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Curb-Stomp Battle

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Good luck going through that enemy 17 more times.
"One blow...that was all it took. One blow delivered by some of the mightiest sinews in existence, fueled by anger and guilt and need, laid low all twelve of the heroic attackers. It happened so fast that Thok was not even sure Brutaka had moved. But the proof was strewn on the chamber floor before him in the forms of six half-dead Toa Nuva and six possibly very dead Matoran."
BIONICLE, "Dark Destiny"

A fight that's extremely one-sided, where one side just absolutely trashes the other with little-to-no effort. Commonly used as a way of establishing a character as being very strong, especially if the person on the receiving end of the beating is known for being very rough and tough.

The name comes from the act of forcing someone to lie down in the street and bite the curb, then stomping on the back of their head. This could be very humiliating, especially if they were to die. Even if the victim were to survive, they may be missing some teeth and have a severely broken jaw.

Sometimes, this is played for humor; other times, it tends to be a Moment of Awesome.

Sometimes, it actually makes sense by the logic of the story, but writers use Third Act Stupidity to avert it.

Compare Pendulum War, which is where sides take turns to perform this trope upon each other. In Professional Wrestling, this frequently overlaps with Squash Match. In video games, see Flawless Victory. Breather Bosses, Zero-Effort Bosses, and Anticlimax Bosses are the types most likely to be on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle. If this is done to the heroes, on the other hand, it becomes a Hopeless Boss Fight, often from a Hero Killer (or is at least a sign that you're going to have to do a lot more Level Grinding to get past that Beef Gate). Compare No-Sell, where one side thoroughly wins because they can shrug off whatever the other can do. Contrast Story-Breaker Team-Up. If the curbstompee manages to get a few good hits in to show that he or she is not totally helpless, it's a Curb-Stomp Cushion. A No-Holds-Barred Beatdown is similar, but much more realistic, brutal, and violent. And more importantly, the ignominy of such a beatdown will often fall on the aggressor in the end. Foes that manage to withstand such a beatdown, even one in private (though for realism's sake, this is usually averted) often get double the incentive if it's a matter of forcing their opponent to say "uncle", especially in a fight that's inevitably going on someone's permanent record. A curb-stomp battle that's heavy on Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs may actually turn into a no-holds-barred beatdown (but it's just as possible for a curb-stomp battle to be over in a few separate blows, if not just one, whereas a no-holds-barred beatdown is always a prolonged smorgasbord of violence). Also compare Single-Stroke Battle, which are also one-sided, but are decided by the attacker using a single move to win rather than drawing it out. See also One-Man Army.

One-Hit Kill is a subtrope that's Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A subtrope for elections is Landslide Election. There Is No Kill like Overkill is often the result of a Curb-Stomp Battle. Often paired with The Worf Effect, which it amplifies.


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    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 21 of Pleasant Goat Fun Class: Sports are Fun, Wolffy easily beats Weslie and Tibbie in a badminton game with almost no effort at all. He gets tons of points before Weslie and Tibbie get a single point. Weslie and Tibbie proceed to do the same to him and get even.
  • The Simple Samosa episode "Sumo Momo" is about Samosa being challenged to fight a wrestler named Sumo Momo. Unfortunately for him, Sumo Momo is way stronger than he is, and as a result Samosa is defeated easily... 93 times in a row. Subverted when Sumo Momo cracks the tip on the top of Samosa's head, which ticks him off so much that he attacks Sumo Momo like a madman over it and ends up winning the fight.

    Comic Strips 
  • A Running Gag in Curtis in regards to the title character's favorite boxer, Percy Percy Coleman — an obvious Expy of former world champion James "Buster" Douglas. Every time Coleman attempts a comeback fight, the match always takes place with these exact words:
    Announcer: (DING!) And there's the bell for Round One! (POW!) And the challenger is OUT!
  • The Far Side: A chicken and a Wild West gunfighter go at it, except the chicken is throwing eggs instead of bullets.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In the Russian folktale The Death of Koschei the Deathless, Prince Ivan first hears of warrior queen Marya Morevna when he comes upon an army completely wiped out by her forces.
    After travelling some distance he came to a field where a host of soldiers were lying dead. And he called: If there is any man left alive here, speak up and tell me: who killed all this mighty force? Just one man was left alive, and he answered. All this mighty force was killed by Maria Morevna, the beautiful queen.

  • Smooth McGroove's Pokémon theme parody is sung from the perspective of in-game Pokémon trainers who try to fight the Player Character using their crappy teams, only to be beaten badly. The music videos shows a poor lv. 13 Pidgey falling to a Hyper Beam from the player's lv. 70 Mewtwo.

  • The initial battle against Scorpius in Sequinox sees the team barely scratch her because of her armour. By the time Autumn lands a decent hit, she's already killed Winter and Spring and quickly proceeds to kill the other two girls. Fortunately, they come back and put up a better fight while powered up.

    Theme Parks 

  • As noted in the page quote, Brutaka, one of the most powerful BIONICLE characters ever, actually did this during his time as the co-Big Bad of the 2006 story. As an example of his immense strength and power, he instantly defeated and nearly killed both the Toa Nuva, who are already powerful enough, and the Voya Nui Resistance Team with just one swing of his Rotating Blades. Fortunately, before he could continue, Axonn and the Toa Inika came, and Brutaka was also betrayed by the Piraka who temporarily stole his powers.

    Visual Novels 
  • Dies Irae:
    • Any battle Reinhard partakes in becomes one of these horrifically one-sided affairs. Special mention has to go to the battle against Methuselah in that for most of the battle, Methuselah didn't even realize he was facing down one of these and believed that he himself was delivering one upon Reinhard and that his legions stood no chance, only for Reinhard to finally start trying a little after Wilhelm manged to get Claudia back from Methuselah and promptly ending the battle in a single strike, much to Methuselah's disbelief.
    • Reinhard is not the only one capable of dishing these out, either. The Schreiber vs Wilhelm battle is perhaps one the most brutal, with Wilhelm trying futilely to hit Schreiber, only to get thoroughly trashed and eventually killed in return.
  • The protagonist of Double Homework has a “fight” with Dennis in the final chapter. The protagonist starts by throwing Dennis out of a second-floor window. Then, after Dennis miraculously lands softly and starts running away, the protagonist chases him down and beats him up. All the while, Dennis is out in the snow in his underwear.
  • Fate/stay night had its own share of Curbstomps as well. Archer vs Berserker stands out for being a curbstomp on both sides. Archer gave 5 curbstomps in a row, but sustained sufficient injuries doing so that when Berserker went in for round 6 it was really a lost cause, with the final victor being Berserker.
  • At the climax of Heart of the Woods, the true Fairy Queen faces off against the Big Bad, and destroys the latter with a single spell. This even happens in one of the bad endings, in which the Fairy Queen is fatally wounded at the time but still manages to kill the Big Bad with the last of her strength, showing just how great the difference between them is.
  • In Silver Crisis, the main protagonist, Lucas, constantly has him on the receiving end of this due to his status as the load, with one of the most notable instances being his fight against Bowser, which ends with him begging him to live.
    • This is also a recurring trope for the story as the heroes on the whole are usually on the receiving end of this for any battle against Silver or Ganondorf, assuming Captain Falcon or Claus aren’t around. But even then, those exceptions are subverted towards the end of the story.

Alternative Title(s): One Sided Battle, Curb Stomp, Kerb Stomp Battle


Megumi Dominates Huang

Huang Zuiwang talks about how he's going to make Megumi grovel during their show-off, only to be effortlessly defeated by her, illustrated by her beating him up with a whip.

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