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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 his or her head. This could be very humiliating to him or her, especially if he or she were to die. Even if he or she 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. 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 one dishing it out doesn't necessarily win in the end. In fact, foes that manage to withstand such a beatdown often get a chance to return the favor. That said, many curb-stomp battles happen to be no-holds-barred beatdowns (but it's just as possible for a curb-stomp battle to be over in just a few blows, if not just one, whereas a no-holds-barred beatdown is always a prolonged smorgasbord of violence).


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 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: 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 the Curtis strip 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 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 
  • 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.
  • In Dies Irae, pretty much 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.

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


MissingNo vs HOBaRT

MissingNo destroys HOBaRT on the King For Another Day Tournament.

How well does it match the trope?

3.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / CurbStompBattle

Media sources:

Main / CurbStompBattle