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Cherry Tapping

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Dudley rose to the occasion of demonstrating this trope.note 

Man: Is there a name for this private little world of yours, huh? What happens there when we don't just run away? You'll kill us... with a soup cup?
Riddick: Tea, actually.
Man: What's that?
Riddick: I'll kill you with my tea cup.

Winning feels good, and the more humiliating it is for your foe, the greater the satisfaction. Who cares about good sportsmanship and "being big about it"? You just wanna grind your enemy's head into the earth in the most soul-crushingly cheap way possible for all the grief he's caused you.

Enter Cherry Tapping, the video game equivalent of the Humiliation Conga. Cherry Tapping uses strange and/or weak "weapons", or powers that are lame, weak, and/or stupid looking to defeat powerful, fear-inspiring foes or even other players. It can be a way to show off crushingly superior fighting technique by using a Joke Character in a fighting game; a slow, weak melee weapon in a war game; or shameless abuse of Level Grinding to kill the Final Boss with a feather duster.

Cherry Tapping is sort of the opposite of strategies like Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors which exploit the enemy's inherent weaknesses for massive damage. Even if it is a One-Hit Kill a la Revive Kills Zombie, Cherry Tapping is purposely using weapons others think of as weak to humiliate, ignoring other items in the arsenal that do damage at a more effective rate. Cherry Tapping is sometimes referred to as Woodpeckering, can (and often will) induce Death of a Thousand Cuts, requires being Willfully Weak. The Fake Special Attack is the Cherry Tapper's signature move.

If humiliation isn't your goal, Cherry Tapping can be used to defeat or subdue an enemy with a lessened risk of killing them. This may be useful if the tapper wishes to capture their enemy, or maybe befriend them afterwards. Or at least, saving rare items that are plain Too Awesome to Use.


  • I Am Not Left-Handed, for when the attacking character suddenly reveals that what appeared to be an intrinsic weakness is a voluntary restriction they've put on themselves by discarding it.
  • The Man Makes the Weapon, where humiliation is not the goal.
  • Zerg Rush, where it's not a weak weapon or attack, but a large number of weak individuals used to inflict the damage. Humiliation may or may not be a result.
  • Finger Poke of Doom, for a seemingly-weak attack that actually masks a hell of a lot of power, and for the item equivalent of that, see Lethal Joke Item.
  • Player Archetypes, as "Johnny, the Combo Master" is strongly associated with this trope. A Johnny/Jenny kind of player deliberately uses options considered weak by competitive players in order to defeat them.
  • Scratch Damage: depending on the situation, either a small amount of damage will always get through, regardless of the strength of the defence, or only a small amount of damage can be inflicted, regardless of the strength of the attack.

Contrast There Is No Kill like Overkill, which is at the absolute opposite end of the killing spectrum.

A great metafictional display of being Weak, but Skilled.

Game Examples:

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  • In Civilization IV and Civilization V, the player can choose the "one city challenge", in which case the game bars you from settling or annexing any city after your capital is founded while the AI opponents behave as they normally would. Venice in V plays with these restrictions by default, but they also get bonuses to offset it, so the one-city challenge instead removes those bonuses.
  • Stellaris once had the Naked Corvette Spam, where you simply build a ton of corvettes with no upgrades and just Zerg Rush the opposing enemy. It is also used in-universe by the End of the Cycle (if you make a deal with him), where it strands you alone on a planet, kills everything, and then lets you waste away.

  • In Assassin's Creed, you can opt to forgo using your various bladed weapons during combat for your bare fists. The awesome part is that this works pretty well when fighting opponents one-on-one; sure, Altair can't block, but your opponents can't counter or parry your fists, making it entirely possible for you to literally pummel your assassination targets to death.
  • Assassin's Creed II:
    • You can use a broom as a weapon, which works and even sounds just like a war hammer. There's even an achievement for it.
    • You can also kill the last boss by kicking him in the shins over and over again, and he is powerless to stop you.
  • Happens in universe in Bayonetta 2, at the end of the final boss battle. You're fighting an omnipotent god who storywise and gameplay wise is even stronger than the previous game's final boss, who had to be killed by punching them into the sun. The twist is, after a long, Nintendo Hard battle involving giant flashy arenas, giant satellites, giant lasers, and giant satellites firing giant lasers, in the end you end up weakening and depowering the boss so much, that after you send them flying through the air with your final attack (canonically stronger than the one in the first game), they keep going until they fall into the mouth of Gommorah... the weakest summon in the first game, and the first boss of the sequel. It eats him. Talk about humiliation.
  • Beyond Oasis had the Alt. Knife, the unbreakable side-weapon you are given at the beginning of the game, which could be used in lieu of other, better (but typically breakable) weapons you are given. It's the weakest weapon in the game, and its only real benefit is its special attacks, which can be fairly difficult to perform regularly, and for getting the unbreakable versions of stronger weapons.
  • BloodRayne 2 's Harpoon does very little damage in and of itself, and you would normally use the move while in slow motion, in order to set up multiple plummeting kills for maximum "Carnage" (the game's equivalent of a "Rage" mechanic). Sometimes the opponent was just that weak that a single shot with the harpoon would kill them, causing them to simply fall while the harpoon was rapidly retrieved.
  • Canis Canem Edit (AKA Bully) has humiliation attacks, where you can spit in the faces of your opponents, force them to beg, and perform other such juvenile attacks. Even better, it is entirely possible to WEDGIE someone to defeat, since it does a (small) amount of damage when you perform it. Even on Russell.
  • Castlevania
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin gives you a bonus spell if you defeat the secret boss Gergoth using the Blank Book, Charlotte's weakest weapon. It's not that hard since you have to finish him with the book, so if you count down his HP until he has just enough to survive one more hit, it's easy.
    • Portrait of Ruin has 2 joke weapons - the paper airplane and the cream pie. Anything can be cherry tapped by hitting them enough times, but special mention must go to the memory of Richter Belmont. The pie happens to inflict dark elemental damage, which is Richter's sole weakness. This along with granting momentarily stun means the cream pie is one of the more effective weapons to cheese him with.
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night:
      • There's a move for Alucard, the Drop Kick, which essentially mimics Mario's "jump on something's head to kill it" trick. And it lets you repeat said move infinitely.
      • The fist weapons, or just plain ol' punching unarmed. They can hit literally as fast as you can mash the attack key (with the exception of the Blue Knuckle, which is kind of crap) and have an insane crit chance, offsetting their very short range. So you can, quite literally, Punch Out Cthulhu. Or, you know, Death. Or even The Big Man Himself!
    • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow introduces an ability that makes the Drop Kick even better: Medusa Soul. It lets you stay perfectly still in the air for as long as Soma's MP holds out. The Drop Kick's damage is based on airtime in this game, and Medusa Soul can be used within its animation. As a result, it's possible to begin the kick, then hold the Medusa Soul for a very long time before finally descending in a glorious, insanely damaging impact on whatever the poor thing is right under you.
    • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow had a Medusa Soul as well that worked the same way, but the kick didn't gain any extra strength with longer airtime.
      • If you're going for uses of the kick, Aria Of Sorrow has the best example of cherry tapping you can get. Remember Julius Belmont? That One Boss? Wanna know how to totally punk him, possibly without getting hit? Kick him in the face. He'll always recoil and fly back long enough for you to jump up and do it again until the battle's over.
      • Remember the Iron Golem? The monster with 9999 health, resistance to everything and literally INFINITE defense? Remember how you're supposed to kill him by switching his HP and MP values with that lame 'magic handkerchief'? Some people didn't have that the first time they saw the Iron Golem; and because everything hits an Iron Golem for 1 damage anyway (yes, even criticals) YOU KICK AN IRON GOLEM 9999 TIMES.
    • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair: Menace only takes 1 damage if you don't hit its weak points. Ignoring them can make killing him take a while, but put on two Master Rings and you can farm weapon EXP faster than any other way (as you usually kill things too quickly otherwise).
  • Played with in Conker's Bad Fur Day. At the end of the very first level, you meet a gargoyle blocking a bridge you must cross. So you fetch the first thing that could come in handy, which is a frying pan. As anyone would expect, using a frying pan against a stone gargoyle is like putting out a forest fire with a water gun. The gargoyle knows this and starts laughing, and he laughs so much that he eventually loses his grip and falls off the bridge. All because of a frying pan (which becomes Conker's primary weapon from then on — except when the situation demands otherwise).
  • Dead Rising features a wide variety of Joke Weapons, as it is a Zombie Apocalypse game set in a shopping mall ripe with Improvised Weapons. Some are much less effective than others, but it is still possible to kill zombies with stuffed teddy bears, ping-pong ball launchers, frisbees, and coat hangers. However, one joke weapon can actually be used effectively in a boss battle against a human sniper. By using a hockey stick to shoot pucks, the hero can shoot the sniper from cover (as only the stick is not covered) and literally beat the sniper into submission with hockey pucks.
  • Dead Space deserves mention for the sheer thud and manly scream that comes with Isaac's curb stomp attack, which can only be performed on enemies who are already knocked down on the floor.
  • The first Dead Space also has an achievement/trophy for beating the game using only the Plasma Cutter, the first weapon picked up during play.
  • In Diablo:
    • Using a wand or a staff or other melee weapons as a Necromancer or Sorceress.
    • The Telekinesis spell, particularly in Diablo I, is the ultimate way to cherry tap your enemies.
    • The Sorceress does have access to a spell that adds substantial fire damage to any ranged or melee weapon, potentially turning any weapon (or even her bare fists) into a harbinger of fiery doom. Likewise, the Necromancer, when equipped with any dagger, can perform a special stab that causes incredible poison damage over time.
    • A very obscure Barbarian build for PvP is based around using a poison damage buffing wand in each hand along with an AoE Whirlwind attack and an inventory completely full of powerful poison damage charms. The result is slaying other well-equipped players while holding what looks like two venomous forks.
    • One forum member at the inc.gamers Diablo 2 fan site tried to make a Boxer build with the Barbarian class, aka no weapon at all. Punching always does 1-2 damage in-game, so he had to rely on percentage-reduction damage bonuses. Needless to say it was very item-dependent and, as he admitted, very boring due to how repetitive it got.
    • In the spirit of the trope, though, one player tried to play through the game using nothing but the Sorceress' weakest, most basic spell.
    • The Amazon, in Diablo 2, is said to be able to beat Diablo with a broken short bow on Hell difficulty.
    • And the Druid can have his ravens peck the Big Bad to death. It only takes about 30 minutes of realtime for Normal difficulty...
  • In the video game version of The Godfather, one hit contract gives you bonus cash for taking out an enemy boss by throwing glass bottles. Difficult to do, as there aren't enough bottles in the vicinity to do even noticeable damage to him.
  • In God Hand, if you land enough hits on an enemy without taking any yourself, they go dizzy and you can use a special attack on them. Usually this is one of four — Pummel, Stinger (on fat enemies), Cobra Twist (on skinny enemies) or Spank (on female enemies) — but if they're down to the absolute last sliver of life (so that it doesn't even show in their life bar), the attack becomes "Poke of God"... which sees Gene simply push them over with one finger. This attack is most impressive when used against the game's demon opponents, who literally explode into dust when they die.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: You can beat people to death with objects like a dildo and a flower bouquet. The best part is that all of these weapons are obscenely powerful, killing any non-boss in three hits.
  • In the 2008 The Incredible Hulk game, the Hulk can pick up and throw anything. Everything he throws does damage — so you can knock down buildings or kill bosses by throwing pedestrians at them. That's gotta hurt.
  • In Infinity Blade, defeating the God King with Ruin, the weakest weapon in the game (attack power: 1) unlocks the "Insult to Injury" Achievement.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, the Idol Transformation ability can only be used successfully on a foe that is just shy of death... but if they are, you take out the foe, and you get their statue without having to play the Idol Toss Mini-Game.
    • The fourth boss of the game is the Great Reaper. You can shoot him in the chest and head until his forehead splits open, at which point you can deal the finishing blow. Or, you can just pummel his feet until he falls to the floor (did we mention he's three stories tall?) with his untouched head inexplicably split open. Palutena lists it as an option, and Pit explains that Stubbing your toe hurts a lot.
    • Some weapons have extraordinarily weak melee (Flintlock Staff, for example, is exclusively a ranged weapon), and you probably won't use a weapon with weak melee that still has stats in melee attacks. Good idea in multiplayer, the single player, however, has a couple enemies that can only be taken out by melee or it's just a better idea to use melee, at which point you're either cherry tapping them for a long time before they die, or just shooting them and dealing with the consequences.
    • Heavenly Light seems to be made solely for cherry tapping anyone near you. You can also deal minimal damage with Super Speed and Angelic Missile.s
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
      • Link must battle the otherwise-invulnerable dark wizard Agahnim by reflecting his own magic back at him, using the legendary Master Sword (which you spend the entire game up until that point trying to acquire). Turns out that the Bug-Catching Net that a kid in Kakariko Village lets you play with accomplishes the feat just as well.
      • There are two upgrades to the Master Sword that increase its damage. You can beat the game while avoiding both upgrades, but the un-tempered Master Sword is so weak that it cannot hurt the final boss without charging the sword and using the spin attack.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: To make Ganondorf vulnerable to attack, first you must reflect his magic attacks back at him. This can be done with the Master Sword... or an empty bottle. With the latter, it takes more reflections to finally break his guard, but the window on the bottle swing is much wider, meaning that it becomes much, much easier to time the attack. The bottle also has a faster swing.
    • The bottle also works against Phantom Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Using the fishing rodnote  to swing at him makes him drop his nigh-unbreakable guard as he just STARES. Proceed to unsheathe your sword and slash him to pieces.
    • Also, in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, where the shovel may be used instead of the sword to deflect the attacks of the shadow Agahnim form of the final boss.
    • And of course, going back to the route of all evil: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword allows you to stop the final boss in his tracks... With your Bug-Catching Net.
    • One surprisingly effective way of defeating Dark Link is the Broken Giant's Knife. Due to a bug, Dark Link cannot do the "stand on your sword and unavoidably hit you" attack, making him easy to hit if he actually attempts it.
  • In Manhunt 2, there are a variety of small objects you can pick up and throw to distract enemies. However they can also do miniscule amounts of damage to anybody they hit. It is entirely possible to kill an enemy just by repeatedly throwing an empty soda can at him.
  • In Mega Man Powered Up, an extensive remake of Mega Man, defeating a Robot Master using only the Mega Buster unlocks him as a secret character.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • You can kick, which is the weakest attack in the game (but it has its own button!). But the satisfaction of killing a dragon by just relentlessly kicking at it's feet is just... Incomparable (and it's also just horrendously funny). Observe.
    • From Monster Hunter 2 (dos) and onwards, there's a gesture that makes your character start shadowboxing, the punches it does are even weaker than the kick (1 damage, the kick does 2), and yet, with really crazy careful planification (or cheating) you can still kill a gigantic dragon by punching his tail. Monster Hunter: World continues the tradition with the Hadoken and Shoryuken gestures. Though admittedly it looks a lot more badass when you do it.
    • In all of the games, throwing a paintball or stone at a monster will also deal a measly one HP of damage to them (Five instead if you have a certain skill equipped).
    • In the same vein as paintballs and stones, it is possible to kill a monster, particularly one you're supposed to capture instead of kill, with a Tranq Bomb.
    • Though not quite as extreme as the previous examples, this video of Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) shows Cha Cha, a very weak computer-controlled sidekick who's only meant to provide minor support for the player, killing the Great Jaggi on his own. Though granted, this is very dependent on Cha Cha wearing the False Felyne mask, as it would otherwise take much longer.
  • Mystic Towers gives you unlimited ammunition with the Ice spell, which is basically just throwing a snowball at the monsters. Still, the availability of high locations that only flying monsters can threaten, and the monsters' limited territory, means that a talented player can use Hit-and-Run Tactics to defeat even powerful monsters with this spell. (If you're not careful about conserving your ammunition with the more powerful spells, you might even have no choice.)
  • There is an entire collection of videos for the Xbox remake of Ninja Gaiden, demonstrating defeat of the game's single-battle (one of them aside) missions using the Wooden Sword, which is the weakest weapon that can actually hurt all enemies. There's also this video of someone killing an enemy by doing nothing but juggling him with shurikens, which is the REAL most weakest weapon in the game. It can't damage bosses or certain enemies, though.
  • Ōkami: Amaterasu, the wolf protagonist of the game, can learn the moves Golden Fury and Brown Rage. The former involves Ammy cocking a leg and peeing on her enemy, while the latter involves Ammy throwing her exploding poop at them.
  • Try to beat the end boss of Ratchet & Clank by using the blaster. Then the flamethrower. Then the bomb glove. Then the suck cannon on the final stage. You even get a bunch of suckable enemies, just in case you're out of ammo.
    • Later Ratchet & Clank games award skill points for beating various levels or bosses using only your wrench.
  • Resident Evil:
  • In the GBA rendition of Return of the King, the Witch-king of Angmar can be slain with a spoon. No man can kill him, but it doesn't say anything about cutlery.
  • Actually the best way to win the final boss battle in Scarface: The World Is Yours. The programmers apparently didn't expect anyone to sheath their weapons and pummel Sosa with their bare hands, and he reacts by standing there passively until he's dead.
  • In Shadow Complex, it's possible to kill a Restoration solider with the Hookshot, which does very little damage to them. There's an achievement added for the game's Remastered version that requires killing a soldier as such.
  • In Silent Hill 3, you can take down the Splitworm with the knife.
  • In Chapter 13 of Spec Ops: The Line, Captain Walker is confronted by a mob of angry civilians. Trying to move forward without either shooting them or scaring them off with a warning shot will result in one of the civilians shoving Walker back and inflicting a small amount of damage. Your Regenerating Health is disabled in this segment, meaning that moving forward enough times without killing or dispersing the crowd will result in Walker literally being shoved to death.
  • In Syphon Filter, the player is given a large variety of weapons, including an M-16, an M-9 Grenade Launcher and, finally, to make you wonder what it was for - a Taser. The Taser could be considered the Cherry Tapper, as it didn't actually damage them, just made them shake in place... unless you held the button down. In which case, the enemy eventually just caught on fire from the sheer amount of volts being pumped into them. Still a humiliating way to go.
  • In Tail Concerto, you are constantly encouraged to Catch and Return every bomb and missile thrown at you back at enemy mechs in order to make the game easier on yourself. However, Waffle's Police Robo also comes equipped with a Bubble Gun that is mostly used to restrain Mooks long enough for you to capture them. At the same time, the game also tells you that your Bubble Gun can be used to deal light damage to enemy mechs and bosses. While the developers might expect you to mix both into your combat strategies, there is also nothing stopping you from using only the Bubble Gun against every encounter.
  • Broken weapons in Way of the Samurai do negligible damage (except on Instant Kill difficulty). The third game has 2 achievements for defeating enemies with broken weapons.

    Fighting Games 
  • The trope name comes from the term Street Fighter games used to refer to knocking out the enemy with a jab punch or short kick. In the Street Fighter Alpha games, the win icon for that round would appear as a pair of cherries. Doing it starting from Street Fighter III and onwards causes the enemy to slowly collapse (instead of flying away as usual) while reciting a special defeat quote.
    • The Cherry icon made an appearance in Marvel Super Heroes.
    • Using Dan in general is often considered Cherry Tapping — he also has the Otoko Michi (a parody of Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu that reduces Dan's health to 1% and does about as much damage as a Medium Punch) and Premium Sign (QCF+ Kick) which only ever does 1 pixel of damage, regardless of whether it's blocked or not, and causes the "Super Flash" if you defeat them with it.
    • Dudley from Street Fighter III has a special taunt where he throws a rose at his opponent, which does a fraction of damage. Woe to those who meet an (un)dignified KO blow this way. When the damage effect was removed from his appearance in IV, fans were pissed.
      • Dudley isn't the only one with a damaging taunt, since every character's taunt has a practical use, and there aren't that many unique effects to go around to the 20-character cast of 3rd Strike. Other characters with damaging taunts include Sean, who shoots a basketball, which is actually part of the Parry the Ball bonus stage in the arcade mode; Ken, whose taunt is a "come on" type hand motion, and which can damage the opponent; Ibuki, whose short hop turns into evasive overhead throw (and a wave at the viewer!) when close to an opponent, and Necro, whose taunt involves sticking his tongue out at the opponent and flailing it about, which can be sustained if the taunt buttons are held. Taken to the logical extreme here.
      • Even better, Rogue's taunt did a small amount of damage in X-Men vs. Street Fighter if you hit with the heart (Chun-Li and Sakura also can inflict damage with their taunts) and her power drain kiss move was fairly weak and easy to counter, but it's still possible to beat someone by kissing him/her to death.
    • In Street Fighter V, Birdie can defeat you by throwing a beer bottle or a banana peel. Even worse is that if you let him stand around long enough, he'll flick his booger... which can kill you. Also Rainbow Mika can kill you with her mic after failing to complete her speech. Vega can kill you with a thrown rose as the opening to his V-Trigger, Bloody Kiss.
  • In Akatsuki Blitzkampf, a huge fish can fall into the stage under certain circumstances - more exactly, when a character is under the effects of Sai's "Jump Hazard" curse, which drops a fish every time they try to jump. note  If a chara that's VERY low in health gets a fish dropped on them and can neither dodge, nor block, nor reflect it... well, it's a K.O.
  • Olivia of Battle Fantasia has a special throw that deals one damage. Its primary use is that it leaves the opponent very briefly staggered and at exactly the right range to hit them with her C attack or some of her special moves as a follow-up... but it's possible to weaken an opponent, then finish them off with one or more applications of it. There's even an achievement/trophy for managing this in arcade mode.
  • In the Fanservice-packed game Bikini Karate Babes, Persephone's grab move allows you to spank your opponent into submission, while she struggles and squeals in embarrassment.
  • BlazBlue has Taokaka's taunt, which does a tiny amount of damage if you can get close enough to your opponent. The humiliation that comes from being defeated by this is increased by the fact that she often adds "Fluuuuuffy-wuffy!" in a sing-song voice when doing it.
    • While the taunt itself is rather weak, back in in the first Continuum Shift the "taunt loop" was one of Taokaka's strongest and hardest combo to use, dealing about 60% damage when pulled off perfectly.
    • Later entires in the series introduce Makoto Nanaya, who has a special that involves throwing an acorn at the opponent. For one damage. In a game where base HP is 10,000, and the squishiest still have 9,000. To add insult to injury, the move is only available to Unlimited Makoto, meaning the rest of her arsenal is supercharged.
    • Chronophantasma and onward has Izayoi, whose taunt not only does a little bit of damage, but it's very easy to combo into from one of her teleport specials.
  • In Bushido Blade, the rapier is a fiddly and unsatisfying weapon. It also looks puny and toy-like in the hands of the heavier characters. However, it's the one weapon with no backswing, meaning it's impossible to trap a rapier-wielder against a wall where using any other weapon would cause their swings to collide with the wall and stun them, and in the hands of a strong character it will punch through your defenses irritatingly often. And you just got slain by a giant guy holding an oversized toothpick. An acceptable break from reality given how the game is stylized; real rapiers were heavier than most gamers would imagine, required more strength from the user than most two-handed weapons, but made up for it with deadly thrusts, long reach, and a lightning-quick bypass ("disengage" - ask a fencer) of the defense.
  • Zack in the Dead or Alive series as a Practical Taunt called the Zack beam with does miniscule damage.
  • In the Def Jam Series games, Rapper Capone's Limit Break has him launching a brutal barrage of blows, but when he goes for the last punch he pauses, looks at the opponent, then simply pushes them over.
  • Two notable examples from Dissidia Final Fantasy:
    • The game's battle system centers around two types of attacks: Bravery attacks, which decrease the victim's Bravery and increase the user's, and HP attacks, which reduce the victim's HP and drop the user's Bravery to zero. Gabranth's fighting style revolves around entering EX Mode, but his only HP Attacks outside of EX Mode involve charging his EX Gauge, and can't actually deal damage; his Bravery attacks outside of EX Mode aren't particularly effective at racking up Bravery, either. The only way for him to deal HP damage outside of EX Mode is by performing an HP Attack during Chase, which none of his attacks can initiate. In order for Gabranth to win outside of EX Mode, he must get Chased by his opponent, dodge, have enough Bravery remaining to finish off his opponent's HP, and connect with the Chase HP attack.
    • For most characters, managing to perform an EX Burst will do a respectable amount of damage, even if it wasn't performed correctly. However, with Gilgamesh's EX Burst, failure to perform it perfectly will result in it doing single-digit damage. However, it does do damage, so it is in fact entirely possible to kill an opponent outright using the game's greatest Epic Fail move. Sweet victory.
  • The Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series makes little to no attempt to balance the fighters. Therefore, most fights are heavily imbalanced, and using weaker characters is a standard handicap for skilled players.
    • Videl is an underpowered character whose attacks often have embarrassingly girly imagery (which really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, as Videl's... well, not all that girly.)
    • Hercule. Not even another Hercule flinches from his basic melee attacks. Humorously enough, he also possesses one of the most powerful specials in the game, "Present for ya!" (at least in Budokai 2). He can quickly become a Lethal Joke Character if you pump up his health, Ki, and Blast 2 stats because of it.
    • Using a regular, uncharged Ki blast to finish your opponent is also quite humiliating for them. Bonus points if you wait for your opponent to charge his/her ki to the max before tapping the one button needed to end it, stopping their counter-attack before it begins.
  • God Hand has the Poke of God; a move that literally pokes a demon to death once they reach critical health. And it's complete with a Laugh Track.
  • In the Guilty Gear series, Johnny's Glitter Is Gold special has him toss a small golden coin at the enemy for a little bit of damage. Its primary function is to power up his Mist Finer special but its perfectly possible to SLASH the opponent with a little penny.
  • Superman in Injustice: Gods Among Us can finish off an opponent by breathing on them.
  • While Killer Instinct makes use of gruesome fatalities, one surefire (and extremely amusing) way to show your opponent how badly they got pwned is through "Humiliation". If you bring your opponent down to his/her breaking point while you still have your full life meter, you can force your opponent to dance themselves to death, as shown by this video compilation.
  • In Lugaru, you play an anthropomorphic rabbit, frequently having to fight multiple powerful opponents. At one stage, you fight six wolves, preferably one at a time, but it is fairly easy to get all six pissed off at you. You can then kill them with a normal punch. It's not a pathetic move, but this is the game where moves include leaping through the air, kicking people with both legs, and throwing them hundreds of feet backwards.
    • Alternately you can kill enemies by punching the bodies of their former comrades at them. It's hard to aim, harder to time, and does do respectable damage. Still, it's hilarious.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, in which, aside from the classic joke character Dan, extreme humiliation can be rendered by means of Jin Saotome's contextually deadly and surreal taunt (which involves him instantly stripping down and rubbing a towel across his back fast enough for it to catch fire).
    • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Deadpool has a taunt that does damage (a literal text balloon appears saying "TAUNT BUTTON!" or "THIS IS MY TAUNT!"). While it can be used to land a finishing blow, it can also be cancelled out of, making it possible to use this taunt in a combo, which is somehow even more humiliating.
    • A variation of this can occur when tagging a teammate in. Team enters by doing a Dynamic Entry for minor damage. This can also work as a knockout blow if the opponents health is small enough.
    • In Ultimate, we have Phoenix Wright's bad evidence, useless random items that must be thrown away to make room for proper evidence. Doing so only causes a minuscule amount damage on the opponent if it hits. But if your opponent just happens to have a minuscule amount of health...
    • KOing an opponent with an Objection! is not unheard of, it does a fair amount of damage for a single move that's used solely to transition to Turnabout Mode, and is used to cause stuns in said mode. If you're in Investigation mode or don't have 3 pieces of good evidence, Phoenix yells Hold It! instead, which does pathetic damage and needs to be used a lot more times to cause stun, making it very impractical. Still possible to K.O. though.
    • Super Skrull has a move called Worm Stomp. He stomps the ground. It's only useful with an opponent lying on the floor, but there are much better alternatives for that that do more damage and can be comboed out of. Worm Stomp seems to exist solely to deal a pathetic amount of damage to a pathetic person.
    • If you win a round in Marvel Super Heroes and your last hit came from a light punch or kick, the victory icon is a pair of cherries.
  • Melty Blood character Neko Arc Chaos holds out a cigarette when crouching, and while you move forward towards opponent, it actually burns opponents with one damage, and knocks them down.
    • Urban legend says that if you kill an opponent with this "move", the world ends. It would be quite a feat though, as the average Health Points on characters is around 12,000.
  • Mortal Kombat
    • Mortal Kombat II: The fight against Secret Character Jade is unlocked by winning a certain fight using only Low Kicks. Weirdly, the same tactic - jumping low kicks ad infinitum - is one of the best ways to defeat the final boss.
    • Later games also subverted the usual Finishing Move by having other options available, which are usually meant to humiliate your enemy further. Like Friendship.
    • Mortal Kombat X:
      • Erron Black can throw Caltrops on the floor, which can actually down an opponent with low-enough health. He also has Tarkatan Stab in his Outlaw variation, which lets the opponent bleed out over time, and also down them. That's right, he has two cherry-tapping moves, and you can use them at the same time (if using Outlaw variation) for even more damage.
      • Kotal Kahn's Sun Ray move can be used for a humiliating finish. The Sun Ray creates a beam of light Kotal Kahn can stand in to heal a small amount of health over time, but it can also deal a small amount of damage to opponents (about .5% of a life bar per tick). Naturally, being killed by such a silly move is humbling at the best of times, but when done at the right distance, it will also trigger a brutality finisher. What a burn.
      • Kotal Kahn is also capable of a rare self-inflicted cherry tap. His Blood Sacrifice move usually has him inflict a small cut across his chest with his ceremonial dagger, slightly damaging himself in exchange for powering up his next few attacks. Do it a little too close to death though, and he'll eviscerate himself on the spot, spilling his guts and ending the match.
  • In the Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen (Clash of Ninja) fighting games, there are the odd characters who can be used to defeat your opponent in extremely embarrassing ways. Among them is Tsunade - she is super strong and uses melee attacks, but she has one attack where she swings her arm up into her opponent's chin (only stunning them) and then instantly flicks them in the forehead with one finger, sending them flying. This actually comes directly from the manga/anime; she used it in an early appearance to demonstrate to Naruto that being able to beat Gaara does not mean you can now throw down with one of the Sannin.
    • Another Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen/Clash of Ninja example is a Joke Character: Akamaru, Kiba's dog. He doesn't have many good attacks, he just lunges at his opponent and occasionally hangs on with his teeth. However, he's tiny compared to the other characters, thus nearly impossible to hit if you don't have area attacks. Losing to the little white dog is embarrassing, but understandable.
    • Tsunade's flick-attack is also in Naruto: Clash Of Ninja Revolution, and another character, Kakashi, can pull out and read a book in the middle of a fight. He counters you if you attack him while he's reading, though.
    • Also in Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution: Itachi has a combo move which ends with his shadow-clone giving the opponent a light push backwards, where the real Itachi is waiting with a kunai thrust that appears to be no more forceful than slowly straightening his arm. Still does quite a bit of damage.
    • Finally, to an extent, Guy's ultimate attack. While actually capable of doing damage, there is something particularly embarrasing about being called a great person, and then summarily hugged... TO DEATH! (DUN! DUN! DUUUUUNNN!)
    • In the Narutimate Hero/Ultimate Ninja games, if you're playing as Yellow Flash/Minato Namikaze and get your butt kicked by Konohamaru, you have the right to be humiliated and mocked beyond all reason.
  • A number of challenges for the Wii version of Punch-Out!! are effectively this, particularly ones that involve KO'ing your opponent in less than a minute, in a certain small number of punches, or ignoring your natural instinct to avoid your opponent's attacks. Also, most of the One-Hit KO attacks reward you for counterattacking them with an instant knockdown for an otherwise minimal-damage punch.
  • In Robot Arena 2, it happens oh so often that despite only having one wheel left, you get a lucky attack in on your opponent and leaving them hanging over the edge of a Pit, giving you a perfect opportunity to shove them down and win, even in your wrecked up state.
  • In Rumble Roses, there is a Humiliation Gauge, which, when full (the enemy's, not yours), makes the character blush and gasp "N-no!". Afterwards, you can use a H-Move, which is a very powerful submission... and as you can guess from the name, most are embarrassing (and hot). Some would have you scratching your head trying to find the "H" in the move, but just blame it on the character being too naive or something. From the options, you can even set Humiliation Finish Only, so that the loser must be humiliated. Fun in multiplayer. In the story mode, one of the characters insists on having a H-Finish Only match after losing once, because she really wants to win. She does not.
  • Soulcalibur features a number of possibilities:
    • Using joke weapons, which often look quite silly and make amusing noises upon each strike, doing very little damage. Examples include Astaroth's giant squeaky hammer and Seung Mina's "Open Hand Slap", a giant golden hand on a stick.
    • In Soul Edge, the first game in the series: blocking enough to lose one's weapon and then pummeling one's enemy barehanded.
    • Xianghua's facefault floor wail. She literally throws a tantrum, which can do a minor amount of damage provided you're right on top of your opponent...
    • Finishing off an opponent by attacking one of their feet.
      • An example of using a useful move to do cherry tapping: Link's throw move in Soul Calibur II can actually throw the victim around the ring instead of out of it if done properly, causing a rather humiliating defeat to whomever is caught up in it.
    • Taki in later games gets Caltrops which does minor damage.
    • It's possible to gain a ring out with a guard impact.
  • Streets of Rage effectively makes this a deadly tactic. If you keep jabbing at a stunned opponent, they won't be able to move, and you can just keep chipping away at their health meter until they fall down. Its possible to do this with up to six people at the one time if you're positioned well, have good timing, and perhaps have a bit of luck. Can be hilarious to watch as six guys go down to slow jabbing.
    • Final Fight players can use Cherry Tapping to equally deadly effect. By simply turning around before you finish your combo, you can continuously jab your opponents, beating them to death little by little without giving them the opportunity to attack back. And, just like in SoR, in FF, you can use said jabs against multiple opponents at the same time, provided you can corral them into the same position.
      • Cody from Final Fight is a playable character in Street Fighter Alpha. He has a super move called Final Destruction, that... has him cherry tap his opponent just as the example descrives.
  • This is the case with Felicia in Super Gem Fighter, another game by Capcom. Defeating an opponent with nothing but the dreaded 'nummy nummy' attacknote  is a major put-down. Just like a coarse-grade sandpaper noogie.
  • In both the original Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros Melee, Luigi is the only character in the game with a taunt that does damage, and even that only works at extremely close range under certain circumstances (e.g., while the opponent is hanging off the edge of a cliff) and does very little damage. Nevertheless, it is possible to finish off an opponent with his taunt, and this makes for a truly humiliating defeat (not to mention, it has to be done at least once to unlock a special trophy, and thus obtain 100% Completion).
    • This is encouraged in Melee, thanks to one of the highest KO point bonuses being rewarded for defeating an opponent using your basic A button attack.
    • It's actually a viable tactic in team battles, as many moves with fixed knockback like Fox's Reflector and Mario's Coin Jump Punch barely budge standard opponents, but will OHKO the handicapped CPUs you'll be facing.
    • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in addition to Luigi's kick taunt, Snake's taunt (he has three, but they all consist of him getting under a box in different poses) can damage foes when he throws the cardboard box away at the end of the taunt.
    • In Super Smash Bros. 4 Greninja joins the fun with his Down Taunt, which does a 1% damage and has a tiny windbox that will only KO when far above any reasonable percentage. It's downplayed though, as this taunt somehow can OHKO the enemy bots in Multi-Man Melee mode, and it also has some kill confirm setups at around 100% damage into Up-Smash, though they're generally impractical at best.
    • Sonic's spring jump does 3% damage if you manage to hit your opponent with the falling spring and knocks them a very short distance away. However, it still gives them enough momentum that if they collide with the underside of the stage, they'll most likely get KO'd by it.
    • And in relation to gimping recoveries, the footstool jump. It does no damage and can can only be used when right on top of the opponent, but can send an opponent down to the bottom of the screen, or at least enough to keep from recovering.
    • Also in Brawl, using Samus's Screw Attack or Pit's Propeller Blade attack is a more effective strategy against the Master Hand than more powerful or damaging moves. They only do about 12 points of damage at a time, but they prevent the Hand from being able to hit back.
    • In Brawl, Kirby can swallow an opponent and jump off the side of the map, and when the opponent struggles out of it Kirby can jump on their head finishing them off. This can be a suicide technique.
    • Mr. Game and Watch's turtle. That thing looks ferocious.
      • Mr. Game and Watch is made of this, at least as far as unconventionally lame-looking weapons. Aside from the brokenness of the turtle, his most powerful aerial is a packing box, his slowest but most powerful smash attack is a scuba helmet, and he can even kill you with sausages by hitting them out of a double-jump.
      • Mr. Game and Watch's Judgement Hammer can easily be this, as it rolls a d10 to determine its attack power. Anything below 7 might as well be a worthless jab, though these hits can still cause special damage effects. However, anything rolled above this leaves Cherry Tapping territory and becomes One-Hit Kill territory... especially 9.
    • Diddy Kong's Down Special move, "Banana Peel", throws a banana peel on the stage. You can then pick it up and throw it to damage opponents, and yes, you can use it to land the final blow on any of the bosses.
    • Death by Mr. Saturn. Throwing them at your opponent barely does anything... Unless your opponent is shielding, because Mr. Saturn's main property is one-hit shield breaking. Since breaking a shield gives heavy knockback (enough that lightweights can fly off at low percentages), this would technically allow your character to win without even laying a finger on the opponent. Lethal Joke Item, indeed.
    • If playing on an especially confined stage, it's possible to get into insane damage numbers (such as 999%, which is the damage cap) where Mario's Fireball will give enough knockback to send a character into next week twice.
    • Finishing someone in mid-air by lobbing an item rather than using it as intended is usually very satisfying. The ultimate of this always seems to be Poké Ball to the head, thrown by a non-legendary Pokémon (especially Pichu), from which springs a post-victory Goldeen.
    • For that matter, getting owned by any Pokémon that doesn't do damage. Some actually do decent damage, though.
      • Piplup, for example, is a cheery-looking blue penguin Pokémon. On a flat suspended stage, it will sweep you all the way across, then ride you down into the pit.
      • Getting knocked out by Marill (who moves in a similar manner to Piplup).
    • In terms of humiliation, nothing is more satisfying than pulling off a successful Jigglypuff Sniper Bomb. Over and over again. There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth in your opponents.
      • Jigglypuff's Down Special, "Rest", with the right timing and position (very slightly above the opponent), is an extremely powerful attack after which Jigglypuff falls asleep for a few seconds. If you miss, Jigglypuff just falls asleep anyway and the opponent can take their sweet time to launch a fully charged Side Smash, a Falcon Punch or some other slow (or not) powerful attack, making it an extremely risky (at high percentages anyway) move.
      • Jigglypuff's Cherry Tapping prowess does not end here. It can finish off Tabuu in Brawl by singing to him, because Sing (Up Special) does damage to airborne bosses rather than lulling them to sleep.
    • In terms of outright embarrassing your opponent, nothing will sting more than losing to Captain Olimar without his Pikmin. Olimar is virtually useless without Pikmin, so some players will resort to severely handicapping Olimar by simply not using Pikmin... because it amuses them, usually. Otherwise known as Nolimar ('No' Pikmin), LOL-imar, and Solimar (Solo Olimar), Olimar loses many of the abilities that makes him among the most aggressive and vicious characters in the game. Without Pikmin, Olimar loses all of his smashes, almost all of his aerials, the Pikmin Toss and Pikmin Pluck special moves (for obvious reasons), his dominating ability to grab, and his Pikmin Chain tether recovery. He's also lighter and easier to knockout, too. Nolimar relies solely on six weak attacks to put up any offense (did I mention he doesn't have any useful finishers anymore? Yeah, you'll have to push your opponents beyond 160% before even thinking about a kill), and relies on his (now horribly Nerfed) recovery, his whistle guard, and skills to survive... Good luck beating any competent Smasher with Nolimar.
      • It is a similar (though not as extreme) situation for the Ice Climbers. Killing one of the two Ice Climbers leaves the other Ice Climber severely handicapped in terms of power, jump, and recovery. It's satisfying to finish off other characters with the weirdo duo to begin with, and even more satisfying if you only have one left. That said, a solo Climber still has a full range of moves, unlike Nolimar; they just have reduced effectiveness.
    • At least all of the above examples involve attacking. Some tournament matches are decided with a Footstool Jump.
    • Using a countering move in order to defeat a foe by counterattacking is highly satisfying, especially since it often doesn't do a huge deal of damage (if you're only lucky enough to counter a simple light attack), and they can only blame themselves for attacking you at the wrong time.
    • When Robin uses a spell enough times, they casually toss their book to the side. The book can be picked up, though; it looks dainty and harmless, but if you chuck it at an opponent, it can kill them at high enough percentages. Meaning one can go a whole stock hammering an opponent with powerful spells, only to finish them off by throwing the empty book at them.
  • Nina Williams and her sister, from Tekken, can beat a huge demon monster thing by kicking it in the sack. Repeatedly.
    • Or, you could always try winning a match with Hwoarang/Baek/Christie/Eddy. Without kicking. Cue Rage Quit.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Melee kills in many First-Person Shooter games. One exception would be the single-player mode of Call of Duty: World at War, as the fact that the melee attack animation (whether it hits or misses) interrupts the reloading animation makes the melee attack a lifesaver when you get banzai charged. Also, the bayonet versions of the Arisaka and the M1 Garand give a little extra reach.
    • Very much subverted in Modern Warfare 2: Lightweight (move faster) + Commando (Deadly Lunge) perks + Tactical Knife attachment for pistols (attack and recover faster), with perhaps Marathon (infinite sprint), means it is very much possible to eschew guns and use the knife as a primary weapon. You'd be hard-pressed to find a game without at least one player doing this effectively.
    • On the knife issue, it's actually easier to knife because the server accounts it faster than a bullet. So a FAMAS with Stopping Power vs a knife user at, oh say 5 feet (Commando Perk used) lunging at him, knife user wins. Granted the guy may have already killed you on his screen...
    • One of the killstreak rewards in Modern Warfare 2 is a Care Package, which is a crate that is airlifted and dropped wherever you throw the signal flare. Naturally, being dropped at a high elevation, it is possible to make a Care Package land on your opponent and kill him. There are actually in-game challenges that involve doing this.
    • In Modern Warfare and World at War multiplayer, a thrown grenade will do a tiny amount of damage if it smacks into someone before exploding. If they die because of this, the icon in the killbox displaying the weapon of their demise is hilarious. You can also do it if you fire the M203 in Modern Warfare at someone too close for it to arm and explode. It's an instant kill as long as it hits.
      • Flash bangs do a little bit of damage when they explode and it's possbile (especially in hardcore mode, when players have less health points) to finish off previously wounded enemy with them - which is more or less Truth in Television, as the concussive blast of the detonation can injure and the heat can still burn.
      • Players often use a flashbang to kill an opponent in last stand/second chance mode, so they can just lob it over cover to get the kill.
      • World At War has an achievement for killing Gen. Amsel in the first Soviet campaign level with a pistol. The deal here is that first off, there's only one pistol in the entire level, and it has about 15 to 20 bullets (though you can get more by fatally wounding an enemy soldier, let him take out his own pistol, then finish him). Secondly, when you get the opportunity to shoot Amsel, he's surrounded by several soldiers with more pouring in every second, half of which open fire on you. Third, you're roughly 200 yards away and can't get closer (you're meant to use a sniper rifle to kill Amsel). And finally, if all that weren't enough, the pistol is so weak that only a headshot will kill him from that range.
    • Tribes 2 offers another exception where the shocklance (only melee weapon) is not only a viable weapon, but incredibly dangerous in the right hands.
      • More in line with the trope is the Blaster: possibly the least damage per shot of any weapon in the game, the messages that appear in the chat window when a kill is made with it specifically invoke this trope; for example, something along the lines of "Player 1 was fatally embarrassed by Player 2's pea shooter." and "Player 1 pinged Player 2 to death".
      • The Blaster is fairly unique in that you can skillfully ricochet shots off the floor or walls to strike opponents... or yourself, if you're not careful!
    • Also, in Marathon, punching (unless you are running while punching) does less than one tenth of a player's health in multiplayer. Of course, if you have the invincibility power up, you can corner somebody and punch them to death. Of course, you better pray that they don't have a fusion pistol.
      • In the original Marathon, there is a regular level where you have to kill the four Juggernauts, AKA "The Big Floaty Thing What Kicks Our Asses". Three of them are floating over lava, meaning it is best to break out the rocket launcher on them. The fourth is an example of this trope, as it is hovering over solid ground, meaning you can literally run up to its face and start punching away, without any risk of being damaged (unless another Pfor is present in the same room). It won't fire its Warpedos when you're that close, and its arm cannons literally cannot hit a target right in front of its face. (Of course, once it starts falling, you have to make tracks for the other side of the room to avoid Massive Damage.)
    • In Jedi Knight and the sequels, this would work in the inverse in that killing a lightsaber-using enemy with ranged weapons, particularly a mere blaster, instead of with a lightsaber of your own, would be pretty humiliating. Good luck pulling that one off, though.
  • Apex Legends:
    • The Frag Grenade deals a max 100 damage to enemies caught in its explosion... and 10 damage on a direct hit. Bonking someone with the grenade to down them is an achievement in of itself, with how weak it is and difficult to aim for that purpose.
    • Invoked and Inverted with the Hammerpoint Rounds upgrade for the P2020 and Mozambique. Normally, these guns are incredibly weak and not worth using, playing this trope straight. But Hammerpoints vastly increase their damage output against unshielded targets: over 2 times as much, until Season 12. Thus, players will want to use these "weak" guns to deal the finishing blow on a standing target.
  • Though filled with dozens (or hundreds even) of deadly weapons, many of the Gadgets in the Battlefield series have potentially fatal secondary uses.
    • In Battlefield 2142, there are awards for getting a certain number of pistol or knife kills. The game also encourages knife kills with the inclusion of collectible dog tags. But the real Cherry Tapping weapon is probably the lowly smoke grenade. It provides a pitiful amount of smoke when used properly, but if thrown at a player, it can knock off that final hit point. It gets its own kill message, but sadly, perpetual stats for smokes aren't kept. Other possibilities include standard grenades (which also inflict striking damage), assault rifle rockets used inside their minimum range (striking instead of exploding), parachute stomping, roadkill by air vehicles, and the commander's supply drop.
      • Smoke grenades do exactly 2 damage if you hit someone with them. In later games, hand-thrown grenades do no damage, while those fired from launchers are capable of one-hit kills.
    • The defibrillator, if it successfully connects with an enemy trooper (it can't be used to teamkill for obvious reasons; accidentally zap someone twice when trying to revive them? oops!), counts as an instant kill no matter the victim's armour type or their current health. In 2142, however, it overheats after three rapid uses, so you have to be careful in order to kill with it, as the range is also very lacking. Nerfed further in Bad Company 2 in that 2 shocks are required for a kill. Battlefield 3 almost broke the streak, requiring (but never mentioning anywhere except forums) the defibrillator to be charged.
    • For extra special hilarity, the Project Reality mod for Battlefield 2 has the Civilian Collaborator in its Insurgency style gameplay. Civis carry no weapons and meager equipment, including a rock for irritating soldiers. Their saving grace is that (unless disqualified by the rules of engagement) they must be arrested (Melee'd) to deal with them (shooting them = + 60s respawn). So civis can ping rocks off armor with impunity (useless, but incredibly annoying for the armor crew). Alternatively, you can find that annoying sniper and crack him in the head with a couple rocks (or six to the torso), which is easily the most embarrassing way to die in the mod, especially since the civi then picks up your rifle and turns it the other direction. In previous mod versions, it was also possible to run over civis to arrest them, which led to sappers placing a pile of IEDs under a civi's feet and waiting for heavy armor to try to run them over.
    • The Repair Tool, used for fixing friendly vehicles and dismantling enemy ones while they're occupied, can also "repair" enemy infantry. Particuarly humilating on a prone sniper or drone operator who can't react fast enough to shoot you.
      • Doing so is one half of the unlock criteria for the G53 submachine gun in Battlefield 3. After unlocking that, blowing up an occupied enemy vehicle with the repair tool is part of the unlock criteria for the QBZ-95B SMG.
    • Both the EOD Bot and MAV are capable of earning roadkills by colliding with enemies in Battlefield 3.
    • The flashbang grenade is intended to blind and stun enemies, but also inflicts some minor blast damage. But as an explosive, it also has the ability to set off other nearby explosives. It can make for lively chatter when a full-strength main battle tank is reduced to flaming wreckage by a mere flashbang that set off mines or C4.
    • Battlefield 1 includes, the Kolibri pistol, a pitiful 2.7 mm pistol that's smaller than the character's hands and takes roughly four headshots to kill someone.
      • Kills with gas masks, periscopes and syringes are possible. For the gas mask and periscope, the user has to crawl into an enemy's player model and put it on, causing 45 damage inexplicably. Syringes have a charge time, and when fully charged, can kill a full health enemy player.
  • The Telekinesis plasmid from the BioShock series lets you throw practically anything and do damage (indicated by blood spurting from your foes). This includes the pitifully weak HP restorative item Potato Chips.
  • Flash Grenades in Conduit 2 deal a small amount of damage to anyone close enough to the blast. It is possible to kill a player this way.
  • In Counter-Strike:
    • Knife kills are the classic humiliation kill.
    • In Source and Global Offensive, the impact from any grenades does exactly one point of damage, making it possible to kill someone with a flashbang or a smoke grenade (they even have unique kill icons). This leads to the "Dodgeball" Game Mod where everyone is a One-Hit-Point Wonder with an infinite amount of grenades that do nothing but inflict impact damage.
  • In Descent, you can humiliate your opponent by killing him with a flare. A flare is really only for illumination, but does a single point of damage if it hits an opponent.
  • Doom: The bosses have many hit points, hit for massive damage and of course have predictable patterns that enable a player to kill them without getting hurt. As a result there are a number of videos showing someone killing a Cyberdemon or Spider Mastermind with a lowly pistol or even fists.
  • In Doom³, you can bludgeon people to death with the flashlight.
  • Duke Nukem's Mighty Foot in Duke Nukem 3D. Also, there were a couple of weapons, like the shrink gun, and the freeze ray, that allowed you to perform the coupe de grace with the aforementioned mighty foot.
  • The human Medic class in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars carries a defibrillator. When applied to a Strogg rather than an injured teammate, the results may be hilarious.
  • Half-Life:
    • In the original Half-Life, you can deal the killing blow on the final boss with the crowbar, by jumping inside his split-open cranium and whacking his brain. Not to mention you can also beat tanks until they explode with just your trusty crowbar. However, the big tank's explosion will kill you if you are too close.
    • In Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, the 9mm pistol is usually scoffed at (beyond the crowbar or stunstick, the two melee weapons). However with a little luck and skill it its possible to get at least a couple kills per life thanks to its ability to shoot as fast as you can click and its huge ammo supply. Most servers play a clip saying "HUMILIATION" when killing or being killed with/by the pistol.
    • The Specialists mod is all about stylishly blowing people away by running up and down walls with Guns Akimbo, a Hand Cannon, or leaping kicks. Or you can take the Ruger .22 pistol, which kills after several headshots.
  • Halo has a number of possibilities:
    • Your heavily-armored Super Soldier can actually get killed by a cheap plastic traffic cone!
    • In a Capture the Flag game, getting killed by someone holding the flag. Flagbearers originally had no defenses besides hitting opponents with the flag itself, though they get a single pistol in the later games. There's also an achievement for staving someone's head in using their own flag on a Legendary map. The real kicker? It's worth 50 Gamerscore.
    • In Halo: Reach, the Frag Grenade does a small amount of damage (one health bar) when it hits an opponent directly (before exploding). Killing people in this way is rare but very hilarious because their corpse often ends up glitched into the floor.
    • Killing enemies with the oddball/skull is also a favorite.
    • Even though it is capable of dishing out large amounts of damage (especially in Halo 2 when you can Dual Wield them), in many circles it is considered dishonorable to be killed with the Needler (or "gay pink gun" as it's oft known). This could be because the Needler is usually a easy way to kill someone (some versions can drain your shield so fast that you could blink and miss it happening), and it doesn't help that the thing outright insta-kills you if you have no shields.
    • And, of course, there's always the good old molly-thwap (getting smacked in the back by a weapon melee, which is always a one-hit-kill).
    • In the original Halo: Combat Evolved, the humble human pistol was absurdly accurate and could kill an enemy combatant in 2-3 headshots from a safe distance. In large arenas, this was an easy way to win matches and piss people off.
  • Hellgate: London requires this for one of the achievements - killing the final boss of the game with a cricket bat.
  • In Hexen it's perfectly possible for the mage to kill the Heresiarch using the sapphire wand, as it goes right through his invulnerabilty spell. he has 5000 hp, however, and the wand only does 2-16 damage, so it will take ~30 min to kill one this way.
  • Left 4 Dead:
    • If you play VS mode, nothing spells humiliation for the infected players than having a survivor beat you to death with his gun (or worse, his medkit) instead of shooting you. Although, Boomers explode when killed and Tanks are not affected by shoves.
    • Left 4 Dead 2 adds an achievement for defeating a tank without the use of ranged/thrown weapons. Yes, this means beating the tank to death with melee attacks.
    • Nothing quite compares to the satisfaction of finishing off a weakened survivor with a slap from the weak and fragile Boomer.
    • There's also the "Akimbo Assassin" achievement, which is gained completing an entire campaign using only your pistols.
  • In the FPS/RTS hybrid Natural Selection, the human space marines may purchase/be given a welder that is mainly used to repair the armor of teammates, or base structures. However, it replaces your melee weapon and does pitiful damage, but can still be used to kill an alien opponent with very low health.
  • The FPS Operation7 lets you use your firearms as melee weapons — whether by long gun (held at both ends) or by pistol, machine pistol, shotgun, or even a GRENADE, it's still beating the guy to death with your weapon. Knives are premium content for time-limited use (pay real money for a certain number of consecutive days in which you can equip them), but can be used as traditional FPS knives... or thrown.
  • In Overwatch, Mei can do this. She freezes you in place, then she can finish you with a punch, or an icicle from her gun. Or her teammates finish you while she's regenerating in her own ice cube.
    • Winston's main source of damage comes from his lightning spewing tesla cannon and massive fists, but by leaping with his Jump Pack ability he can also do a small amount of impact damage should he land on, or very close to, an enemy. Find someone with low enough health and it's death by monkey butt.
    • D.Va's Recall Mech ability allowed her to gain her mech back, but also deals a tiny amount of damage in a very small space in front of her. Dying to it is possibly the most humiliating thing in the game.
      • However, recently, an update buffed Recall Mech's damage from 50 to 250, so it is now able to oneshot most of the cast, and triple or even quadruple kills with it are not unheard of.
  • In Pirates Vikings and Knights, kicking is primarily meant to knock enemies back, but it's entirely possible to kill someone as long as they're on low health.
    Skirmisher: (disappointed) Why'd I bother lightin' that?
    • And of course the Man-at-Arms' fart Special can gas enemies to death.
  • If you kill an opponent in Quake III: Arena with the Gauntlet, the announcer will intone "Humiliation!"
  • In Rainbow Six Siege, killing someone with a grenade or C4 is commonplace. Killing someone by chucking the grenade or C4 at their heads is this trope.
  • In Red Orchestra, getting killed by a melee attack (whether it's from being hit by the butt of the weapon or the bayonet) is considered extremely humiliating. Usually only possible on snipers who don't take care to watch their surroundings.
  • In Rune you could cut off an adversary's arm and use it as a weapon against him. You could also pick up the heads of decapitated enemies and throw them at other enemies for small amounts of damage.
  • In Star Wars: Battlefront, the normal pistol is a pretty wimpy weapon, dealing so little damage that you have to hit with every shot fired from cold until it overheats to kill a normal trooper (don't even ask about Wookies or Droidekas). Kill six people with it in one life, however, and you get arguably the best award weapon in the game: a pistol that for all intents and purposes is a sniper rifle with an unzoomed reticule and sixteen-shot clips.
  • Team Fortress 2 has a few of these:
    • The pistol, a secondary for the scout and engineer, does about 15 damage a shot. Not only that, but it has some of the worst bullet spread at long distance. The one thing it has going for it is its fast firing speed.
    • Every class has a "kill-taunt" associated with a certain weapon, in which an elaborate, impractical (and usually very vulnerable) animation ends with a short-range attack that will insta-kill any opponent. (The Pyro does a hadouken, the Sniper stabs someone with an arrow, the Heavy quick-draws a Finger Gun.) The Engineer, the last class to be updated, actually has two kill taunts. The Pyro has three (two of which were introduced in its second major update).
      • The true humiliation of this comes at the end of the Match, when the losing team drops their weapons, and the winners are supposed to be able to slaughter them for fun. The losers can only taunt, but the above taunts can still kill. You think Cherry Tapping is bad? How about getting Cherry Tapped by the guy who already lost?
    • Two videos showcased a Pyro utterly decimating an entire enemy team with nothing but his axe, flaregun, and airblast. One fansite was so impressed, they began a machinima.
    • Certain defense and support classes (Engineer, Medic, Sniper, arguably Spy) are simply not supposed to engage in head-on combat with the front-line classes (Scout, Soldier, Pyro, Demo, Heavy). Consequently, being beaten to death with a pipe wrench or bonesaw can be quite the humiliation.
    • The Scout has The Sandman, a bat that has the unique ability to hit baseballs at the enemy. Though this is primarily for stunning opponents, the ball also does a very small amount of damage. Killing someone with the ball even has its own kill icon!
    • Most projectiles, including the Sandman and the Flare Gun, can be reflected back at the opponent and can possibly kill them. These also have their own kill icons, with every single possibility present. This means you can kill another Pyro with a deflected flare gun shot; since Pyros don't suffer afterburn, this is the ultimate Cherry Tapping (the flare itself does negligible damage unless the enemy is on fire, which a Pyro never will be). Especially harrowing is when a sniper gets headshotted by his own arrow, as they travel much faster than baseballs or flares, to the point that a mid-range arrow requires the pyro to gasblast before the arrow is even fired.
    • The Scout also has the Fan O' War, his weapon from the Shogun Pack. It trades 75% of the regular melee damage dealt in exchange for causing all damage taken by the target to be mini-crits for 10 seconds, and performing full crits whenever it would minicrit. Getting an actual kill with this is even more humiliating than a Sandman ball, because it can do a respectable 45 damage on a full critical hit: the Fan O' War does a whopping 26 per full crit.
      • The Wrap Assassin is another scout melee weapon which, although it does slightly more damage, has the added bonus of allowing you to literally beat someone to death with a cardboard tube.
      • Doing just slightly more damage than that is the Short Circuit, whose main function is destroying enemy projectiles, but also does 5 damage. For a time however, it became an extremely powerful weapon after the smissmas 2013 update, making it shoot much faster, effectively ensuring Death of a Thousand Cuts in seconds even for high health classes and completely shutting down projectiles. Fortunately, its reign of terror would be ended later with various Nerfs.
    • Another Scout melee weapon is the Holy Mackerel, a fish wrapped in foil. It has the same stats as the default bat (Meaning it has low damage output, but a faster firing speed), but it differs in the fact that it keeps track of every hit you make on an enemy while you're using it. And when you actually kill an enemy with it, the screen will show "FISH KILL" just to drive the humiliation home. The official description even shows this:
    Holy Mackerel Description: Getting hit with a fish has got to be humiliating.
    • There is a variant of this weapon, the Unarmed Combat. It's functionally identical except it uses "ARM KILL" instead of "FISH KILL". You're basically slapping someone to death. Double points if the enemy's a Spy; the Unarmed Combat is a Spy's severed arm. You're literally slapping him to death with his own arm.
    • The Pyro has a similar choice in the Hot Hand, a glove that grants a rather weak two-hit slap attack. Hitting with the Hot Hand speeds you up briefly, but even both hits deal less damage than a stock melee weapon (and the entire point to a Pyro is having a much better option than stock melee). However, it announces whenever you successfully slap someone, and puts "SLAP KILL" into the kill feed on the rare times you kill someone with it.
    • The Mantreads are a "weapon" for the soldier which allow him to Goomba Stomp other players dealing triple his fall damage to anyone he lands on. A shame that fall damage rarely exceeds 30 to 40 damage in a game where even the weakest classes have 125 health and you can see why the boot's kill icon rarely shows in the kill feed. Many players do not even recognize it and will ask what item caused it.
    • Most spies will run away if they fail a backstab on you. Some, however, prefer to stab you to death anyway, despite their knife having the lowest DPS of all default melee weapons. This is common enough to be known as "butterknifing", and is quite the humiliation, as it implies the player who killed you cannot even play properly (he'd have backstabbed you if he could).
    • Mannpower mode introduced the Grappling Hook. Hooking an enemy deals a whopping 1 damage (and applies a bleed effect as long as you hold on).
    • The "Trolldier" build in general. The gist of the build is basically taking the class with various powerful primary and secondary weapons and sticking him with a rocket launcher that does no damage, reducing him to rocket jumping at people with the intent of beating them to death with a shovel. It can be surprisingly effective, due to the Market Gardener enabling crits while rocket jumping (a Market Gardener crit will kill the vast majority of classes and cripple the rest).
    • Sentry guns are powerful enough to chew up anyone who enters their effective range, but they have a finite turn rate, meaning that it is possible to strafe around a Sentry quickly enough that it cannot lock on. Consequently, it's not unheard of for a skilled player to jump onto an unattended Sentry and poke it to death with a melee weapon.
    • "Fat Scout" Heavies eschew the insane damage of the minigun for the shotgun, which, though hardly useless (it can kill most classes in two shots at close range) is normally a borderline Emergency Weapon for the Heavy and denies use of the highly useful self-healing Sandvich. Not needing to rev up the minigun makes them more agile, but the Heavy is a Mighty Glacier by nature, so it's just a difference between "slow" and "immobile." Dying to a Fat Scout, though hardly impossible (after all, you have a giant health pool and similar damage to a Scout, hence the name), is fairly ignominious.
  • Also Team Fortress Classic was full of this, most players that see a spy faking his death stand on top of him so he can't stand up, teabag a little, then kill him with the crowbar.
    • On the other end, Spies have a tranquilizer pistol which fires near-painless darts... at a very slow rate. Considering spies also have grenades, a double-barrel shotgun, and an instant-kill knife, tranq-kills are so rare they're stuck borrowing the kill-icon from the Scout's puny nailgun.
    • Scouts drop a handful of sharp caltrops, which clumsy enemies can step on. Like tranqs, they're near-painless and intended only to slow enemies. Considering the class that drops them is more-flight-than-fight, and caltrops rest visibly on the floor, and each injury from a caltrop slows the enemy (from walking onto more), getting him to impale-his-foot-to-death is extremely special.
    • Concussion grenades of the Medic and Scout don't inflict any damage, but they might propel an enemy high enough into the air for the landing to kill him. There's no better way to cherry-tap than killing a manner which isn't even recognized as a frag.
  • Online freeware FPS/RTS crossover Tremulous, in which players play on either a human or alien team, has a couple of these. On the human side, all classes have the blaster, an extremely weak weapon with infinite ammo, intended as a backup. That doesn't stop people from trying- and succeeding- to get kills with it. On the alien side, the Granger, the builder class, has a melee attack, like all other classes, but by far the weakest out of all of them- and then there's the ranged Spit attack, which does a crippling 4 damage. Given the long repeat time, you'll probably be dead long before doing anything critical. Good luck!
  • The Unreal Engine in it's early builds (up to Unreal Tournament 2004 or so) allowed people to damage others by dropping on top of their heads for about one point of damage; this allowed for some humiliating kills (and deaths) in both the single and multiplayer games of the Unreal franchise.

  • Invoked with the Dramatic Exit attack in Dicey Dungeons. It requires doubles to activate (or an even number if upgraded) and it only deals 1 damage, but if you defeat an enemy with this, you'll gain 2HP to your maximum health.
  • in Nethack Vlad the Impaler used to be a frequent victim of this, due to being a rather underwhelming boss for the point of the game in which he is encountered. It was a joke in the fandom to kill him with throughally rusty -3 cursed tin openers or other similarly ineffective weapons and name the object in question 'Vladsbane' afterwards. He has since been buffed and is no longer a pushover boss though.
  • Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate: The Taunting Hop card allows you to jump on an enemy piece to an empty square on the other side as a free action per turn, dealing 1 damage to that piece. It's very possible to kill enemies via this humiliating method, and you even get the appropriately-named "Humiliation" achievement for killing the White King this way.

    Role Playing Game 
  • In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, the interface allowed the player to use absolutely everything as a thrown weapon, with damage being dependent on the item's weight. If the character was properly built, he could defeat even powerful enemies by hurling newspapers, precious gems and gold coins at them.
  • In a rare example by a computer-controlled character, the Nu in Chrono Trigger has two head-butts: one head-butt reduces the target's HP to 1, regardless of how much HP the target has, and the other head-butt does 1 HP of damage.
    • And yes, the 'you now have one hitpoint' attack does 0 if you're already at one hit point. The fact that you can find that out quite readily (he's not terribly smart about exploiting his two hit kill combo) makes it worse when he DOES manage to kill someone. Especially if you stopped healing yourself thinking it was a waste of effort...
    • If you've gotten every ending, done the 9999 point damage strike without using Ayla, had multiple suits of the best stuff for every character and enough tabs to max out all your character's stats except evade, and went back and played through all the game's variants (e.g. killing/not killing magus), you still haven't beaten Chrono Trigger. You haven't done that until you've beaten Lavos with a mop. No techniques except "confuse" your first time, no direct damage except the attack command afterward. Cherry tapping Lavos has to be the entire reason the mop was included in the game.
  • In Dark Souls you can totally do stuff like this to both Bosses and other players. Whip builds are the most popular and amusing just because of how much the two available whips suck.
  • Demon's Souls:
    • There's the Needle of Eternal Agony which is a total pain in the ass to get (you got to defeat the one boss maneater, which turns out to be 2 bosses) and only deals 10 physical damage per hit, making it completely useless for such a hard game, but extremely funny to brag about in PvP.
    • It seems you can beat the game in level 1.
  • In Dragon Quest IX, many of the quests which unlock advanced jobs require the party to engage in some type of Cherry Tapping (i.e. kill 3 Hocus Chimeras ONLY by poisoning them and letting them die from it, wait until full Tension then kill a Slime, etc)
  • EarthBound (1994) has a few occasions where it's possible to win major boss fights this way:
    • During the fight with Starman Jr, it's possible to arrange things, with careful planning and a ton of luck, so that he ends up being defeated by one of Picky's attacks... which all do only 1 HP of damage. Starman Jr. is already an easy tutorial boss, but usually the killing blow is landed by Ness or Buzz Buzz, not Joke Character Picky.
    • It's more than possible to beat up the Smug Snake Carpainter without ever launching a single attack — the player is given the Franklin Badge shortly beforehand, which reflects his Crash Boom Bang Attack back at him, and indeed is required to fight him at all. Hence, with a little bit of level grinding and maybe the occasional healing spell, the player can simply sit back and wait for him to kill himself.
    • Another fight subject to this is Mondo Mole, who can be permanently immobilized with PSI Paralysis. Upon doing so, there's nothing stopping the player from defeating him entirely with physical attacks from resident Squishy Wizard Paula.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Morrowind actually encourages this thanks to the game's skill increase system in order to level up your weapon skills. Every successful hit, regardless of how much damage it does, counts the same towards increasing that skill. Stabbing something 100 times with the Fork of Horripilation will lead to a greater increase of your short blade skill than one-shotting that same foe with a Daedric dagger. Inversely, this works on you to level up your armor skills. Simply deck yourself out in a full suit of armor, find a rat, and allow said rat to cherry tap YOU. Each hit will count towards increasing the armor skill for the type of armor you are wearing.
    • In Skyrim, the Hearthfire DLC gives you opportunities for this. You can pick up a low-damage table knife or fork (or both and then dual wield them) or fight with a wooden sword intended to be used as a gift for your children. It can be incredibly satisfying to slay a tough foe with what amounts to a toy sword.
    • Grelod the Kind from the first Dark Brotherhood literally has a single point of HP. She can be killed by throwing something at her, shouting at her, hitting her with a wooden sword or stabbing her with a fork, or punching her once. Bonus points for killing her because it nearly always results in an unarmed finishing move, resulting in the hilarious potential sight of a tiny Breton mage suddenly killing an old woman (possibly mid-speech) with a body slam or a German suplex.
    • In the 'Dawnguard' DLC the player must defeat the seconds antagonist on a balcony. It's meant to be a climactic battle against a formidable opponent — in reality, the duel can be finished in seconds by using the Unrelenting Force shout to knock him off of the balcony.
  • It is quite possible and was popular when it was new among "extreme" gamers to beat Fable and its expansion pack Fable: The Lost Chapters using no healing items or magic and no other weapons or armor than the Apprentice Robes and wooden stick you get at the start of the game.
  • In Fallout 2, if you have your character learn about hitting targets critically, you can eventually make anything die by hitting it in juuuust the right spot. There are a few situations in which you'd want to kill a creature without actually damaging it, and so it's useful to carry around the weapon equivalent of dandelions to hurl at people's eyes.
  • The Rock-it! Launcher of Fallout 3 can use any type of Junk as ammunition. That means you can kill a Super Mutant Behemoth with any type of Junk. That means you can kill a Super Mutant Behemoth with a teddy bear. And it will blow his mind.
    • Keep in mind that it magically increases the damage of said teddy bear to levels close to that of an assault rifle. The real Cherry Tapping is the BB gun. This is the weakest weapon in the game, by far. If you had a BB gun in perfect condition (really hard to get), and happen to have maxed small weapons skill, it would take 500 shots to kill a Super Mutant Behemoth. And it is pump action. In comparison, the Launcher would only take 40 teddies.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, you can complete optional challenges for an XP reward. One such challenge is to kill five Deathclaws using some of the weakest weapons in the game.
  • Final Fantasy
    • The job system recurrent in the series can allow for particularly fun humiliation.
      • Final Fantasy V:
      • It is not exceptionally difficult to beat the Final Boss of using a party of Dancers, and !Dance as their only offensive move. It is, in fact... a cakewalk.
      • You can beat it with level 2~4 characters. The boss fights do not give you any EXP, in the original Japanese SFC version, and you only get a handful of fights that give you EXP that you cannot escape from. The game is designed so that you can beat most bosses quite easily if you have the right combination of abilities and items. You do need to temporarily boost your functional level with the Chemist skill in a fight to about 80 or so, and a boss you need get a staff from, and you get about 1/6 chance of a one hit kill. (You can farm for the loot beforehand.
      • Final Fantasy VI can be beaten with level 7~12 characters.
    • Try beating the entirety of Final Fantasy VII using the Buster Sword. Okay, no problem? Now beat the Sephiroth at the end without using the limit break.
      • Then there's killing Ruby Weapon, the second-strongest enemy in the entire game, with a level one character. Like this.
    • In Final Fantasy X, you are literally invincible during the final battle. This gives you plenty of opportunity to, if you have time to kill, hack the Big Bad apart with the most pathetic weapons, characters and techniques in your arsenal — and you don't even have to do that either: You can sit back and let the boss whittle his own health away with percentage-based attacks that affect everyone including himself, and land the finishing blow when his attacks stop damaging him.
      • Also from Final Fantasy X is Evrae Altana, who is inflicted with Zombie status. Throw some healing items at it and it's gone.
      • There are several such enemies - often bosses - in the series. A revivify or a Phoenix Down is all you need to take down the Phantom Train in Final Fantasy VI.
      • You can do a "No Sphere Grid Play through". Basically you keep your characters at level 1, and yes, people have finished the game this way.
      • When you have an enemy down to single-digit HP, you're supposed to hit them with your most powerful attack and go for the Overkill. Still, it's much more fun to have Yuna or Lulu finish them off. Especially Lulu, with her dolls. Seeing a Malboro go down at the hands of a Moogle is not something easily forgotten.
      • It gets worse when you consider that the first weapon you get with Deathstrike is Lulu's Fatal Cait Sith.
      • The best thing is giving one of Lulu's dolls Death Strike and Counter Attack. She will One-Hit Kill enemies with a backhanded slap!
    • You actually have the option in Final Fantasy XII to not be equipped with a weapon and fight with your bare hands, which makes it more gratifying when you return to early parts of the game after leveling up and punching enemies to death.
      • Killing enemies with bare hands is all well and good (high combo chance and all of that), but what is truly humiliating is getting killed by a Measure, a weapon so weak that it will actually buff the target, and it deals pathetic damage, even for an armor-piercing weapon. Ending the Big Bad through this method makes the scene after totally worth it, even at max stats.
      • Measures aren't supposed to be used as offensive weapons in the first place... you're supposed to use them to buff your own party for free.
      • If you think beating enemies with measures is pathetic enough, try beating a boss by throwing rocks at it, aka Knots of Rust. This item also appeared in Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
  • Wiegraf, That One Boss of Final Fantasy Tactics, can be defeated by spending turn after turn evading him and using temporary stat-boost moves to bring up the speed and strength stats to insane levels, then ending the fight by one-shotting him with... a thrown book.
    • Also fun: Beating down any of the bosses to single digit hit points, then killing him via thrown-rock-to-the-face.
    • Or better yet, don't get them down that low and beat them with a dash. Off a cliff. Only works on some levels, though.
      • Even funnier: hit an enemy with a thrown rock just to make him move one space and fall of the cliff.
    • Finishing Argath off with a crossbow. Sure, swords, fireballs, and Holy are all perfectly usable substitutes, but killing the bastard with the same type of weapon he used to kill Tietra is much more satisfying.
  • The AI in Fossil Fighters will always use a vivosaur's most basic attack to take one of your vivosaurs down when its HP is low enough.
  • In Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, it's perfectly possible to beat the final boss wielding a broken stick. In fact, it may be necessary due to the game's frustrating item-breaking system.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) console RPGs, the squeaky mallet was expressly designed for this, as it does 1 HP of damage at most and gives you additional experience points for landing a hit.
  • Using your weakest weapons in Grandia actually gives you better experience (more hits, more exp) than just using your strongest ones and finishing the enemy in one blow.
  • Infinite Space has the Taurus, a space station that can take out the players entire fleet in a few attacks... unless you fly right up to it, where you are too close for its weapons to attack you, and spend the rest of the fight hitting it repeatedly with your own short-range weapons, which cause anything between about 1 and 3 damage. Maybe 10, if you get a critical hit.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, it is a perfectly feasible option to beat down the parade of final bosses with the Sweet Memories keyblade. It has no attack, defense, or magic bonuses, but it has a finisher, and that's all you need. Just for added humiliation, the sound and visual effects makes it seem like you're beating down an entity of nothingness using a stick with an adorable honeycomb inside. It's death by cute at its finest.
    • Also in Kingdom Hearts II: during the boss battle against Luxord, he can turn you into a die or a playing card. As demonstrated here, it's entirely possible to defeat him by tackling him to death as a die.
    • It's a pretty entertaining challenge to go through as much of game in KH II with only the abilities you had equipped to Roxas. Difficult but it feels good beating the final boss only using your starting combos.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, there is a rather difficult Optional Boss that can have his A.I broken in a hilarious way. If you hide behind a rock on the stage, the boss's A.I will try to hit you through the rock. To easily defeat him ,simply stand behind the rock and spam Strike Raid or one of its variants, some of the weakest and earliest obtained commands in the whole game.
    • Also in Birth by Sleep, Terra's Double Impact ability allows him to follow up with his Slide or Air Slide with a full-body tackle. It deals a small amount of damage to enemies and stuns them for a moment; the purpose is as a panic button so Terra can get some space to breathe and wind up for his next attack. However, the fact that it stuns enemies means you can use it to keep your enemies in a stunlock loop, and the fact that it deals damage means that the guy with a BFK can tackle his enemies to death, including the Iron Imprisoner.
    • In Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], Sora's Slide Roll ability is meant to be used defensively, but for some awkward reason, causes a fixed one HP of damage to anything you roll into. As bosses can't be defeated by your party members and instead remain at one HP, using an Unnecessary Combat Roll to finish them off is easily possible.
    • Another self-imposed challenge is to use the "EXP Zero" ability that appears in several games. If the player equips it at the beginning of the game, they will gain no experience from fighting and remain at level 1. Not only does it prevent you from increasing your stats, it also makes several vital spells and abilities unattainable.
    • Very minimal damage can be done using the vertical and horizontal spin flowmotions without using a flowmotion attacks. And it can kill.
    • Bosses have limits on how much damage can be done with single attacks, causing powerful single attack commands to be extremely weak on anything but standard enemies. Anybody that doesn't know this will probably assume a boss has a lot of health and beat them using Meteor and Mega Flare anyway.
  • The "Let's Play" review of KOTOR 2 chose to display extra special contempt for the mid-boss Darth Nihilus by disarming all his characters to fight him barehanded. Or, as he put it, they played a game called Punch The Sith Lord. (Scroll down towards the end)
  • The Last Story has bosses that must be taken down in a way more similar to an action game by putting it in a weakened state or expose its weakpoint in some way. Or, you can just attack it head on, dealing minimal damage but relying on chains to deal more damage anyway, and diffusing healing circles as they come to keep your party alive.
  • In Mass Effect 3 multiplayer it's frustratingly easy for basic mooks like the Cerberus Assault Trooper to land a downing hit and then the Finishing Stomp.
    • On the other hand, as an asari, a common tactic is to use stasis before headshooting an enemy. But one of the ultimate evolutions of this power is a bubble. On some maps (like Firebase White), you can throw your bubble just over the landing point of the troopers, and watch as they fall to their deaths before setting a foot on the ground, killing them with your only power that doesn't deal any damage.
    • In a non gameplay element it is possible to kill a quarian by simply removing their helmet and coughing on them. Garrus does this to one who had turned virus maker on Omega.
  • Minecraft Dungeons: If you unequip your melee weapon, your character is forced to attack enemies by punching them, which deals only 1 HP of damage per hit.
  • Some NetHack players like to slay Anti-Climax Boss Vlad the Impaler, with an oddball object such as a thoroughly rusted tin opener which they then name "Vladsbane".
    • Meanwhile, some classic tales of silliness from the roguelike Angband include The Shoveller, named for fighting monsters only with a tool intended for clearing rubble, and the Bookless Mage, whose weapon of choice was a thrown spellbook.
  • In Episode 1 of Penny Arcade Adventures, one of your party members is a cat whose hairball attack always inflicts 1 damage to all enemies. He is therefore all but useless, unless you manage to get an enemy down to 1HP. (There is even a trophy/achievement for doing this.)
    • Of course, it's a lot easier when you find out the fact that it has an instant kill move, and you can get the achievement doing that. Granted, this attack activates around 2% of the time, IF that much, but it's certainly a sight to see when it happens.
  • In Persona 3 this appears more as a tactic to conserve SP. However it's kind of hilarious to see Yukari do a critical hit on a strong enemy with her bow. It gets better since Yukari's weapon (or rather bows in general) has a tendency to be Blessed with Suck.
  • Phantom Brave:
    • You can kill someone by slapping them in the face with a fish. Or a handful of grass. Or a sunflower, another enemy, the corpse of an enemy slime that you just killed with a handful of grass. Admittedly, you can level it into an Infinity Plus One Fish, but still.
    • There is the special attack "Dud", which consists of using a nonfunctioning bomb to repeatedly beat someone in the face.
  • F.E.A.R. from Pokémon definitely counts. Watching a Level 1 Rattata decimating a Level 100 anything brings laughs to you and humiliation to your foes. In addition, any examples below that involves using a particular move is not only a direct example of this trope, it's an indirect one as well: As a Pokémon can only know 4 moves at a time, in order to engage in that sort of cherry tapping, they had to set aside one of those four moves solely for that one thing. In other words, the cherry-tapping Pokémon is using only 3 moves compared to the opponent's 4.
    • Also Shedinja, who has the dubious honor of being the only Pokémon weaker that the one it evolves from (strictly speaking), but, thanks to the fact that it cannot be harmed by attacks that are not super effective, it can stand up to some game-breakers such as Kyogre or Palkia, who usually cannot hit it despite being behemoths in their own right.
      • Perhaps the most humiliating thing you can do to someone in Pokémon is taking them out with a final gambit by Shedinja. Final Gambit is a move that faints the user and deals damage to the opponent equal to the HP the user had. Shedinja only has one measly little hitpoint. To be KO'd by Shedinja's final gambit is incredibly embarrassing.
    • In general this can apply to anyone in the competitive online Pokémon battling scene who uses Pokemon from the Neverused-or-under tiers in a Standard (or worse, Uber) tier battle for the purpose of humiliating an opponent that is presumably using entirely Overused Pokémon.
      • Or not fully evolved? For example, a Hypnosis Yanma trained for Speed. You've never seen someone swear so loud as when they get stomped by a little red bug.
      • Bibarel can knock out the likes of Uber teams, especially those that run multiple Arceus/Mewtwo/Deoxys teams. The laughs are amazing, and humiliations abound. Utilize Neverused Pokémon sparingly if you want to keep your competitive friends.
      • Of course, this is mostly because of the ability Moody, which is now banned in competitive communities due to being overpowered and based on luck over skill.
      • So you think getting epically owned by a Bibarel is bad? How about having a team of ubers and legendaries beaten by a team of Bidoof?
    • Magikarp goes on a legendary God cherry tapping spree here.
    • Managing to defeat somebody with Constrict is definitely humiliating. Why? Because Constrict has a whopping 10 base damage.
    • The AI certain computer-controlled opponents tends to do this as well; if your Pokemon is low on HP, they'll attack with the weakest move in their moveset.
    • In Black and White, it's possible to defeat Cynthia—the champion of Sinnoh—with a team of level 1 Pokemon.
    • This X-and-Y PvP Triple battle culminates in a Shedinja using Final Gambit to KO the last enemy Pokemon.
    • Invoked with the attack Fell Stinger. It has a measly base power of 30 (Tackle was stronger than that before it was buffed), but if the attack successfully knocks out an opponent, the user's Attack doubles.
    • This trope is actually referenced in a trailer for for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. After blocking several attacks, Mega Sableye gets crushed under the weight of its own gem when Mega Lopunny jumps over and taps it in the shin.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time actually offers battle trophies concerning the Metal Pipe (Fayt's first weapon) which range from defeating a opponent with it, defeating certain bosses with it, and doing the maximum ammount of damage with it. Thankfully, all of these trophies are obtainable by enhancing the Metal Pipe with the item customization system.
  • In Summon Night: Swordcraft Story, you can defeat any weapon-using enemy by blocking, switching weapons, healing and using Weapon Durability to chip away at his/her weapon durability, eventually making them break it. You get a bonus for doing so, too. Namely, you get a blueprint for the weapon you've just broken. Using the Curry Ladle to defeat monsters is fun, too.
  • Late game bosses in Super Robot Wars: Original Generation don't flee when they reach low hit points. With a bit of judicious number-crunching (or sadistic use of the "Mercy" spell), it's possible to knock the Final Boss down to 10 HP of about 200,000 and then finish him off with literally anything. Such as a shoulder check from a Gespenst Mk. IIM piloted by Russel, for example.
    • The game also tends to use this in-story as well, where the heroes try to disable a Brainwashed and Crazy friend's mech by using their weakest weapon to destroy a key system. The practice gets subverted in the second Original Generation game.
    • In Super Robot Wars Judgment you can unlock a Powered Armor Bonta-kun. While not as effective as the Arbalest, its attacks and the bosses' reactions to them make it worth obtaining.
  • Tales Series
    • A multitude of the games have the Minimum Damage skill, which makes you only deal one HP of damage with all of your attacks. It's mostly meant for practicing combos, but whatever you decide to use as a target dummy is going to go down eventually.
    • In Tales of Symphonia, a special title can be gained if Lloyd goes through roughly a third of the game wielding only the wooden swords he starts the game with.
      • Defeating Abyssion using the poison Pow-Hammer strategy. Basically it involves a physically weak character defeating the game's toughest optional boss by throwing a rubber hammer at him, waiting a few minutes, and then hitting him once(a total of two hits for a boss with hundreds of thousands of HP). You can continue to attack after the hammer affects him but it's more fun to just watch.
    • Beating Magnadeus from Tales of Destiny 2 using the little White Magician Girl is similar, although there are no Game Breakers involved. You just have to keep attacking... A lot.
  • It's an old joke from the postapocalyptic classic Wasteland that by climbing way too many sand dunes until your character has superhuman attributes and melee skills you can kill the game's most powerful creature, the Scorpitron, by using common non-weapon items such as canteens or hand mirrors.
  • Wild ARMs rewards you for cherry tapping with the very low-power spell Lucky Shot which, if it kills the enemy, grants even the rarest of enemy drops.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, hitting a Mechon with a physical attack from a weapon that lacks the ability to pierce their armor will deal only one point of damage (Unless they're toppled). It's entirely possible to finish them off in this fashion.
    • You also deal with a few humanoid enemies who are similarly resistant to the Monado, only they always take one damage from it, regardless of whether they're toppled or not.

  • In City of Heroes (and Villains), every player character has an attack power called Brawl. It usually manifests as a simple punch or kick, and does only minor damage. Once your character has a decent number of real attack powers, it serves two functions: it's an efficient way to down an enemy with only a few hit points remaining, and somehow it just feels better to take down that annoying enemy by simply punching his lights out.
    • For some characters, like those using Bows or Dual Blades, the punch is replaced with a kick instead. It can be even more gratifying to finish off an archvillain/superhero with a solid kick to the groin.
    • One invention-origin enhancement gives taunt powers a chance to do minor psionic damage, allowing characters to annoy people to death. Better yet, since all tanker taunts gain a short-range AoE, it's possible to kill an entire mob with a one-liner.
    • Then there is the Rock power which can be obtained during the Halloween Event. Minor ranged damage, horrible accuracy, but so satisfying to end that Archvillain fight by hitting them with a rock.
    • The game also allows for substantial after-market alteration to any class by way of optional generic powers; consequently, one can take a Controller archetype and outfit him or her for hardened brawling. The end-result - a 'Scraptroller' - is kind of like being beaten to death by Professor X.
    • Enemies who slow your attack rates, while highly annoying, are more likely to be taken down this way simply because you start using cherry-tap attacks while your effective ones are still recharging. It makes for satisfying revenge.
    • omg War Mace + Energy Aura so strong!
  • In EVE Online killing anything in a swarm of noobships (the basic free ship that everyone gets in the beginning or after loosing his ship and docking up) can be considered a cherrytap. On a more experienced level, corps such as Goon swarm used cheap tech I ships to destroy superior (and much more expensive) tech II ships.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Every class and job in the game can perform an Auto-Attack. The primary purpose is for tanks and physical DPS classes to keep dealing damage while their weaponskills are on recast or they're under a status condition that locks weaponskills. Killing an enemy with nothing but auto-attacks from a Strength-based class is already mocking, but what about a magic class (which, with the exception of The Red Mage, receives no benefit from strength-boosting items)? Or, if you really want to go all the way, you can do it with a crafting/gathering class, which cannot deal damage with anything other than auto-attack. Beating an enemy to death with a Culinarian's Frying Pan of Doom or a Fisher's Rod And Reel Repurposed isn't just cherry tapping, that's cherry-pit tapping.
  • In Guild Wars, getting "wanded" in PvP is a humiliating form of defeat. Technically, a wand deals as much damage as a sword, but since there are no attack skills for wands, plinking away at someone's health with a wand (or a staff) is a vastly inefficient method of killing them, especially since every second spent wanding is one spent not casting spells (which are much more effective). Thus, dying to an enemy's wand or staff implies that you - and your team - are so completely incompetent that the opposing team doesn't even need to use skills to take you down.
  • Mabinogi features the "Deadly" status, where you (or a monster) is in negative HP and any hits landed will kill you. While it is incredibly rare for a boss monster to be put in Deadly, it doesn't change the fact that (given enough time and/or luck) you can potentially take down a main story boss with Rock Throw (which otherwise does no damage) In the case of the Banshee in Peaca Basic, one of the favoured ways of killing it is just to set up spiked barriers with alchemy, and then throw rocks at it to goad it into breaking the barriers, which bypass its immunities with small amounts of chip damage. It can take a while, but is generally far safer than trying to take the Banshee head-on.
  • The game of Perihelion included a turn-based combat system with action points and weapons doing like 30-120HP damage, that took either a fixed percent (30-70%) of AP or a fixed number, like 50 or 120AP. Finishing characters had about 120-200AP. But there was that one tiny puny knife to be found, that did puny damage but took only 2AP to hit. The end battle could be finished in two rounds with one character using only that knife, jabbing the UNBORN GOD sewing machine style with it.
  • Phantasy Star Online has a whole variety of weak joke weapons seemingly designed for this which in themselves vary between Joke Item and Lethal Joke Item. However, a special mention goes to the Flower Bouquet which only has 1 ATP (attack power), 1 ATA (accuracy), no special ability and is literally a bouquet of flowers. It's very satisfying beating a semi-immortal God to death with your Valentine's Day present.
  • Runescape:
    • There are videos of players taking down Tz-Tok-Jad, one of the game's hardest bosses, with a rubber chicken.
    • This video features a player single-handedly taking down Kree'arra (level 580) with a sling, the weakest ranged weapon in the game.
    • The Duel Arena, where players fight each other in one-on-one battles, has an option that only allows the players to use silly weapons that give negative combat bonuses, like the aforementioned rubber chicken and flowers.
    • There is an achievement for killing the Corporeal Beast (a boss even stronger than the Jad) wielding only a bronze spear. To make it easier, you can cheat by using dreadnips, poison, and jewelry with damaging effect, but you can’t deploy a cannon. You also can get this achievement in a group but only if everyone in the group uses a bronze spear.
    • You also get an achievement for killing General Graardor using your fists.
    • What may be one of the most insane achievements in the game is for defeating Araxxor and Araxxi, one of the most difficult boss fights in the game, while wearing bronze armor and a bronze weapon.
    • ... Although it may be rivaled by the achievement to kill Yakamaru after using a stunning ability on it (this causes Yakamaru to enter a berserk state).
  • Urban Dead:
    • The Headshot skill applies whenever you give a killing blow, no matter what weapon was used. It has become an accomplishment to deliver your final strike with a simple Punch, both because it has the lowest hit chance and only does 1 damage, and the image of socking someone so hard that their head explodes is frickin' awesome. This also applies to many other weapons and skills in the game. An update also allowed many other things to be used as weapons, so it's possible to kill people with gas cans, toolboxes, pool cues, pumpkins, Christmas Trees and even tinsel, as well as many other things. There are now entire groups built around kills with unusual weapons
    • Through clever use of URL manipulation, it's possible to use the zombie skills Bite and Headbutt as a living survivor. This can lead to hilarity as human suvivors are seen biting zombies/people to death.
  • Vindictus, the sequel/prequel to Mabinogi, is much more centered around effective strategy against the dungeon bosses, meaning that a skilled player can kill them while wearing only their underwear and using the starting weapon. There's even bonus points in some dungeons for completing it without armor.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Using your melee weapon as a mage, priest or warlock (or alternatively for the warlock, using the imp or voidwalker). Wands are almost universally better for these classes and are ranged weapons. For Melee classes, utilizing Fishing poles or unequipping one's weapon achieves the same effect.
    • Low-manning, i.e. taking on raid bosses (encounters designed for large, coordinated groups of players) with an understrengthed raid party. This is sometimes taken to ridiculous extremes, either for profit (less people to share in the loot), or - more often - for bragging rights. Famous examples include a warlock and a paladin killing the dragon Onyxia (a boss originally designed for 40 players), a four-man group besting Gruul the Dragonkiller (made possible by cleverly manipulating the combat stats on a rogue so that the boss had literally no chance of landing a hit) and a very determined warlock solo-killing Hydross the Unstable (a 25-man boss).
    • The paladin and the rogue. It's an old game though, so virtually every class at one point had a stupid gimmick power that was normally useless but occasionally overpowered. There have also been some items in this category. Some of the most famous in no particular order (not counting beta bugs either):
      • Reckoning-paladin. This ability allowed the paladin to do extra damage after getting critical hit. The gimmick was that it stacked infinitely. Inevitably, there was a paladin crazy enough to get critical hit repeatedly (backstabs were automatic critical hits at the time), and then go solo-kill a world boss.
      • Windfury-shaman. Shamans have the unique ability to put enchantments on their weapons, and Windfury was one of them. Each weapon strike had a chance to knock an opponent back. The thing was, the Windfury effect itself had a chance to cause Windfury. So shamans could put you in an infinite chain of knockbacks.
      • Cyclone-druid. It's a standard crowd control ability, except it can be used as transportation by the caster. At one point druids could use it to get into battlegrounds before they started. Since they also have stealth, this was a pain in the butt. Nowadays more esoteric methods are required to break into places players aren't allowed.
      • Lockpicking-rogue. Not a combat ability, but it's a kind of Cherry Tap because of how it allows this class to exploit the game's economy. There are random loot boxes in the game. Most of the time they have useless stuff in them. Occasionally they have extremely good raiding gear, otherwise unobtainable items, or even legendary items in them. Only rogues, and characters with the jewelcrafting profession, can open them. Everyone else can auction the boxes, but their prices are modest.
    • Spellsteal-mage:
      • It's exactly what it sounds like: you can steal a spell that the enemy has cast on themselves. Some raid bosses have extremely powerful magical defenses. Occasionally Blizzard forgets to make them immune to spell-stealing. This is a chronically recurring problem. Most recently it is famous for causing an exploit in the Black Rook Hold dungeon (in combination with the ability listed below), used by serious Mythic+ dungeon running groups.
      • Enslave Undead-Death Knight. Again, exactly what it sounds like: you can mind-control an undead creature. While this doesn't apply to bosses, it can be used on elites and other mobs found it dungeons. Some of which are ridiculously strong, or automatically cast useful spells on their allies. Or can be exploited by another party member as in the Black Rook Hold dungeon where an undead mage can be enslaved by the party's tank and then have their buff taken off them by the party's mage.
      • Last Stand-paladin. Told you they were going to come up a lot. A talent that allows the paladin to absorb incoming damage, based on the number of enemies they are fighting. Only kind of a Cherry Tap because you can't kill anyone with it, and a protection spec paladin is not likely to kill anyone anyway, but in competitive pve it could be considered a Cherry Tap. The paladin essentially becomes invincible because the effect stacks infinitely: thus allowing them to stand for hours whittling down enemies.
      • using wands is now considered Cherry Tapping, as they are generally useless in comparison to other weapons. However, with the right gear they can be very deadly. WoW's age also means that there's a lot of weirdly itemized gear, some of which can make certain underpowered weapons or abilities very good.
      • Let's not forget the hunter soloing Azuregos!
      • With the onset of lvl 80 characters and items, this was no longer a big deal. 1-manning Onyxia was fairly commonplace, at least by certain hybrid classes - shaman, druid, warlock and paladin - who are capable of both melee power and self-healing (warlocks doing so using their pets).
      • Hogger is a level 11 "Elite" (a creature who has more health, attack power and defense than a normal creature of the same level) very near the human starting area. A "Hogger Raid" is the lvl 1 equivalent of an end-boss raid by max-level characters. Hogger Raids tactics are generally limited to Zerg Rush until he is dead. (And incidentally are stupidly fun/funny to participate in...) YouTube video here (but some profanity over voice-chat). "I've got aggr—oh, never mind."
    • A PvP version is using a priest to Mind Control an enemy player in a duel. They can't hurt themselves and you likely can't access and waste their cooldown abilities. But if you're in the right position, you can make them jump off a very high cliff.
    • This video shows a Warlock (a casting class with virtually no melee power) using a Firestone-enhanced weapon to melee players to death in PvP. The Firestone was a Warlock-specific weapon enhancement that, aside from adding spell power, caused the Warlock's weapon to occasionally (frequently, in practice) hit the target for a burst of fire damage. A large burst of damage. Especially compared to the kind of melee damage a Warlock normally does. Unfortunately Firestones no longer exist.
    • One of the most well-known PvP video series of pre-Burning Crusade WoW was World of Roguecraft, in which someone displayed how overpowered rogues were by defeating well-geared players while completely naked aside from the weakest weapon in the game by "stun-locking" them for the entire fight, thus preventing them from hitting him more than once or twice, and utilizing an attack that did the same damage regardless of what stat bonuses the rogue had from gear.
    • WoW also has a number of items that technically count as one-handed melee weapons such as large fish or mugs full of beer. They are not particularly useful as weapons, but imagine being defeated in PvP by someone wielding catfish...
    • RP walking (toggling off your character's default run mode so they walk slowly like an NPC) while in a PvP situation is a traditional way to imply a cherry tap, since speed and mobility are crucial in combat.
    • It's possible to humiliate allies similarly. With dual talent specialization, raiding healers can have a separate spec for questing and 5-man dungeons. A geared priest can create either a Holy or Discipline secondary spec which takes talents and glyphs for Smite and Holy Nova, queue as healer for random Heroic dungeons, and pull respectable damage for a DPSer while keeping the group healed with ease. You're almost guaranteed to have at least one DPS who can't keep up. If the DPS is not freshly level-capped, humiliation ensues — often in the form of someone asking "Uh, why is the healer outdamaging you guys?" You can pull off the inverse as a Retribution Paladin, a class who's main utility lies in it's ability to heal allies, if you outgear the healer enough, you can quite literally take over his role.
    • Naked fist-fights consist of well, two people dueling eachother with no gear whatsoever and just auto-attacking eachother to death.
  • On zOMG!, it was at one point possible, and a huge source of bragging rights, to have no attacking rings, but just layer on buffs and heal until major bosses KO'd themselves with reflected damage.

    Real-time Strategy 
  • In the Sangokushi Taisen series of arcade games, where the objective is to be the first to completely deplete the Hit Points of the opponent's city wall, one usable tactic (which one of Da Hu's cards has, and in the older versions (prior to 4), one of Da Qiao's cards also has) inflicts damage to the wall equivalent to its max HP minus 1, so if you can successfully pull this off (it has a very long charge up time in exchange, so decks with such a tactic focus on protecting the user in the meantime) before damaging the wall in any other way, any subsequent damage it takes from any source gives you the win. In fact, due to how often such decks were struggling to deal that one extra attack, V introduced a new card (Sun Jun's first card) with a new tactic specifically for this: it has a charge up time (which prevents it from being nullified by counter tactics) of less than one second… and does 1% of damage to the wall.note  You can also invert this trope by reversing the order of the two attacks.
  • In Starcraft: Brood War, the Protoss Scout is generally regarded as being the one unit in the game whose use is never worthwhile. Aside from rare instances where it can be used to combat Carriers and Battlecruisers, Scouts are considered too cost-ineffective for much of anything. As a result, some players will build Scouts and throw them at their opponent simply for the humiliation factor.
  • The Metagame of Starcraft II is constantly evolving, with individual units falling in and out of favor as the builds change. However, the usage of "builds" and metagaming only truly applies to players that understand the basic game mechanics well enough to begin with. One pro player, Destiny, compiled a series of videos where he utilize Zerg Queens (normally only used spawn extra larvae and creep and not an effective combat unit) as his main army unit of choice.
  • In StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm's first campaign mission, the game calls you out if attack the labs without using zerglings.
    Valerian Mengsk: Kerrigan, call off your... drones. You're attacking with drones?

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Cherry tapping powerful enemy units with weak units is a valid technique in the Advance Wars series. Aside from the obvious that it is possible to finish off a sufficiently weakened powerful unit with infantry, sending weakened or cheap units to their deaths fighting units they can't hope to beat can deplete ammunition, particularly to exploit the low ammunition stocks of medium and mega tanks, and also fill up your CO Power meter to nail your opponent and then strike with your powerful units. It also comes with the bonus of being completely satisfying to watch your infantry take down the most powerful tanks, even if it takes more than a handful of them.
  • In chess, this may be the effect of leading with an... unorthodox opening like the Barnes or the Bongcloud.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem Gaiden and Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, attacks will always deal 1 damage regardless if the enemy's defense is higher than the unit's attack. This means that for the latter, it is possible for your dancers (Silvia, Lene, and Laylea) to take out even the likes of Barons and their ilk. And it's possible for them to win the round of the Arena through the Miracle skill or the Miracle Sword. It's funny watching Silvia beating an opponent that previously trashed Sigurd... even if it takes an hour (real-time)for her to do so. In fact, one of the ways to kill the Final Boss in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War without the weapon you're supposed to use to bypass his ludricous amount of skills and ability to halve your attack power is to berserk a nearby Elite Mook carrying a HP to 1 spell and reduce the Final Boss to 1 HP this way, then tap him with literally anything else.
    • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn observant players will notice an in-universe example: Zelgius The Black Knight's real identity fights Skrimir with an iron sword, the series's standard run-of-the-mill sword (only the infrequently appearing slim and bronze swords are weaker). Fitting, as Skrimir getting pwned in this fight completely breaks the Laguz morale.
    • in the game itself, units with staves can counterattack with pathetic damage since they have terrible strength to begin with and the heron can only attack with cards. Hilarity Ensues if you somehow dealt damage with them.
    • In some games, the AI even uses this as a tactic! They intentionally come at you with the weakest weapon they got (occasionally using a stronger one) specifically to chip your unit's health away just so that one of them will eventually finish them off.
    • In Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, it's not unheard of for players to defeat Emperor Hardin... using Phina, a dancer, who is capable of fighting but generally isn't at all good at it. Even more hilarious in the remake is defeating him with a frying pan, a laundry pole, a bamboo sword or a toy bow, which are pretty much the worst of the worst when it comes to weaponry... except when they are forged to the point of awesomeness, which is incredibly cheap considering their default stats.
    • In general, this is all that Est-type characters can do at base level; the easiest way to level them up is to have other units reduce the enemies' HP to about 1 and then let the Est character finish them off.
  • Super Robot Wars has a few units that execute these as a Dynamic Kill. While enemies can be defeated by the unit's weakest weapons, the examples listed below are the ones that have the unit execute one of its strongest attack that ends with them using one of the weakest attacks in the game.
    • Super Robot Wars Z Saisei-hen: One of the attacks of Amuro and his Nu-Gundam deals a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown towards the enemy and ends it with a dynamic kill using its vulcans. Its sequel Jigoku-hen has Chirico and his Burglary Dog's last attack which ends with him shooting a mech with his pistol.
    • Super Robot Wars V: Ange has one of her weaker attacks having a dynamic kill that makes her open the Vilkiss' cockpit and having her shoot the enemy by aiming a machine gun at the enemy. Unlike Chirico who has a mask on, she can execute this attack even in space without any sort of oxygen mask or space clothing. And she's already wearing a Stripperific outfit on top of that. This attack was unfortunately removed in Super Robot Wars X.
    • Super Robot Wars T has Captain Harlock personally steps in the tube the Arcadia fires at the enemynote  and he use his sword-gun to shoot at his enemy in the Arcadia's final attack. Bizarrely enough, this isn't considered as a dynamic kill.
  • In Tactics Ogre, throwing rocks does very pitiful damage but it is possible to kill an enemy with them. Hilariously demonstrated in this video.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Because of Scratch Damage, you can take out a Cyberdisc (mini UFO of death) or a Sectopod (Mini-Mecha of cannon fire death, with 50% Damage Reduction in Enemy Within) with an unupgraded ballistic pistol, if you've whittled them down to a single hit point. Plink plink plink plink, KABOOM. Hey, it's viable if your Alloy Cannon is empty.
    • It carries over to XCOM 2 against Sectopods, Gatekeepers, Alien Rulers, and The Chosen. Bonus points if it's done by a lowly resistance soldier.
    • XCOM: Chimera Squad: You can Subdue (knock out) powerful enemies such as the enemy faction's elite soldiers and leaders.

    Other Video Games 
  • You know the ADFX-02 Morgan, the Game-Breaker Final Boss superfighter from Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War? Defeat it with the A-10 Thunderbolt/Warthog (close air support ground attack), F-117A Nighthawk (stealth ground attack) or EA-6B Prowler (electronic warfare), none of which is meant to be an air superiority fighter. Or try a gunkill. On Ace. Then go smack the Gauntlet, ending with Mobius One and his Raptor using an Ace Nighthawk Gunkill. Or take a ride in a J35J Draken and Hoist That One badass Alberto "Espada One" Lopez By His Own Starting Plane.
  • Getting a Wing Commander's killmark with a clean Level 1 standard weapon in Ace Online (clean weapons have no enhancing pre- or suf- fix, and no enchantments to boost performance - Wing Commanders are extremely high-level players). Those things do single-digit damage per hit.
  • In Arc Style: Baseball!! 3D, you can strike out batters by pitching slow balls. And we do mean slow. The better the batter is, the more satisfying it feels. Though it can backfire horribly if they get a home run with it.
  • Dwarf Fortress allows to throw anything at all, even things like earrings, and with skill cause some little damage. With luck, even megabeasts infamous for (in some versions) being literally impossible to kill can be decapitated by a thrown live fluffy wambler. Also, this counts.
  • Fate/Grand Order has the potential of defeating Beast-class Kiara, with 0 Kiara Punishers... as a Medea Lily solo. It may take two hours, but it's possible, dammit!
  • In Forza Motorsport 4's multiplayer, nothing is more annoying than getting beaten on Fujimi Kaido in a Ford F150, or worse yet, a Hummer H1. Mind you, Fujimi Kaido is a very twisty mountain pass course thats over 10 miles long and takes upwards of 8 minutes to do a single lap due to the length and massive amount of turns.
  • Made impossible in FreeSpace 2. Capital ships can have all their subsystems disabled, their engines stopped, all their turrets stripped away and their hull strength reduced to 1% by weak lasers fired by a single fighter also armed with patience. However, only a powerful hit will finish them off.
  • Gran Turismo. While the most used technique is "put the fastest possible car in the race to win easily", there's a lot of room for Cherry Tapping. Beating a Minolta Toyota 88C-V (800+hp Le Mans prototype) with a 500hp Alfa Romeo 155 racecar on a wet track? Check. Humiliating Volkswagen Golf R32 and BMW M Coupè with a tuned '90 Fiat Panda? Check. A properly tuned and driven car can do an awful lot. Actually, Cherry Tapping is the best way to get a lot of A-Spec points... but A-Spec points do nothing.
  • In the solution of Grow Cannon where you need to wake up a sleeping guy with 1000 "hit point". After getting a basin of water (and the basin itself) dropped on him, stomped on, zapped, run over by a train, and NUKED, the sleeping guy is still at 1 "hit point" left. Then a bear taps him for 1 point of "damage", causing him to wake up.
  • In Gruntz, some of the fights amount to this if everyone has no tools or crap ones. This can also happen in a fight against a Tool Thief, who steals your gruntz' tools and uses them against them.
  • Hydro Thunder Hurricane has a boat exclusively for online matches: a giant rubber duck. It's supposed to be used for the team-based Rubber Ducky mode, but you can use it in vanilla races, too. It has the weakest stats of all the boats, but it is possible to beat seven players using the rubber duck. Special bonus points if the other guys are all using Rad Hazard.
  • Kirby's Dream Land 3 outright encourages this in the boss battle with Ado: her animated paintings have to be fought with as much effort as any other boss, but once Ado herself jumps into the fray, she goes down in a single attack— even a Slide kick or Air Bullet, which are usually ineffective against bosses and mid-bosses. In Boss Butch mode, copy abilities cannot be obtained in any capacity, making this the only way to defeat her.
  • The End actually does this to you in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. He only uses tranquilizer rounds, but since he's so good at sniping, it actually makes for a fairly effective weapon. Plus, losing to him is actually even more inconvenient than just dying, since he knocks you out and carries you back to the basement of a lab you went through earlier. You can do it to him as well, though, as the only way to get his rifle is to defeat him with the tranquilizer pistol you've been carrying since the beginning of the game.
  • In Minecraft, it's entirely possible to defeat the Enderdragon (200 damage points) with a whole load of snowballs (1 damage per ball), as the time that an enemy is stunned after it's damaged is slightly more than the time it takes to throw a snowball. Not only that but a (now deleted) video shows one guy taking this to its logical extreme: Egg + Creative mode + Enderdragon + 17 minutes = 1 Dead Enderdragon.
  • Need for Speed:
    • Carbon:
      • Combining Crossover fun with this trope in the Collectors Edition is using the Toyota AE86 to defeat the game's bosses (which drive everything from Evos to Lamborghinis).
      • The game includes a drivable police interceptor sedan and a dump truck. One of the challenges requires you to outrun the cops in said dump truck.
    • Need For Speed II includes the ability to drive traffic cars with a code.
    • Hot Pursuit II has a "Be The Cop" mode. Included cop cars include the Lamborghini Diablo, BMW M5... and the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The Crown Vic returns in the new Hot Pursuit game, as well. Have fun catching the Bugatti drivers in the Crown Vic!
  • Portal: it's possible to short-circuit the final fight with GLaDOS by causing a turret to shoot out its cores and then just dumping them all at once into the incinerator.
  • In the Rune Factory games, your farming tools all count as weapons and deal damage to enemies, if they hit. Defeating Terrable with a light sprinkle from a watering can? Hell yes.
  • In Sins of a Solar Empire, you get acheivements for winning with no capital ships, no Space Fighters, and no Military research.
  • Splatoon:
    • Splatting enemies with a Sprinkler, which is designed to spread ink and does very little damage. Discussed in a stage rotation announcement in Splatoon 2, where the hosts describe "Splatted by Sprinkler" as "the three most embarrassing words in the Inkling language."
    • In the sequel, you can add splatting someone with an Ink Storm, which exists mainly to hamper enemy movement and will only splat someone who's about to die anyway or somehow fails to realize what direction they should go to avoid the cloud.
    • Both games have the Ancho-V Games stage, which feature propeller-powered platforms. Shooting at the propellers causes the platforms to move, and the ink will rebound off the propellers... and potentially splat an enemy if they have the unfortunate combination of being next to it and low on health. The game even acknowledges this as a possible splatting cause:
      "Splatted by ink from a propeller!"note 
  • Star Control has several ships that work as Cherry Tappers, but probably the strongest examples are both the Shofixti Scout's and the Pkunk Fury's main weapons. The Scout's attacks only deal 1 damage and it has an absolutely abysmal fuel amount (only having 4 units, compared to the 50 the player starts with) and the Pkunk Fury only deals 1/3 of a health point. The Suppox literally Cherry Tap since they fire seeds as their main weapon (with each doing 1 damage]])
  • Terraria introduced Snowballs as a 'throwing weapon' in the game, though they generally do piddly damage and even the Snowball Cannon is hardly any danger. The thing is, given the way the game calculates damage, any hit still does at least one point of damage to a target, and the most important hit point is the last. It's possible to pelt a target with 'harmless' 1-damage snowballs until they explode in a gory spray.
  • Transcendence:
    • The game offers up much potential for Cherry Tapping - as much as it does for overkill. Due to the ability to enhance even low level weapons to rather ridiculous levels, one of the most over-looked weapons in the game, the dark acid cannon, can be used to kill the final boss.
    • It was once also possible to kill the Commonwealth's most powerful class of ships in this manner. The EMP cannon's effect stacked, so one could blast away on autopilot, leaving the Star Carrier spinning helplessly for hours while the player could blast away with a relatively low level weapon. The Actinide Waste cannon was also usable here, and could only be considered cherry tapping in that it was regarded as as useful as the dark acid cannon, since it's ability to one-shot the shieldless carriers due to its radiation effect (which only works if the target has no active shield) was more of a case of revive killing zombies.
  • The Uncharted games reward the player for doing this: It's called "iron fist." Weaken an enemy with gunfire, then finish them off with one punch. Your reward is more points to buy bonus materials with. Later on, you can add insult to injury as you can pick up somethings during certain brawls - allowing you to KO someone with say... a fish.
  • Vega Strike occasionally ecourages this with its Defeat Equals Explosion mechanics. E.g. a ship you would kill with stronger Painfully Slow Projectile and short-range weapons may explode so hard it will destroy yours. So you fire, e.g. Grav Thumper point blank at a capship to shred its shields and armor, then move a few kilometers away and finish it off with more conventional weapons. Also, once you break armor in a sector, all shield-piercing damage, no matter how small, will have a chance of causing Subsystem Damage, so after opening with a few missiles or other strong hits, Death of a Thousand Cuts by something otherwise weak like massdrivers is a viable tactics.
  • Way of the Passive Fist is a Beat 'em Up with a pacifist player character who refuses to resort to violence even when bandits gang up on them; normal stage enemies are defeated by parrying and dodging their attacks until they're exhausted and knocking them over with a dismissive flick of the wrist. This doesn't work against bosses, who have to be damaged by charging your super meter with combos and throwing (gasp) a few actual punches.
  • World of Tanks has a tiered system sorting the various vehicles in the game into their respective power levels. Why is this relevant? Killing a tank two tiers higher than your own tank is a hard enough thing to do, what with increased damage dealing, greater health pools and more impressive armour values allowing higher survivability the higher you go. However, killing a tank FIVE tiers (or more) higher than yours is a special something (which requires certain circumstance, in a random match). They'll be humiliated by the cherry tap KO while you bask in (brief) glory.
  • In World of Warships, some players choose a low-tier ship and division with another ship with much higher tiering for this reason (such divisions are often called "fail divisions" due to the great tier discrepancy). The Umikaze has gotten a reputation for being one such cherry tapper; nothing is more humiliating than seeing your Tier X battleship get torpedoed by a Tier II destroyer.
  • The Worms games, especially Worms Armageddon with its large arsenals, have weapons primarily designed for this purpose. The Pistol is woefully underpowered, and "Prod" does no damage whatsoever, other than poking your opponent a bit, nudging them into water, or off high cliffs; though a player can manipulate that to position an opponent above explosives. Even the manual describes "Prod" as being the ultimate humiliation.
    • Cherry Tapping kills are standard fare in Worms, either due to a limited arsenal where you wouldn't want to waste your strong weapons or simply because it's fun.
    • Worms 2: Armageddon for Xbox Live Arcade, and Worms Reloaded on Steam, have winning a match using Prod as an achievement.
  • Non playable example: in the X-Universe games one of the backstory news articles discusses a UFC-style tournament in which a pacifist monk won a match by dodging all his opponent's blows until the guy finally collapsed from exhaustion.
    • Also, pounding another ship that can't turn enough to face you while armed with a weak weapon. The bailing-out mechanic actually encourages it: each hit on a ship with shields down has a chance of causing the pilot to abandon the ship, leaving it for you to claim it for use or sale. The Pulsed Beam Emitter, which does tremendous shield damage but almost no hull damage, is very popular because of its ability to force rival pilots out while leaving their ship relatively undamaged.
  • In X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter the flare countermeasure did a small amount of damage, which could be used to finish off opponents. The really tricky bit was that the opponent had to be behind you and quite close for the flare to hit.
  • Since it's played on the PSP and Nintendo DS, some incarnation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game that allows it (most notably the World Championship and Tag Force lines) will list achievements that can be unlocked of you win a Duel a certain way (like achieving damage/monster/spell/summon/trap quotas, deck outs, etc.). One of them in one game was if you won the game with an attack from a Skull Servant.

    Collectible Card Games 
  • In the Aliens vs. Predator card game, it was entirely possible to weaken the fearsome Predator with a barrage from your heavily armed Colonial Marines, such that the final killing blow could come from a rescued pet cat.
  • In Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, killing someone with something that deals one damage. Whether it's the Mage's Hero Power, a weak minion like Wisp or Murloc Tinyfin, or a 1 damage spell like Razorpetal or Frost Shock, it's pretty humiliating.
    • There's also a common practice of self-cherrytapping. When a player knows he's going to lose, he can get style points by using his cards to set up an elaborate suicide (perhaps by ridiculously overbuffing one of the enemy's minions, then attacking it).
    • It's also possible to grind an opponent down to 1 health and then keep them alive while maintaining board control and making sure they can't wear down your health. Depending on how late you are in the game, you can keep this up until they run out of cards and lose.
  • Many of the more out-there combo decks in Magic: The Gathering can be used to savage an opponent in the most humiliating ways imaginable. This was particularly prevalent during initial playtesting, before all the rules were finalized. One story goes that, before the "only four of any card except basic lands" rule was instituted, one player loaded his deck with bunches of Swords to Plowshares and Llanowar Elves. Eventually, his opponent would be out of creatures and at a ridiculous life total. So in went the elves... 60... 59... 58... 57... Another story involves a character playing Lord of the Pit against a Clone deck. The cloning player could die from it or Clone it... but had no way to pay for it...
    • The designers even slip in the occasional obviously terrible card specifically to please the cherry-tappers (scroll to "Issue # 2").
    • Creatures that are unblockable could count as well, since the fact that they can't be blocked is usually balanced by giving the creature a low Power (rarely going higher than 2 without other effects to increase it). Creatures like Invisible Stalker especially, since they're difficult to remove on top of dealing almost-guaranteed damage.
  • There's a Pokémon TCG deck called the "No Energy Stall." It contains a bunch of high-HP Pokémon, healing Trainers, and no energy whatsoever - which means you can't use any attacks. The point is to hold out as long as you can until the other player runs out of cards.
    • A similar deck is the Mulligan Mewtwo deck. 56 Psychic Energy, 4 Base Set Mewtwo, which have Barrier and Psychic. Odds are you won't get any starting Pokemon for your first few starting hands (you MUST draw a Basic Pokemon, or you reshuffle and draw a new hand), so your opponent might lay on the extra cards (they can draw 0, 1, or 2 each time you reshuffle) until s/he catches on. Once you get one, attach a Psychic energy each turn until you can use Barrier, then just keep using it until your opponent decks out, building up the other Mewtwo as a precaution for things like the old Gust of Wind.
  • Yata-Garasu lockdown did this for Yu-Gi-Oh!. Basically the combo wipes the field and both players hands, except for the lone Yata Garasu left in the controlling player's hand. He can then play this and Yata forbid his opponent from drawing if the card causes any lifepoint damage. Yata only has 200 attack points (as opposed to the 8000 players start with), meaning the opponent will get cherry tapped to death as he does not have any cards in his hand, nor the ability to draw any more cards. Since Yata returns to the hand after the turn ends, this also means that cherry tapping will likely be the only viable way to finish the game (as you can only make one summon per turn, unless another card is used to bypass this).
    • What's even more of a Cherry Tapping is countering a Yata Garasu lockdown: play a deck focused on building life points and use as many of your cards' effects as possible before your enemy summons YG. If done properly, you can put your life points in the five-digit range before your opponent locks down, and then just sit back and watch your opponent run out of cards before you run out of life points. However, it will only work if the opponent has a completely clear field otherwise and no remaining means of Special Summoning, which is very unlikely unless you're playing against an utterly incompetent opponent.
    • Sparks, a spell card that does a measly 200 points of damage to the opponent, has basically no use other than this. Some video game versions of Yu-Gi-Oh! give you a bonus if you can ever manage to successfully finish off the opponent with a Sparks card. Particularly nasty players have been known to take it further, using loops (for instance, Primal Seed/Banisher of the Radiance) to kill an opponent using just Sparks, played forty times in a row.
    • Video games that provide a Sparks bonus also often give one for winning with Skull Servant, a Normal Monster infamous for having only 300 ATK - slightly more damage than Sparks, but only slightly. As Skull Servant is something of a Lethal Joke Character, along with being possible to power up with things like equips, this is a fair bit more feasible.
    • For a good while, there was "Cowboy For Game" - a term for summoning the easily-made Xyz Monster Gagaga Cowboy whenever the opponent was on low LP, and then using its effect to deal 800 damage and end the game. Even after it stopped being as feasible, packing a monster with some kind of burn or direct-attack effect in the Extra Deck to finish off a limping opponent has become pretty popular.
    • The Gravity Bind trap prevents all monsters level 4 and higher from attacking. For a time, a very efficient deck could be build around this trap and direct attack monsters, which are generally weak and low level.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Often a very valid tactic in BattleTech, especially if you're using a fast mech armed with a long range energy weapon (energy weapons in BattleTech don't require ammo) while your opponent is a mech that's slow enough that it can't catch you and doesn't have any weapons with enough range to hit you. Provided there's enough room to maneuver without getting pinned against an obstacle or the edge of the map and nothing to obstruct your line of sight, you can keep running away and firing- eventually you're going to take him down. Some light mechs are even built with this exact tactic in mind, such as the OTT-11J Ostscout, which is blindingly fast and maneuverable but mounts only a pair of Light PPCs as weapons. There are other mechs built with such tactics in mind, but they tend to have weapons that are more powerful and thus don't fall as readily into this trope.
    • Autocannon/2s are extreme-range tank guns that do as much damage as machine guns against the usual heavy-armored giant robots and combat vehicles in the setting. Discounting artillery and some later high-tech gizmos, they're the longest-ranged weapon in the game so their purpose is to annoy people at range... though some players swear by them en masse as a way to seek out through-armor criticals.
    • Autocannon/5 as well, since they mass eight times as much as a Medium Laser and do just as much damage for a third of a heat and twice the range. Usually Large Lasers or PPCs are better choices, but a curiosity of the 3025 era is that the AC/5 is considered in-universe a viable main gun for medium 'Mechs.
    • Likewise, anything relying on the smaller autocannon, like the JagerMech—a heavy 'Mech easily bested by mediums due to its combination of slow speed, paper-thin armor, and anemic arsenal. The Rifleman also, since it has these problems and is easy to overheat.
    • Infantry. In a game of giant robots, having two dozen dudes with rifles take one down can be most embarrassing. This said, infantry are dangerous in cities and forests exactly because two dozen dudes with rifles can use cover and easily run through ground clutter while giant vehicles... well... can't.
  • In Blood Bowl, this is the main appeal of playing Halfling or Goblin teams. Nothing says 'humiliating' quite like being trounced by a team of midgets.
  • Chaotic: Decrescendo deals a piddling 5 damage for a whole Mugic counter, which is the lowest non-zero amount of damage a card can possibly deal and only makes a real difference against Creatures that are almost fatally wounded in the first place (compare Casters' Warsong, the same thing but with a potential 10 additional damage and thereby a credible threat, and Canon of Casualty, which is the same cost for 20 damage even if it is UnderWorld-exclusive). Needless to say, losing a Creature to Decrescendo is very embarrassing even at the time it was printed (the very first set in the game).
  • High-level Chess is usually played with a restricted number of viable openings. An opening that is not viable and is usually not found in manuals, opening databases and theory books is the Bongcloud (also known as Ke2) and its many variations (like the much more seriously-named King David's Opening). Against a player with any semblance of skill, the only thing this family of openings does is waste time and bring your king ahead into danger and unable to castle. Born as a joke and eventually becoming a meme in the Chess community, the opening has restricted uses: as a handicap for the stronger player (in a didactic setting or otherwise), for confusing your opponent (especially at an amateur level), as a viable strategy in variants such as King of the Hill, or this trope. Here is GM Hikaru Nakamura demonstrating its potential for humilitation.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3.5
    • Fell Animate Acid Splash coup-de-grace. Killing a helpless enemy with a tiny spray of acid that deals only 1d3 damage... but causes anyone killed by it to rise as a skeleton under the caster's control.
    • Playing as an NPC or otherwise low-tier class is either this or somebody being very insistent on not powergaming. Some, like the Adept, can actually hold their own pretty well in a low-power group, as a balanced alternative to the stronger casters. In other cases, though, it's clearly someone with something to prove - for instance, a player who entered an "arena battles" challenge using a commoner and relying solely on buyable magic items.
  • Exalted
    • The main structure of ping-spam attacks. Especially nasty when your opponent doesn't have a flurrybreaker.
    • There's also a charm for Abyssals which allows the character to use any object (playing cards are used as one example) as an effective weapon. It seems to be designed mostly for Jackie Chan style improvisation, but allows for very humiliating cherry tapping as well with the right specs.
  • Tucker's Kobolds. Most Game Masters use Kobolds as Mooks and Cannon Fodder for low-level PCs, but Tucker provided a perfect example of how to use low level monsters to scare the shit out of PCs.
    • This method of handling them was made canonical in 3e/3.5e... but ignored by many GMs and most Dungeons & Dragons video games because it's easier to use them as cannon fodder than to play them as devious users of traps and ambushes that are a serious danger to even fairly powerful Player Characters if fought on their home turf.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The C'tan are really, really hard to take down. We're talking a maximum 25% chance for a direct hit from an anti-tank missile to hurt them. Slightly. So how can you take them down? Sniper rifles, which are usually only used to force enemies to take Pinning tests. Using a psychological weapon to punch out Cthulhu.
    • The lasgun is considered to be universally the worst weapon in the game, with less than 16% chance to even cause a wound (and that's before armor saves are involved) per shot. So how do you kill anything with it? Just shoot a bunch of them at the enemy. A guard player using the First Rank Fire Second Rank Fire on a combined platoon of Guardsmen can feasibly roll 150 dice, Cherry Tapping anything and everything to hell in but a handful of turns.
    One lasgun does diddly. Fifty lasguns do a whole shitload of diddly.
    • The Baneblade superheavy tank is known for its heavy weapon loadout (and those are the lighter weapons on that tank). In Codex: Astra Militarum, the Hellhammer is a variant of the Baneblade, that's designed to kill enemies in hiding. Of all the weapons in the 40k universe, guess what's one of the unique built-in weapons for the Hellhammer is..., yup the humble lasgun - a weapon so puny that the optional storm bolter or heavy stubber that gets bolted on the turret hatch is far deadlier than it. They couldn't even get a hot-shot lasgun. That lasgun is only there to try and pick off a straggler that somehow survives everything else the Hellhammer throws at an enemy.
    • Tyranid Hormagaunts operate on the same principle, namely in that with the Toxin Sacs upgrade they can harm every non-vehicle model in the game, but at a very low chance. Good thing they cost a pittance to field, so expect anyone who uses them to field waves of them.
    • In 6th edition, due to the vehicle damage table revamp and the introduction of the Hull Point system, the easiest way to kill anything short of a Land Raider or Monolith (which have the highest armor values possible) is to spam a lot of medium strength, high volume shots at it. The new Vehicle Damage Table doesn't contain any method for a Penetrating hit to kill a vehicle unless it had special modifiers (usually by AP or some other rule) but both Penetrating Hits and Glancing Hits will shave off a Hull Point, which will destroy the vehicle when they run out. Cue entire mechanized armies being cherry tapped to death by what is essentially a disco-light show (Multi-Lasers and Scatter Lasers)
    • Anything with a 2+ armor save or an Invulerable save better equal to or better than 3+ will result in the opponent resorting to this; anti-tank weapons, the intended counter, don't fire enough shots to reliably kill anything with those saves (they either come in units or have ridiculous amount of wounds) so most people resort to the above disco light show to deal damage. After all, if you're already going to have a pisspoor chance at killing it with one shot, why not go with a few hundred slightly more pisspoor chances that also have a chance at wiping them out in one go?

  • The "walk-off" is basically this: In multiplayer for pinball, players take turns, and the player with the highest score wins. If you are the last player to go, it's your last ball, and you are already ahead of the other players, you can just plunge the ball to start it and walk off to win, hence the name. Whereas in most other cases, such a display is an insult, it's actually the other way around in pinball competitions: When you do a walk-off, you are keeping it simple and to the point (and thus a show of humility), whereas playing the last ball is to rub it in to the other players that they've already lost as the gap in score gets wider and wider (and thus a show of bragging), with a few exceptions.note 

Non-game Examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Aldnoah.Zero, Inaho faces off against opponents who have superior Martian Kataphrakts piloted by elite knights compared to the basic trainer one he uses that's supposed to just get trainees used to piloting a mecha. Nevertheless, given enough time to analyze his opponents attacks and discover their weaknesses, he still manages to defeat them with his much weaker unit.
  • In Dragon Ball, Tao Pai Pai kills General Blue in battle using only his tongue as a weapon.
  • In Gundam Build Fighters, Reiji defeats a whole group of experienced Gunpla fighters with a Ball, which is one of, if not the, weakest Gundam vehicles in existence. Later, Aila effortlessly takes down the Devil Gundam, the terrifying Eldritch Abomination that served as the Big Bad of its series, with a Jegan, a moderately effective Red Shirt suit. It's repeatedly stressed in the show that build quality is more important than the canonical power of a suit in the story it came from, but Raiji and Aila didn't even have that advantage.
    • Ah, but the Ball pulling off stunts like this has precedent — in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Shiro Amada takes up a K-Type Ball and battles a test type Zaku to a standstill, one that had already wiped out a set of prototype GMs.
  • Hajime no Ippo:
    • Whenever Takemura defeats an opponent with just his left hand. His right is his dominant punching hand and thus his strongest. The one time he did this, the spectators and his opponent though he was just screwing around, until he knocked the poor guy out.
    • Mashiba relies on his left to win most of his matched with his lightning fast Flicker Jab. You know he is either in trouble or finally taking the fight seriously when he busts out his right.
  • Early in Hunter × Hunter, the chairman of the Hunter Association, Isaac Netero, provides a challenge to Gon and Killua, the main characters: He picks up a basketball, and if Gon and Killua working together can get him to drop the basketball, they'll pass the Hunter Exam immediately. (Ordinarily, it's four to six rounds of pain and death.) Killua soon realizes Netero has handicapped himself in that he defends himself and counters only with his right arm and left leg—he's always standing up on one foot and he doesn't use his other arm at all. Gon and Killua lose the challenge, but Gon considers it a personal victory that he tricked Netero to force him to stand on both legs.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable: Red Hot Chili Pepper, after gaining access to the powerline and using it to restore his strength, cut off Okuyasu's arm with his pinkie finger. Later he treatened to do the same to Josuke, but he immediately broke his pinkie in response.
  • In Naruto:
    • Tsunade defeats Naruto with a self-imposed restriction of using only one finger.
    • In the first bell test, Kakashi is able to avoid Naruto's attempts to seize his bells while continuing to read Make-Out Paradise, and only retaliates with 1000 Years of Death and the basic Substitution Jutsu.
    • Tobi's Whack-A-Mole jutsu is him combining his Teleport Spam with lightly smacking his opponents with a twig.
  • In One Piece, when Zoro meets "Hawkeye" Dracule Mihawk for the first time, they have a duel, which Mihawk wins effortlessly. The world's strongest swordsman decides to add to the humiliation by completely mopping the floor with the triple-wielding Zoro using a tiny dagger, lamenting that it's the smallest blade he owns. This was actually an attempt to go easy on Zoro, which becomes more apparent when he finally does unsheath his full-sized sword.
    • After soundly beating Law to a bloody pulp with his Devil Fruit powers, Doflamingo puts salt into the wound by whipping out a flintlock and shooting Law three times. To make things even worse, the bullets were lead bullets, and lead is a touchy subject for Law.
  • In Tenjho Tenge, during the bowling alley attack on the Juken Club by the enforcers, Mitsuomi Takayanagi uses the forged needle attack on Souichiro Nagi; when Aya Natsume attacks him in retribution... well, just see.
  • In Toriko, during the Cooking Festival arc, Knocking Master Jiro blew off the head of one of the Red Nitros with just a flick of his fingers. To put things in perspective, when Livebearer attempted to kill that Nitro, he broke his knife against the Nitro's skull without dealing any visible damage. Joie mentioned that, even after losing a head, Red Nitros are usually able to keep fighting for a month, and Jiro must have hit one of the pressure points in order to paralyze his body.
  • One episode of You're Under Arrest! has Shouji Toukairin fight and defeat three kendo practitioners with a banana.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • Pre-Duel Monsters, Dark Yugi has a tendency to do this. When he challenges someone to a game or vice-versa, his opponents will end up at a receiving of a particularily embarassing loss (for example, Mokuba's Capsule Monsters). Mind Rape (or painful death) ensue if his opponents are angry at their loss.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Manjoume/Chazz was at one point forced to duel one of his brothers, with the fate of Duel Academy riding on the outcome of the duel, and to make it extremely unfair, his brothers said he could only use monsters that had 500 ATK or less, while his brother would be using a deck that was full of rare cards. In the end, he won with superior tactics, leading to the Aesop that monsters that had weak attacks could still defeat more powerful monsters by using the right tactics. And he took it even further than he had to by using a deck where every monster had 0 ATK.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Big Bad Rex Goodwin's Earthbound Immortal, Wiraqocha Rasca, has an attack rating of 1. One of its special abilities: HP to 1 on the opponent. Its real life counterpart loses the Cherry Tapping factor though. (Its equivalent in the Real Life card game has an ATK that can be as high as 3100, depending on how you summon it, and it does not have the effect that reduces your opponent LP to 1.)
    • Yuya of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V at one point faced Duelist Shingo Sawatari, who stole two of his best cards and then mockingly handed him a pile of Com Mons so he would still have a full Deck. Yuya takes the 0 ATK Block Spider, and when he manages to clear Sawatari's field, he then proceeds to power Block Spider up and attack directly.

    Comic Books 
  • In Issue #23 of Batgirl, the eponymous heroine has called in support from the Teen Titans during her battle with the Reapers, a group of college students with advanced combat armor that have been running around Gotham for a few weeks. The fight is a Curb-Stomp Battle as a whole, and it seems that some of the Titans are only there to pass the time. When Supergirl is fighting Slipstream he remarks that this is something of a fantasy for him, only for Supergirl to defeat him with an Offhand Backhand while checking her nails.
  • At one point during Dark Reign, the Sentry knocks out the captive Hawkeye as gently as possible — the sound effect is actually "TAP".
  • In Immortal Iron Fist, Dog Brother #1 once killed a man with a mere "Standard Issue Punch" after slicing his head into three perfect segments but leaving him momentarily barely alive.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man once knocked out the Walrus with simply a flick of his finger. (Note that the Walrus could likely be at least a moderately competent villain if he tried... he just doesn't.)
    • Spidey actually does this quite a bit. He often takes down foes who are a lot stronger and tougher than he is by bouncing around them, avoiding their attacks, while getting in hits whenever he can, until his opponent just plain wears down. Given how much Spider-Man is exerting himself by jumping around as much as he is, it also ventures into Victory by Endurance.

  • In Boys und Sensha-do!, during a practice match, the Porsche Tiger defeats the Type 89, Oarai's worst tank, by shooting it with the machine gun. Since the Type 89 has only 10mm of armor, the machine gun is enough to take Duck Team out of the game.
  • If a Pokémon Trainer sufficiently offends Ash in The Greatest There Was or Ever Will Be, he will often teach them a lesson in humility by battling them with his weakest Pokémon, often one which has a type disadvantage against the opponent's Pokémon, and even a Magikarp at one point... and still win without any effort.
  • Hermione Granger and the Swiss Tournament is full of characters who are decidedly lethal with whatever Improvised Weapon is at hand.
    O'Neill: Let's go see what's the what, as my much better half says. And sit where you can do something about it if she decides to kill me with a toothpick or my shoelaces or something.
  • In Less Than Beast, More Than Man, Beast Boy fights a guy who learned how to transform into his Beast Form. He proceeds to kick his ass. Without shapeshifting.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Shamshel -a giant Eldritch Abomination Robeast with an impact-proof shield- is killed by two soldiers with a TOW missile.
  • With This Ring: When rookie Lantern Ragnar challenges Paul to a duel, to prove his worthiness as an instructor and commander, Paul is confident of winning. But when Ragnar then proceeds to simply charge at him with a sword, Paul resorts to special measures in the interests of teaching Ragnar a lesson about what it means to be a Lantern. He takes off his armour, discards both his power rings, and announces that he's going to take Ragnar's ring and beat him with that. And then does so, calling the ring right off Ragnar's finger and using it to send him sprawling in the dirt.
    Paul: You're a warrior. I'm a philosopher. You know your desires. I know desire. There's a great deal more to the orange light than screaming and leaping.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Ratatouille, one of the chefs, Horst, is said to have done time, but he changes the story every time he's asked. One story is that he robbed a bank using only a ballpoint pen, another is that he killed a man with his right thumb.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: In a duel, Buster Scruggs decides to shoot his final bullet behind his back, while aiming with the aid of a hand mirror, just to show off.
  • The page quote comes from The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), in which the eponymous badass further establishes his badass nature by killing a guard with a teacup.note  He makes the rest of the guards run away when he threatens to follow this up by killing them with a can key.
  • Li Mubai makes a point to Jen in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by holding off her strikes with the Green Destiny using only a random stick he picked up off the ground.
  • In Death Becomes Her, Maddy is already teetering precariously at the top of a long flight of marble steps, requiring only the barest poke by her husband to send her tumbling. ...She got better.
  • In Game of Death, Bruce Lee defeats an arrogant foe with a slim bamboo switch.
  • Ip Man faces down the sword-wielding Jin using a feather duster.
  • In Iron Man, Tony Stark baits Obadiah Stane into flying high up into the atmosphere, invoking a High-Up Ice-Up that only Tony's suit is resistant to. When Stane gets a hold on Tony, the ice shuts his suit down and Tony taps him on the forehead to send him hurtling down to the ground.
  • In Iron Man 2 Black Widow pepper sprays the last guard after a rather awesome fight sequence.
  • In Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Hatchet Harry is said to have apparently bludgeoned one of his employees to death with a large black dildo.
  • In The Magnificent Seven (2016), Billy Rocks dispatches a racist duel opponent by throwing a hairpin, as opposed to the guns or knives he's shown using during the rest of the movie. The humiliation is complete when Billy's partner Robicheaux derisively flicks a cigarette at the fallen man afterwards.
  • In Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, the absurdly obese Fat Bastard Mr. Creosote comes to a fancy French restaurant and disgusts patrons and staff alike with his Jabba Table Manners and projectile vomiting. After having gorged himself upon two of everything on the menu, to the point where he protests that he can't eat any more, the waiter gets back at him by offering him a "wafer-thin" mint, and then running away as if he's just lit the fuse on a bomb. From eating just this one little thing too many, Mr. Creosote inflates like a giant balloon and his stomach explodes!
  • In the kung-fu comedy-parody film, My Rebellious Son, the diminutive hero (played by the 23-year-old Fu Sheng) has to fight a muscular Giant Mook, roughly six times larger than him. He managed to subdue the brute, and defeats his opponent by tapping the brute's testicles a dozen times in the nuts. It somehow works.
  • In The Presidio, Lt. Col. Caldwell beats a large thug senseless with his thumb... his right thumb, for the left would have been far too powerful.
  • In Streets of Fire, after beating each other up with sledgehammers and fists, Tom Cody finishes the exhausted Raven by pushing him over.
  • In Tombstone Johnny Ringo tries to intimidate Doc Holliday through a set of threatening pistol-twirling; Holliday responds by being even faster and fancier- with a cup.
  • In The Twilight Samurai, main character Iguchi Seibei defeats Koba, a boorish, abusive samurai captain, in a duel using only a wooden stick, thus dishonoring and humiliating him. The other purpose of this was that dueling between clan members was strictly forbidden, so Seibei used a non-lethal weapon. In the climax, a suicidal samurai is just about to agree not to duel Seibei until he learns that Seibei intended to fight him with only a wakizashi. Insulted, the samurai then insists that they duel.
  • In Zombieland, after Columbus gets on Talahasse's nerves one too many times, Talahasse calmly states that Columbus is getting about 40% power, before punching him in the gut once.

  • There's one Animorphs book where Marco gets to spend a week or so harassing one of their enemies in an attempt to make him snap on live TV - while disguised as a toy poodle. No blood, no killing - just ripped pants legs, nips, puddles, and endless, nonstop yapping twenty-four hours a day. The rest of the book is pretty rough on Marco, so he admits that the toy poodle stuff starts giving him way too much pleasure - just making someone absolutely miserable and not even needing to feel guilty about it afterwards.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
    • Not exactly non-lethal, but definitely primitive compared to a wand: in the final phase of the Battle of Hogwarts, Neville fights the entire time using only the Sword of Gryffindor — no magic.
    • In the climax, Voldemort has his Killing Curse deflected back to him by Harry's Expelliarmus. Basically, Voldy is killed by a spell also known as the Disarming Spell, a spell specifically chosen by Harry as his signature attack because of its non-lethality.
  • The Heroes of Olympus: Bacchus technically pulls one of these on the two giants after spectating Percy and Jason beating them down for him. He simply steps in after they're done and, after a brief appeal to the crowd of ghosts whether he should or shouldn't, he simply bats them on the nose with his pine-cone staff, finishing them.
  • This is how people learned to harvest slimes in How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. As the absolute weakest monster, the bodies of slimes are typically destroyed completely in a single strike. But people discovered that a hard tap with a twig will destroy the slime's core only, leaving the jelly body intact. This jelly can then be dried out and sliced into a noodle-like food.
  • In Log Horizon, in a fantasy world that happens to operate on MMORPG rules, Shiroe and Nyanta humiliate Demikas, the leader of a power-mad guild, by leaving him with a single unit of HP left over, so they can rub his defeat in his face (as a pre-emptive measure to break his spirit and prevent him from repeating his crimes). When Demikas gets angry enough to attack them again regardless, the very low-level Serara reflexively hits him over the head with her staff, upon which he suffers Critical Existence Failure from the loss of that single HP. An even more humiliating end to his conga.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: When Leon is dueling the five princes and Leon asks Luxion to prepare "my finest blade", Luxion equips Leon’s Mini-Mecha with... a shovel. This was Luxion wanting to humiliate Leon’s opponents because they pressed his Berserk Button by mocking the mech he created. Leon proceeds to win.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Discussed by Semirhage in the prologue of Lord of Chaos.
    • In New Spring Moiraine kills Merean with a knife.
    • Mundane weapons in general could be considered Cherry Tapping when they're used to kill a channeler. The fact that they wield such immense magical power leads some non-channelers to forget that even the strongest Aes Sedai or Asha'Man can die just as easily to an injury as a normal person.
  • In the X-Wing Series book Starfighters of Adumar, Wes Janson gets into a duel with a pompous and arrogant native noble using "blastswords," basically blasters on a stick, the prefered weapon for such things. First, he hurls a bunch of insults, prompting a hasty attack from the noble, which ends with the noble disarmed. Then, Wes throws his own blastsword away and proceeds to deliver a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown all the while explaining what it means to be a real warrior. It ends when the guy is so beaten down and disoriented that he doesn't even know where Wes is (standing right in front of him), who then knocks him out with a slap to the face, specifically for this purpose.
    Wes: At least you could say you were struck down with a good blow of the fist. If I were going to be nice to you, that is. [raises up open hand, waits for his opponent to focus on it, then... SLAP!]

    Live-Action TV 
  • In BattleBots, Jabberwock defeated Mauler 5150 by lightly nudging it. Because Mauler fights by rapidly spinning its entire chassis, this nudge sent Mauler off-balance and ultimately flipped it over with no way to right itself. Here is the match.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor has brought down entire empires using (among other things) a satsuma, a recorder, and the master tapes of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
    • He took down a major political figure with 6 words.
    • When the Doctor has defeated the garrison of Demons Run, he tells Colonel Manton to order his troops to run away. Not surrender, not stand down, not even retreat, but "run away". Those exact words. Why?
      The Doctor: I want you to be famous for those exact words. I want people to call you Colonel Run-Away. I want children laughing outside your door, 'cos they've found the house of Colonel Run-Away. And when people come to you and ask you if trying to get to me through THE PEOPLE I LOVE is in any way a good idea... I want you to tell them your name.
    • Then there's the time he faces a digital villain who travels through television waves... and winds up imprisoned in a Betamax tape.
      The Doctor: I'll use my unrivaled knowledge of trans-temporal extirpation methods to neutralize the residual electronic pattern.
      Rose: You what?
      The Doctor: I'm gonna tape over it.
    • Perhaps the ultimate version of The Doctor using this trope came from the Series 9 episode "Heaven Sent", where the 12th Doctor is trapped in his own private hell, and the only ways out are for him to either reveal a dangerous secret that he simply refuses to give up, or to go through a twenty-foot thick wall made of a substance harder than diamond. The Doctor takes 4.5 BILLION years to punch his way through. With his bare hands.
    • Earlier in the series, the 12th Doctor beat Robin Hood in a swordfighting duel, while using a spoon instead of a sword. He also, according to an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, won a broadsword duel with a daffodil.
  • Game of Thrones has a few examples:
    • Khal Drogo kills a challenger after deliberately dropping his own weapons, by dodging all of the challenger's attacks, then stealing his weapon and using it to kill him.
    • Syrio Forel knocks out several heavily armed and armoured Lannister soldiers with a wooden training sword.
    • Later Arya avenges his death by killing Meryn Trant with a very small dagger. One that's easy to conceal and also won't kill him until she wants him to.
    • Ramsay deliberately misses Rickon several times while shooting arrows at him in "Battle of the Bastards."
  • JAG: In "Boot", Meg and Johnson are selected to fight each other with pugil sticks, with any blow to the head (and only a blow to the head) being counted as a kill. Johnson manages to disarm Meg and proceeds to repeatedly beat her without going for the headshot. Meg in turn manages to trip Johnson, get her pugil stick, and gently tap her in the faceplate.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid episode 44, Last Smile- the heroes defeat the One-Winged Angel Final Boss using their LEVEL 1 forms. Note that these are chibi, oversized, completely but adorably uncoordinated game-sprite Rider forms, so why do they use them? It's a callback to the very first episodes, in which level 1 was the only level capable of separating the virus from its host, which is basically what the one winged angel form is.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow "Doomworld", Sara ends an already laughably one-sided fight with Felicity by simply pushing her down a flight of stairs.
    Sara: Oops.
  • In Leverage, Eliot specializes in this, having defeated opponents with everything ranging from plastic bats to an appetizer. However his best example comes from this:
    Hardison: Look, nobody's asking Eliot to kill someone with a Nerf sword...
    Eliot: Damascus. 1992.
  • On later seasons of Wipeout, the thing that is causing more and more players to consistently get knocked around the most are the smaller bits of an obstacle that fire off out of nowhere. For instance; crossing a thin platform against a wall with moving steering wheels and gas pedals. No one told you about the air bag that just randomly goes off on one of them.

  • Destroy the Godmodder: This is the only way to kill the Godmodder, because his insanely high defense means that successful attacks will only deal 2 damage at most, and simply making a successful attack is hard enough.
    • At one point in the first game, At one point, a trio of entities were summoned who, instead of having commas in their health bars, had decimals note . This lead to the Godmodder poking them all and having them promptly die due to their obscenely low HP. This may have been a misunderstanding on the GM's part, because in Europe decimals are used instead of commas to denote powers of 1000.

  • In El Goonish Shive, during a trading card game tournament, Luke plans to lose his match quickly and get on with his real objective so he starts by playing a weak card but after his opponent insults him for it he decides to win with the deck he presumably created to be easy to defeat.
  • In Homestuck, the long-awaited Strife between Dave Strider and his Bro quickly turns into a humiliating Curb-Stomp Battle when Bro doesn't even bother fighting Dave directly, instead using his ventriloquist dummy Lil' Cal and some ninja-Flash Stepping to swat him around.
    • When Bro starts to fight using his sword, he only parries with it and uses his arms and legs to land blows. Until his last move: kick Dave down the stairs using Lil' Cal.
    • Then Dave himself considers powering through the entire game with SORD....
    • Later, Jade uses a rolled-up newspaper to calm and subdue Jack Noir. This is shortly after Jade witnessed Jack kill Dave. And Jack just stands there and takes it like a dog would.
    • Non-comical example as Gamzee seems prepared for a Coup de Grâce against defeated Nepeta. A glimpse of his sylladex reveals that he has (somehow) got his hands on the legendary Warhammer of Zillyhoo. Rather than using this super-powerful weapon, he picks the Deuce Clubs, "the worst weapons in the game." It's not shown, but implied that he beats her to death slowly.
  • The Last Days of Foxhound mentions the example with The End in this strip.
    Liquid: Weird... hey, tranq rounds?
    Big Boss: Yeah, he only ever used nonlethal ammo.
    Liquid: That is both a really bad idea and totally awesome.
  • MegaTokyo not only invokes this trope, but explains it in leetspeak, which, alas, is too full of special characters to transcribe here without giving the poor page fits. (I tried.)
    • The cherry-tapper eventually one-ups herself by finishing her foe with a kitty poke.
  • In Misfile, rookie racer Emily manages to take the lead from a trash-talking opponent, whereupon she takes up the whole road and wins the race travelling at 25 miles per hour. This was not well-received by said opponent.
  • This is the basis of Kat's fighting style in Not a Villain. She uses unconventional "Special" attacks that manifest as hideously-drawn smiley faces, and attack in "nice" ways such as making you overwhelmingly happy, or attacking you only if you attack someone else.
  • In The Order of the Stick
    • Xykon amuses himself by taking down O-Chul (who has just escaped from a grueling Death Trap to charge him) with Ray of Frost (a puny attack that does 1d3 damage).
    • Vaarsuvius defeats Laurin, a powerful Psion in a Wizard Duel by spamming non-damaging but irritating spells that incite her to deplete her Mana to counter them. When Vaarsuvius points out how many spells they have yet to cast, she compares the figure against her own remaining power and promptly teleports away. Justified in that Vaarsuvius is a Vancian Mage who selected their spells for the day in advance and misjudged the specific challenges they'd face, so they had to make do with the spells they had.
    • Tarquin kills Nale, his own son, with a dagger to the chest, which in Dungeons & Dragons usually deals just 1d4 points of damage, as Nale had been subjected to an HP to 1 effect beforehand and hadn't had a chance to recover any Hitpoints.
  • When Torg from Sluggy Freelance does some Deep-Immersion Gaming, he runs into a PlayerKiller who kills Torg's character and the Boss he had been about to beat using a "poke" attack.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • From South Park:
    Kyle: Cartman, what are you doing?
    Cartman: I'm killing you. Unfortunately I could only afford a wiffle bat, so it's gonna take a while.
  • The Steven Universe episode, "That Will be All," has the Crystal Gems tying up Holly Blue Agate with her own whip. Garnet then walks up to her, pulls out her gauntlet, and goes "I've been waiting to do this all day!" She then lightly taps Holly in the stomach with her free hand and knocks her over.
  • The pilot of Superman: The Animated Series has Superman pulling this: after a rather tough scrap with a giant military robot, he's torn off its arms and one of its legs, and the robot is teetering and unstable on the edge of a roof. Rather than deliver a mighty finishing move, he simply blows in its face, and it topples over. (He does have Super Breath in most continuities, but he was pretty clearly going for this.)
  • In the first season finale of X-Men: Evolution, Storm ends up fighting Mystique. At the end of a very one-sided battle, after zapping Mystique with lightning, blowing her away with strong winds, and blinding her with swirling clouds of fog, the attack that Storm finishes her enemy with is a simple punch to the face.

    Real Life 
  • Miyamoto Musashi won several duels with wooden swords, one of which was said to be carved from an oar.
  • Uesugi Kenshin once charged into the camp of Takeda Shingen and attacked him with a katana. Shingen blocked every attack with a war fan until Kenshin got fed up and left.
  • In some cases, this is known as counting coup - it was a favored practice of the Plains Indians to touch an armed, hostile enemy with one's bare hand, or a short stick, then evading any wound at all. The goal, of course, was half humiliation, half 'good stories to tell'.
  • Occasionally Mixed Martial Arts fights will be finished with a single jab.
    • Anderson Silva's fight with Forrest Griffin. Silva pummeled Griffin for several minutes, landing power punches and knocking Griffin all around the arena. The blow that finished it, however, was a short jab with his weak hand while backing away.
    • Street fighter Kimbo Slice lost all of his reputation as a heavyweight MMA fighter when he faced Seth Petruzelli, a light heavyweight who took the fight on short notice. Within half a minute, Petruzelli landed a single jab that staggered Slice and ended the fight.
  • Many supremely talented boxers do this at various times during their careers:
    • Featherweight great Willie Pep once won a round without throwing a single punch, his defensive prowess was so great.
    • Roy Jones Jr. used to actively clown around in the ring and rarely ever showed his full skillset in a fight because he was so much better than everyone else.
    • Muhammad Ali made it famous with his 'rope-a-dope' technique, in which he absorbed blow after blow from an opponent in order to 1) lure his opponent into a false sense of confidence and 2) tire his opponent out, thus allowing him to finish the fight fairly quickly from that point.
  • The first "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match, which pitted 55-year-old ex-champ Bobby Riggs and then-current female champion Margaret Court. One might expect that Riggs would try to use his male muscle to overwhelm Court with powerful shots. Instead, he played "soft" and hit mostly lobs and drop shots to keep her off balance en route to a crushing 6-1, 6-2 victory.
  • Every baseball player dreams of hitting a walk-off (game-winning) home run, but there are many way to cherry tap to victory with the bases loaded and the winning run on third. Examples include a walk, a hit batsman, a fielding error, a wild pitch or passed ball; for a hitter, they can enact this themselves with a game-winning bunt.


Video Example(s):


Finish it with the gun!

Despite Bloodborne's guns not really being meant for straight offense, slowbeef manages to finish Amygdala with bullets at the urging of a very excited Diabetus.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / CherryTapping

Media sources: