Red and becomes faster and stronger.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl has a boss named Duon that has a melee-attacking side and a projectile-throwing side. The blog notes that it's best to match him and fight close to it when the melee side is facing you, and keep your distance from the projectile-throwing side.
  • In Tak and the Power of Juju, Tak defeats Tlaloc by turning Tlaloc's sheep curse back on him. In Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams, Tlaloc uses half of the Staff of Dreams to turn into a huge purple monster with tiny bat wings. Tak counters by using his half of the staff to... turn into a huge blue monster with tiny bat wings.
  • If you kill another player enough times in any class-based multiplayer (like Team Fortress 2) expect him to eventually switch to the same class in an attempt to balance the playing field.
  • Tyranny: In the game, you are supposed to be an arbitrator of Kyras's laws. However, you will invariably find yourself interpreting them more flexibly. At the end of the game, you are summoned by the highest court to be held responsible for your actions throughout the game. Even though he is supposed to be the highest authority on Kyras's laws, you can still beat Tunon, the Archon of Justice himself, in his own court.
  • In World of Warcraft, this is often reversed, with boss fights designed to use players' abilities against them. Herald Volazj in Anh'Kahet is one such boss, who splits the party and forces each player to fight clones of the others. A similar effect is used by Valkyr Heralds in Icecrown Citadel, who spawn copies of randomly chosen raid members that everyone must fight. Perhaps the most literal use of this, however, is in the Trial of the Crusader, whose third boss fight consists of a group of PvP opponents that behave as much like opposing players as it's possible for the game's AI to simulate. For example, crowd control abilities, normally useless on bosses, suddenly become mandatory.
  • Some of the WWE Wrestling Games allow players to "steal" their opponent's finisher with a special combination of buttons. This can get rather hilarious if, for example, the player is playing as Big Show (who measures 213 cm and weighs an even 200 kg), and borrows Jeff Hardy's signature Swanton Bomb (which involves leaping off the top turnbuckle, flipping forward 270 degrees, and landing back-first across a prone opponent).
    • Swanton Bomb nothing. Have Show or André the Giant steal Rey Mysterio's finisher—swinging kick through the ropes, land on the apron, spring to the top rope, then fly off and land sitting on the victim's shoulders, then backflip into a pin. Tell me there isn't anything more frightening than seeing a 500-pound wrestler flying groin-first at your face.
    • Or on the other side of the gamut, playing Rey Mysterio and having him do a Tombstone Piledriver on the Undertaker.
    • WWE 2K15 added a bit to this by making a successful move steal humiliate the opponent, and reduce their stamina a bit as a result.
  • Vitally important in both the XCOM series and UFO: After Blank series. Humanity only stands a chance against the alien invaders by stealing and reverse-engineering all of their technology as quickly as possible, as well as capturing the aliens themselves, dead or alive, for dissection or interrogation respectively.
    • X-COM loves this. Aliens with psionic powers are the bane of your squaddies... Until you get a psionics lab and train your gifted soldiers to use their powers back. Nothing better than watching a fully leveled psionic trooper take on an Ethereal in a mind war and win. In the new Firaxis game, there's also achievements for killing a Muton Berserker with an MEC Trooper's Power Fist, or defeating an EXALT sniper with one of your own.
  • Much of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner's plot involves acquiring the Zero Shift technique so that the player's Humongous Mecha Jehuty will be able to fight on equal footing with its Evil Counterpart, Anubis.

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, during the Yellow Trailer, this is how Yang Xiao Long defeats Melanie and Miltia; Miltia, who fights with Wolverine Claws, is taken out of the fight with a massive punch, while Yang downs Kick Chick Melanie with a nasty kick to the forehead. She later uses it to defeat Adam by wearing him down until she has enough energy stored up to break his Aura in one shot

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Said word for word by Long Feng, but denied by Azula.
    Long Feng: You've beaten me at my own game.
    Azula: Don't flatter yourself. You were never even a player.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "Read My Lips", the first appearance of Scarface in the cartoon, Batman is able to fool Scarface into arguing with Wesker by using his own skills in ventriloquism.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers uses this in most episodes with Professor Nimnul as the villain. Most times that the Rescue Rangers go up against Nimnul, they end up turning his own inventions against him.
  • Utilized by both sides in The Dreamstone in which the villains constantly try to steal the heroes' MacGuffin to spread nightmares. The two roles are reversed whenever the Nightmare Stone is discovered by the villains, leading the heroes to try to steal it from them. While the Urpneys do get to dish a little payback fending them off as they were before, for obvious reasons the heroes usually handily succeed at the same task the villains failed throughout the series within the course of one episode.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Bugs Bunny has done this a few times, such as turning Count Bloodcount's magic words against him, transforming him into different things.
    • Cecil Turtle is not only one of the few characters able to outsmart Bugs Bunny, he did it three times, (in "Tortoise Beats Hare", "Tortoise Wins by a Hare", and "Rabbit Transit".) This trope clearly applied each time, the third time Cecil closing out the cartoon by saying Bugs' own line, "Ain't I".
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Magic Duel", Trixie was able to beat Twilight Sparkle in their first duel by using the Alicorn Amulet to have more powerful and advanced spells than her. In the rematch, Twilight won by using stage magic, Trixie's specialty, to make her think Twilight was more powerful.
  • Samurai Jack:
  • Played with in The Simpsons episode "Bart Carny". When Homer and Bart work at a Crappy Carnival, one of their jobs is temporarily covering for a father and son who run an impossible ring-toss. Chief Wiggum threatens to close down the game since it's rigged and does so when Homer remains oblivious to Wiggum's attempts to be bribed. Homer lets the two stay at their home and the father and son ended up locking the Simpsons out of their house when the family are away. Homer bet the house on being able to throw a hula-hoop around their chimney and the carny agreed. When Homer seemed about to throw the thing, the family run back into the house and lock the door. So they really beat them at their own game: cheating.
  • In the South Park episode "Franchise Prequel" Professor Chaos and his minions slander the Coon and Friends on Facebook. Even when the heroes try to tell other people the truth, everyone believes what is posted on Facebook. This makes them pariahs in the town, which among other things causes them to lose out on the opportunity to make shitloads of money from Netflix. Knowing that physically stopping Chaos is illegal, they realize that Mark Zuckerberg is the key to putting an end to the problem and the Coon mentions this trope by name. They Zerg Rush him but he easily throws them aside. The Coon wails that Tupperware (Token), Fastpass (Jimmy), and the Human Kite (Kyle) were simply standing up for black, handicapped, and Jewish people, respectively, and wonders why Zuckerburg would be so cruel to them. Zuckerberg says that isn't true but the Coon points out that Super Craig has filmed the whole fight on Facebook Live and now Facebook says its true. Zuckerberg has no choice but to shut his site down.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Rookies", the Separatist droids try to convince Rex and Cody to leave by disguising their faces with clone helmets. Later, Rex fools them into opening the door by using the torn-off head of one of the commando droids.
  • Teen Titans: Inverted in an episode where the demon Trigon forces Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Starfire to fight the evil side of themselves — a black-and-white, evil copy of each Titan. After a long while of trying (and failing miserably) to beat themselves, they figure out that the copies can be defeated by each Titan taking down a copy other than their own.
  • The Transformers:
    • In "S.O.S. Dinobots", Rumble tries to take down the Dinobot Sludge by creating a giant fissure in the ground with his piledrivers, only for Sludge to knock down the diminutive Decepticon by stomping the ground to make an even bigger fissure.
      Rumble: Hey! No faaaairrrr!
    • In "The Key to Vector Sigma" two-parter, the aerial Decepticons create a team of evil cars after constantly being outmaneuvered by the Autobots on the road. The Decepticon cars, dubbed the Stunticons, manage to give the Autobots a run for their money. The Autobots create a team of heroic jets, called the Aerialbots, to counter them in the same way. When Megatron orders the Stunticons to become a Combining Mecha, Optimus immediately reveals the Aerialbots can do the same, the latter ultimately defeating the Stunticons (with a little help from Omega Supreme).
  • Yogi's Gang: Yogi and his friends defeat Hilarious P. Prankster by trying to see if he can take as much as he gives.

    Real Life 
  • Chess Grandmaster Jan Timman is known for using his opponents' favorite opening lines against them. Sometimes this backfires, but often it works and he wins, partially due to the psychological difficulties of essentially "playing against yourself".
  • The 2021 GameStop Short Squeeze straddles the line between this and A Taste of Their Own Medicine, depending on why any one individual is participating. The Reddit board r/WallStreetBets noticed that Billion Dollar Hedge Funds and Short Sellers were shorting stocks of brick & mortar video game retailer GameStop. "Short Selling" refers to when an investor borrows stocks in a company from another investor, and sells them immediately, expecting to buy them back at a lower price and pocket the difference as the company fails (in GameStop's case, a prediction based on rising digital sales and the COVID-19 Pandemic). Individual Investors from Reddit, fueled by a distaste for Wall Street's corruption, a desire to break out of poverty, and a semi-ironic affection for GameStop, initiated a Short Squeeze, buying the shorted stock in droves and causing the stock price to skyrocket by as much as 19,000%, which by the end of the month had allowed some of the Redditors who bought in early to become Millionaires in their own right; while costing Wall Street Billionaires, Hedge Funds, and Short Sellers a collective $20,000,000,000+ from having to buy the stock back at a much higher price.
  • Judoka Masahiko Kimura submitted Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Hélio Gracie in which was BJJ's own main field, the ground grappling.
  • This video of a judge dealing with a Sovereign Citizen charged with a DUI. While the views of Sovereign Citizens as a whole are controversial, most incidents in which they deal with the courts or law enforcement ends with, at best, shouting and frustration, and at worst violence. In this incident, the judge simply adopts the Sovereign's own terminology to use against him. Specifically, when the Sovereign says he is the "individual" David Hall, representing the "person" David Hall (a common sovereign claim which attempts to deny the jurisdiction of authorities over them), the judge simply says that BOTH entities are being charged with a DUI.
  • The Battle of Midway was a second attempt by the Japanese Navy to trap and destroy the US Pacific Carrier Fleet. The plan called for drawing the US Carrier fleet out into a battle by capturing the strategically important Midway Island. First, a Carrier strike force (Kido Butai, lit. "Striking Force") would launch air attacks to neutralize the Midway airfield before waiting far northwest; then a landing force would assault and capture the island. In response, the American Carrier group was expected to deploy to Midway to stop the Japanese landing force, where Kido Butai would be waiting to ambush. On paper, it seemed to be an elegant and well-thought out plan, if a bit too complex. What the Japanese didn't know is that the Americans had broken their codes, forewarning them about the attack and allowing them to set up their own ambush. When Kido Butai approached Midway, they were ambushed by dozens of US Fighters and Bombers from the same carrier group they intended to destroy, which resulted in all their own carriers sunk. Midway has since gone down as one of the most important naval battles in history.
  • On the other hand, the whole history of Japan from 1860s to the 1990s has shades of this compared to the dominance of Western powers in the same period. The Meiji Restoration, with Japan borrowing and adopting Euro-American technology and culture to varying extents, and the subsequent modernization of the country prevented its colonization (and helped them become colonisers themselves) and enabled them joining the Great Powers club by the end of World War 1. Even its loss in World War 2 could not stop Japan from being one of the world's biggest economy for much of the latter-half of the 20th Century. To further put this in perspective in support of this trope - it was not only Japan being the only non-Caucasian country to do so for a long time, it eventually surpassed most of Europe, rivaling Germany and possibly the United States note  in its peak. Plus, they became (fairly) democratic earlier than Spain, Portugal, or Eastern Europe did.


Video Example(s):


Samus vs Father Brain

Samus encounters the level boss Father Brain. He tries baiting her some lame Dad Jokes. How does Samus defeat him? She simply baits him into a Dad Joke.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame

Media sources: