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Double Knockout

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Two characters are so evenly matched that the fight doesn't end until they both land the knockout blow simultaneously.

Mutual Kill is the lethal version of this trope, and the blow does not have to come simultaneously either.

Sometimes the result of Fearful Symmetry. See also the Cross Counter. Compare Taking You with Me.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Downplayed in Black Lagoon, at the end of Revy and Roberta's night-long fistfight. While they do knock each other out at the same time, Roberta regains consciousness within moments, whereas the episode ends with Revy still out cold.
  • Bleach: The conclusion of Ichigo's fight with Kenpachi results in them both collapsing unconscious from their final strikes to each other. Ichigo wins the battle because their fight put their beliefs on the role of a Zanpakutou on the line: the fight vindicates Ichigo's belief forcing Kenpachi to admit that he wants to get to know his sword in order to get stronger than he is.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! (both in the real card game and the anime), when monsters of equal ATK battle, they both will be destroyed.
    • The card game takes it a step further with a monster called Exploder Dragon, the whole point of which is to kill whatever kills it. If the player controlling it attacks, neither player is hurt.
    • This happens in the anime quite a lot.
    • Sometimes, when both players' Life Points are reduced to 0 at the same time, the duel ends in a DRAW.
      • Yu-Gi-Oh!: During Kaiba's first duel with Amelda, Amelda activates a Quick-Play Spell Card that inflicts half of the Battle Damage he is about to take to the opponent, causing the life points of both players to hit zero at the same time. Since it's a DRAW, the Seal of Orichalcos does not take anyone's soul.
      • Happens twice Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: During the graduation duel, Judai activates a Trap Card that inflicts damage equal to the combined power of the ace cards of both him and Kaiser, which were both in the quintuple digits, causing both to hit zero. Later, O'Brien activates the effect of his Volcanic Counter to inflict the same of damage he is about to take, forcing a DRAW between himself and the Supreme King. In an ironic twist, O'Brien "dies" after his final act of undoing the Supreme King's control over Judai.
      • Averted example in the following season in a match between Sho and Kenzan. After the former turns the tables with a damage loop that drags the latter's LP below his, Kenzan prepares to trigger Jurassic Impact, a Trap Card that requires said LP disadvantage as a triggering condition, in order to cause 1000 LP damage to both players, enough to force a draw. Seeing how exhausted Sho was over his search for Judai, which was who they were dueling over, Kenzan decides not to trigger the Trap and let Sho win.
      • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: During her duel with Professor Frank, Luca uses a combo that seemingly would increase the Life Points of her opponent first, but she then activates her Trap Card that negates the effect of her Kuribon and it inflicts damage to both players by the amount of Life Points Professor Frank would have gained through Kuribon's effect. The duel ends in a draw and and both of them are eliminated during the Revival Match of the Fortune Cup.
      • Happens twice in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: The first time Yuma and Astral overlay together and become ZEXAL, Kaito activates a card that causes him and ZEXAL to lose the duel. When Astral duels No.96, No.96 avoids a loss by summoning Number C96: Dark Storm, which gets destroyed by Number C39: Utopia Ray, and due to Dark Storm's effect, both players take the Battle Damage and end the duel in a DRAW.
      • Happens twice in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Gongenzaka activates the effect of Superheavy Samurai Soulbang Cannon from his Graveyard to destroy all monsters on the field and then it inflicts damage to both players, causing him and Yaiba to lose the duel. And during Yuya/Yuto's duel with Edo, Edo sends his Destiny HERO Dynamiteguy to the Graveyard to inflict 1000 damage to both players while Edo himself has less Life Points than the opponent, causing both of them to DRAW.
      • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS does this three times. During Revolver's first and third Duel against Playmaker, he brings out a Topologic Link Monster with 3000 ATK and uses its efect, ultimately resulting with both men being Double KO'ed. And Playmaker's Duel against Bohman ends with the latter using Hydradrive Scabbard's effect in a successful last-ditch attempt to avoid the finishing blow from Cyberse Quantum Dragon, avoiding his loss to Playmaker a third time.
  • In My Hero Academia, Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu and Eijiro Kirishima, who have Quirks so similar they even lampshade it, end up punching each other out in their duel during the Sports Festival. They have to settle it with arm wrestling.
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura and Ino KO each other during the Chunin Exams.
    • Chouji uses his family's Dangerous Forbidden Technique to knock out kill his opponent in the Sasuke Retrieval arc. The transformation accompanying the finishing move is Cast From HP.
    • During the final fight between Naruto and Sasuke they both knock out and injure the other so severely that trying to continue the fight would be fatal.
  • In Outlaw Star, Gene and Shimi fought each other and they both got knocked down in one shot. Gene survived, Shimi pretended to die.
  • Kinnikuman has several instances of this:
    • Terryman vs. Ashuraman: When both fighters are knocked out of the ring, Terryman, realizing he can't beat Ashuraman, holds him to a draw by trapping him in a scissor hold so he can't get back to the ring before being counted out.
    • Terryman vs. 100-Ton King: After Terryman performs a Calf Brander on the 100-Ton King, his metal body shatters into pieces. It looks like Terryman is the winner...until King's fist hits him on the head, knocking him unconscious.
    • Mammothman vs. Cannonballer: They clothesline each other simultaneously. However, this only happened because Mammothman was taking a dive so Super Phoenix could have the pleasure of beating Big Body personally.
    • Ashuraman vs. Satan Cross: Ashuraman knocks Satan Cross into the arena wall with his Ashura Lightning Strike, but Satan Cross counters with a Triangle Dreamer as they fall to the floor, leaving them both KO'd.
    • Brocken Jr. vs. Prisman: Brocken Jr. knocks Prisman out of the floating ring they're fighting in with his Bremen Sunset, shattering his head against a statue. His strength depleted, Brocken falls to his death.
    • Robin Mask vs. Mammothman: Robin actually defeats Mammothman with his Ropework Tower Bridge, but they both die anyway because Super Phoenix burned their prophecy pages.
  • Samurai Champloo: In the Series Finale Mugen and Jin decide to finally settle their differences now that they're done helping Fuu. Their blades clash... and break from the damage in the previous battles:
    Mugen: We really suck.
    Jin: You got that right.
  • Digimon V-Tamer 01 Zeromaru manages to fight Neo Saiba's monsters to a draw during Neo's first two encounters with Taichi Yagami. The first time it was a shocker considered to be impossible beforehand.
  • The first meeting between Masaru and Agumon in in Digimon Data Squad involves a variant of this, in that instead of the two just knocking each other out their fight lasted until both collapsed from exhaustion.
  • Two of Ranma's encounters in Ranma ˝ ended this way:
    • When battling Ryouga and his new ki attack, the Shishi Hokodan, Ranma used the downwards force of the perfected form to punch his rival in the face, just as the latter was made vulnerable to the Shishi Hokodan. Ryouga was KO'd instantly, and Ranma had only a few seconds to deliver a pithy remark before falling over.
    • When Pantyhose Taro's monstrous form gained tentacles, she lured him to the smokestack of a nearby bathhouse so the tentacles would climb into the chimney and get stuck. Unfortunately for her, Pantyhose Taro simply ripped off the smokestack and smashed her in the head with it... and the momentum carried it into his own head. Both of them were knocked out and fell in the bathhouse, regaining consciousness (and their true forms) with the hot water.
  • The first Tournament Arc in Dragon Ball ends this way: Son Goku and opponent Jackie Chun (really Muten Roshi in disguise) are both on their last legs and put their remaining strength into a final kick that knocks them both out. Because both get counted out, the announcer proclaims that the first to stand up and declare himself the winner will be so. Goku almost makes it but loses consciousness again, leaving Jackie the winner because, having longer legs, his kick hit just a bit harder.
  • A major battle in the Magic World arc of Negima! Magister Negi Magi ended in this manner, as Negi's opponent managed to take everything he threw and still managed to stand up for one last round of fisticuffs that ended with both sides unconscious.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, the battle between Nove and Einhard turned out to be like this. After the latter walked away in an apparently easy victory and transformed back to her normal self, the full extent of her injuries came crashing down on her, causing her to black out instantly. Nove had the last laugh too. She was able to plant a Tracking Device on Einhard during their duel, and while Nove was too hurt to move much, she was still conscious. One call to Subaru to pick up her now helpless opponent later, and Einhard found herself becoming fastest befriended enemy in the franchise so far.
  • In Xin, the eponymous character and Dom manage to knock each other out, though Xin does his knock out in a far more spectacular way.
    Xin: I admit... that was tough...
  • Fairy Tail:
    • After Gildarts beats Bluenote, he falls to the ground in exhaustion, wondering if he's getting old.
    • In Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, this is the conclusion of the fight between Erza and a brainwashed Laxus, though the former falls first and gives their opponent the credit for the victory.
  • The final battle between Kallen Kozuki's Guren SEITEN and Suzaku Kururugi's Lancelot Albion in Code Geass ends with Kallen ramming the Guren's claw through the Lancelot's chest, just as the Lancelot's Slash Harkens tear off the right arm and shear its neck open. Afterwards, the deactivated Guren falls off the platform they were fighting on into the arms of Gino Weinberg and his Tristan Divider, just before the Lancelot detonates. Both pilots survived, although Suzaku pretended that he didn't, and supplemental materials show the Guren being rebuilt.
  • The fight between Lockon and Ali ends this way in the first season of Gundam 00: when Ali figures out that Lockon doesn't have periphery vision on the right due to an earlier eye injury, he uses that to knock Lockon's Gundam out of the fight with a surprise attack from the blind angle. However, Lockon abandons the Dynames and commandeers the particle cannon of the destroyed-earlier GN Arms which he uses to blow Ali's mobile suit out of the sky but not before Ali's parting shot hits the cannon. Ali survives but Lockon is killed when the cannon detonates practically in his face.
  • In the 31st episode of Shippu! Iron Leaguer the boxing match between Kiai Ryuuken and Dyke Dyson ends with a Double KO via Cross Counter.
  • Almost every tank duel in Girls und Panzer ends with the leaders' tanks blowing each other up, with a split-second white flag deciding the loser. The only battle Oarai Academy wins normally is the one that the show decides to skip.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
  • During the Sun/Moon arc of Let’s Play the Pokemon Card Game, at the beginning of one chapter after Shin and Mokoto gain access to the Prism Star cards of Solgaleo and Lunala respectively, Shin and Mokoto are engaged in battle, pitting their respective Necrozma forms (Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX for Shin and Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX for Mokoto) against each other. Both Necrozma take each other out.
  • Booty Royale: Never Go Down Without a Fight!: In chapter 18, while filming a B-grade action movie, Misora spars with Korean-American tae kwon do star Chae Yun-Hui in an outdoor bath because she's been having trouble figuring out how to handle the other woman's kick-centric fighting style. She ends up taking Yun-Hui's foot to the back of her head at the same time she lands a palm-strike to Yun-Hui's face, knocking the both of them senseless. On the plus side, once they regained consciousness they were able to finish do the fight scene properly. (Also the director secretly filmed them, ostensibly for a DVD extra, and got himself arrested when he rushed in to check if they were all right.)

  • The fight between Cleverdix and Majestix in Asterix and the Great Divide lasts so long that all the spectators leave. The next dawn finds both of them lying on the ground, and the fight is called with no winner and no loser.
  • In a variation, Solomon Grundy and Blockbuster once one had a long, evenly matched, dragged out fight ending in a pair of mutual, each-shattering punches, and basically exhausted each other, to the point where they ended up smiling and came as close to friendship as a couple of ultraviolent dummies like them are probably capable of. One onlooking Justice League member says in amazement, "They knocked the evil out of each other!"

    Fan Works 
  • In a fierce battle in Angel of the Bat, Red Hood slashes Spoiler's ACL in an attempt to cripple her. After a distraction by Nightwing, she manages to return the favor. Neither of them fall unconscious, but neither is able to continue fighting.
  • Dragon Ball Reboot: In the Origins Issue, Gine and Fasha fight each other in a tournament match to determine which of them gets to join Bardock's team. The match ends with both women knocking each other out at the same time with their ki blasts, resulting in a tie.
  • In a prepared boxing match between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Alva Edison in Fragments of Chaldea, both participants rush in with the same punishing jab, neither bothering to dodge or put up any defense, instantly knocking each other. An irritated Helena Blavatsky wakes them up and sets them for another round, tired of their inane bickering, but after a few good rounds they fall to their animosity and wind up in the same exact position to finish the fight.
  • Invoked in I Am NOT Going Through Puberty Again! during the Chunin exam finals. Sakura and Hinata deliberately make it look like they knocked each other out at the same time so that their husbands could face each other at more or less full power.
  • A variation occurs in Lost in Camelot when Arthur is duelling with Dyson to determine Camelot's new champion; while the two don't directly knock each other out, the duel ends with both of them having inflicted a slight wound on each other. As the duel was intended to be until first blood and neither party can be sure who wounded the other first, Uther declares the combat a draw.

  • Just barely averted in Rocky II, when Rocky gets to his feet at 9 and Apollo can't make it. A very rare but occasional Truth in Television for real life boxing and MMA type matches as well.
  • In a similar ending to that of Rocky II forty years later, in comedy The Milky Way both boxers crumple to the canvas, but protagonist Burleigh manages to get up at the count of nine.
  • Sgt Bilko: A recreation of the episode of The Phil Silvers Show shown below occurs in a flashback explaining why Major Thorn wants revenge on Bilko.
  • Kick-Ass and Red Mist in Kick-Ass. However, Kick-Ass manages to get up soon after.

  • Slaves of the Mastery has a ritual fighting form in which one of the most spectacular maneuvers is to not block the opponent's strike (both participants wear cat-claw style weapons), but to anticipate the impaling, charge, and impale the opponent while simultaneously being impaled.
  • Not strictly a knockout, but in the children's book Mr. Biff the Boxer, Mr. Biff and Mr. Bop suddenly "[biff] and [bop] each other out" in the first round for a simultaneous ten-count.
  • Subverted in Matthew Reilly's Scarecrow. Schofield and Wexley hit each other with withering blows almost simultaneously, fall to the floor... and keep fighting!
  • Arthurian Legend
    • Gawain and Ywain do this in one medieval romance; Gawain actually does things like it in lots of places because he was the baseline of awesome, and putting your guy up against Gawain without running into OP syndrome was a generally effective move. (Lancelot wins, by the time he gets his.) In this case, they fight until they fall off their horses, and then fight until their armor and weapons (though not helmets) are wrecked, and then fight until they can't get up anymore. Then one bloody mess asks the other bloody mess his name, and it turns out he's nearly killed his best friend. Crying and kissing ensues.
    • Much later, in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, some while before Gawain and Lancelot have their climactic battle, Gawain and Arthur hear that Lancelot's killed Gawain's younger brothers who were actually on his side without noticing, and do this...synchronized swooning thing. Twice.
  • While not technically a knockout, the epee match between Phule and the Red Eagles commander (whose units were tied 1-1 in this particular competition, and 1-1 in the overall competition, making this duel the absolute tiebreaker) in Phule's Company ended with both opponents striking each other simultaneously on a sudden death point, meaning they have both scored the winning point. Under tournament regulations, this is rules as a double loss, which means that Omega Company and the Red Eagles tied, 1-1-1 each.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: The final round of the third-year combat leagues in volume 9 has a Quadruple Knockout, with all participants wielding swords with dulling spells cast on them so that they hurt but can't kill. Tullio Rossi stabs Yuri Leik in the chest but takes his sword in the leg, immobilizing him for a fireball from Nanao Hibiya, which is her last-ditch effort after she walked into a trap while taking down Joseph Albright. This leaves only team leaders Oliver Horn and Richard Andrews to finish the match in single combat.

    Live Action TV 
  • This occurred in a boxing match on The Phil Silvers Show due to the fact both boxers were under the impression they were supposed to take a dive. Taken to the extreme, since only one of the boxers took a punch "out of boredom". Immediately after it connected, both boxers (the guy who got hit and the guy who did the hitting) took the dive.
  • A similar scenario happened in a prison boxing match in an episode of Porridge. In that instance, they had both been bribed.
  • Happened at the end of the three-way phony brawl between Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, and Jon Stewart back during the writer's strike.
  • Happens to Francis and Lavernia in one episode of Malcolm in the Middle.
  • The big fight in the Babylon 5 Boxing Episode "TKO" ends with the champion and challenger collapsing to the floor simultaneously after a final exchange of blows, no longer able to stand under their own power — a Double TKO, if you will.
  • BattleBots:
    • The first true double knockout occurred in 2018, almost two decades after BattleBots began, with Overhaul vs. Valkyrie. As both bots were declared knocked out at the same time, the match invoked a ruling, never used before, in which a panel of judges would decide who won. The judges declared Valkyrie the winner.
    • A double knockout would occur again with Nelly the Ellybot vs. Deep Six in 2019. Deep Six's design is so focused on its weapon that it's both a Glass Cannon and does damage Cast from Hit Points, landing a knockout blow on Nelly but disabling itself in the process. Because Deep Six was the one attacking, it was the winner.
    • 2021 would create another one, the Round of 16 match of Whiplash vs. Cobalt. An attack from Cobalt caused both robots' front wedges to get stuck in the gap between the floor and the nearby wall at the same time. Just like in the previous example, Cobalt is given the win for being the more aggressive one and dealing the damage that led to this situation.
  • During an episode of Letterkenny, the group have a debate over who would win in various scrapping scenarios. When the hypothetical falls on Joint Boy and Tyson, the two quickly knock each other out with simultaneous headbutts.
  • In season 4 of Cobra Kai, the much awaited rematch between Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso ends on a double KO, with Johnny punching Daniel in the face while Daniel kicks Johnny in the face.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Possible in the card game Magic: The Gathering (among many, many others) — both players can hit zero or less life and it's a draw. Later editions of the game partially avert this (a "loss" counts at the end of an action rather than the end of a phase, making the window for a draw that much narrower).
  • Many scenarios allow it in the Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG, though, and is in fact the purpose of a tournament-specific strategy using Self-Destruct Button (a card that reduces both players life points to 0 if your opponent's life points are a good deal higher than your own); as long as at least one duel in a match is a win, all other duels in that match can result in a draw and still count as winning that match.
  • In the board game Stratego, equal-ranked pieces capture each other in duels.

    Video Games 
  • Double KOs are possible in every Fighting Game, make no mistake, due to how hit detection is calculated (where a square designating an attack overlaps with a square designating a vulnerable area on the opponent; it is feasible for both players to attack at the same time and have all their boxes intersect at the same moment, called a "trade"). The designers have to program a way to deal with it if such a situation occurs when a trade empties both characters' lifebars at the same time. However, some games treat them differently. While the Street Fighter and The King of Fighters (and Samurai Shodown) series would count that as a win for both fighters (and would probably go into sudden death if it happened both times), the World Heroes series doesn't count it at all.
    • In Street Fighter, when there are more than two double KOs in a row and no clear winner by the fourth round, both players lose.
      • Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Double KOs on the final point will demand a resolution, which uses the game's "Judgment" system to decide the victor (wherein the game will award the point via a panel of three judges). Normally Judgment is used in the event of a time limit expiration and both characters having identical vitality at that time.
    • Some lower-quality Fighting Games arbitrarily declare the CPU the winner in a Double KO.
    • This can also happen in games where it is possible to defeat your opponent by knocking them off the platform you are fighting on. In Soul Calibur, a player who falls off in the course of knocking someone else off in the process typically ends in a Draw.
      • However, this only works if both characters fall at the same time. If one person falls off the edge just a few seconds after the first (with rather hilarious animations for the event), then the second person to fall is declared the winner.
      • Speaking of Soul Calibur, Yoshimitsu's seppuku move seems to be tailor-made for these.
      • Soul Calibur IV has an achievement/trophy for getting a Double KO: Two Cannot Exist Together.
    • BlazBlue deals with this by giving each player a match point, unless said match point makes one player win the entire set. In that case, only the player who's behind gets a match point. If both players need one match point to win, the game continues into overtime instead of ending in a draw.
    • Mortal Kombat X awards both players a point for completing a Double KO round. If the Double KO occurs on the final point for both players, they both stand up and regain a small bit of health for a sudden death. Mortal Kombat 9 didn't really have a good way of dealing with this, for some reason, so just awards a point to a random character in the event of a Double KO.
    • Tekken awards wins for both characters in the event of a Double KO. If the final point for both characters is decided by Double KO, it just calls the match a draw.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • It's not uncommon for multiple players to hit each other at the same time, which may potentially result in two or more players KOing each other. Due to the significant variability in launching speeds and blastline positioning however, it is very rare for two players who hit each other at the same time to be actually KO'd at the exact same time. Thus in a situation where both players are on their last stock and deal a KOing blow to each other, one would usually outlive the other by a split second and be declared the winner by the game. If two or more players are actually KO'd at the same time on their last stock, the game will proceed to Sudden Death. And if two or more players are again KO'd at the same exact time in Sudden Death, instead of going to another round of Sudden Death, the game declares the player with the lower port the winner in Melee, while deciding the winner randomly in the other Smash games. In a tournament setting the Sudden Death match is instead ignored and a draw game is decided by who was at the lowest percentage of damage/highest amount of stocks before the match ended. If both fighters were at an even percentage and stock total when the match concluded, then a quick one-stock bout with the same characters and stage is used as a more controlled version of Sudden Death.
    • Some moves can also be used as "Suicide moves" by the player to drag an opponent offstage with them (Kirby and Dedede's Inhale, Bowser's Flying Slam, and Ganondorf's aerial Flame Choke are the most prominent example of such moves). If done, usually the result is both players getting KO'd at the same time as they pass the bottom blast line, though due to some specific oddities with each move, it's possible for one player to live a split second longer in this situation and thus win the match in a last stock situation (such as in Brawl, Bowser can get KO'd second and thus win the match in his Flying Slam suicide, while Ganondorf can get KO'd first and thus lose in his Flame Choke suicide. This was then reversed for both characters in Smash 4, while Kirby and Dedede also now invariably get KO'd first and lose in their Inhale suicides). Due to the game's inconsistent handling of these moves, tournaments frequently run the "suicide rule", where if a match ends by a suicide move with both players on their last stock, the initiator of the suicide move is considered the winner regardless of what the game states. This inconsistency was put to rest in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, in which an update caused the game to always declare a loss for the initiator.
  • One game that didn't have any kind of Double KO handling was WWF Raw for the SNES. Because there were only two ways to win, pinfall and count out, there was no way to have a double KO in a 1v1 match. However, if you were playing a tag match where one teammate got a 3 count pin just as his partner got counted out of the ring (thus disqualifying his team), the game would dim to a dark gray and hard lock until you reset.
  • Can happen in some other games, also—but of course, going down while taking the boss down counts as a loss. One famous example of this is the Egg Viper in Sonic Adventure, which specifically tries to take the player down with it. It's also possible to be KO'ed by the device that shoots the spiked ball falling off of the Zoness boss at the end of the battle in Star Fox 64, forcing a replay of the entire second half of the level.
  • World of Warcraft, due to its asymmetric client-server model, has this sort of thing happen all the time, due to the order of events being processed differently by the server and each respective client. A classic example is two characters stunning each other simultaneously with instant attacks. A simpler case occurs when both opponents are capable of applying damage-over-time effects; this is an iconic feature (to the point of Memetic Mutation) of battles with Warlocks.
    • Fighting a Warlock generally means that you end up killing them, going home, taking a shower, making a sandwich, and dying while eating it.
  • The particularly thorough fan-made Kinnikuman game Muscle Fight has a number of moves that will drain your health, possibly all the way down to nil. However, provided the opponent is beaten with said move, it counts as a win. Thankfully, said moves are treated as last resorts that require *very* little health, sometimes as little as 1/16th, and victory is usually assured if one of these connects.
  • Double (more like Mass-mutual) KOs are all too common in Bomberman multiplayer, due to the hectic pace of battle.
  • Next-to-last boss in Purple literally mirrors your characters movement, except that his frisbee disappears earlier. The strategy for easy defeat is to bring Homer Frisbee to the battle.
  • Due to a change in the combo and hit detection system in Streets of Rage 3, it's possible for you to take out an enemy's remaining life and for the enemy to do the same to you at the same time. This can be quite a funny moment if you end a boss battle this way.
  • Some enemies in RPGs have a Last Ditch Move they will perform upon death. Depending on the move, it is possible for the enemy (or its party) to use a move that will wipe out your party instantly as they die, resulting both sides in being knocked out. However, this counts as a Game Over for you because you didn't survive.
    • Notably, one boss (Magic Master) in Final Fantasy VI would use Ultima just before dying. It was powerful enough to deal damage near the cap, and it hit everyone in your party. The only way to reliably win the fight is to case Reraise (Life3) on at least one of your party members, which revives a character automatically on death. And considering Reraise is only gained from one Esper, it required some grinding to get it.
      • If you don't have Reraise or the Esper that grants it, the only other likely option is to use Rasp/Osmose to drain Magic Master's MP, making him unable to cast Ultima (also, like a few other magic-based enemies, he dies when he hits 0 MP). The fight takes an extremely long time, but seeing "Ultima...Not Enough MP" flash on the screen, followed by the boss's death, is entirely worth it.
      • Having a character use the Jump command also helps since the character jumps off screen and avoids all attacks.
  • Double KOs aren't too uncommon in Pokémon either — it's what attacks like Explosion are made for. In multiplayer matches, if both trainers' last Pokémon faint due to the same action, the winner and loser are decided based on the moves used and the effects triggered to allow it to happen, and it varies depending on the circumstance. If it's done by moves that always knock out the user, like Explosion and Final Gambit, the trainer who used this move loses. If it's done by moves that cause the user to lose partial HP, like Double-Edge or any contact move against a Pokémon holding Rocky Helmet, the trainer who used this move wins. If it happens via passive effect on both sides, such as damage from Sandstorm, a winner is either randomly decided or the match is considered a draw depending on the game. In the single-player game, the player always loses (regardless of who initiated the Desperation Attacknote ) because there would be no more Pokémon to fight with in another battle.
  • In the first Super Robot Wars: Original Generation, this occurs at the end of the exposition fight between Ryusei and Kyosuke, with both pilots unleashing their Mech's strongest attacks simultaneously. In the Updated Re release, the developers went out of their way to devote an entire cut-scene to the moment.
  • Bulletstorm starts out with a spaceship version of this, in a combination of Taking You with Me and Ramming Always Works
  • Some enemies in EarthBound (1994), such as the Territorial Oak and the Smilin' Sphere, will explode on defeat. This almost always does "mortal damage" to the player—but due to the way the game's HP works (it drains out at a steady rate, rather than all at once), the player can usually escape the battle with only an extra chunk of HP lost. However, an ally at low health may very well die to them... and if the entire party is knocked out all at once by one of these attacks, it actually triggers a glitch.
  • This is actually part of the backstory of Xenoblade Chronicles 1. The two titans, Bionis and Mechonis, were evenly matched, and they fought for eons until, finally, they defeated each other simultaneously and both came to a standstill.
  • Shadow Fight 2: Partly due to the fact that the game has no multiplayer mode, double-KOs with the AI are counted as a loss for the human player.
  • Mega Man X5 has the iconic Fighting Your Friend scenario that results in a Double Knockout no matter who you're playing as or, if you're playing as X, whether Zero is a Maverick or not. What keeps this out of Mutual Kill territory is that Zero only dies if he went Maverick, and only after the battle ENDS, due to Sigma turning up to take advantage of the situation to dispose of X, and Zero being too damaged to do anything more than jump into the line of fire to save his best friend, while X doesn't die at all.
  • The Star Control has this if the starships in combat both empty each others' crew levels simultaneously, and if this occurs in the final match-up it just results in a draw. Also, in the first game's Full Game mode, starbases are a One-Hit-Point Wonder which will be destroyed if an opponent's ship flies to its star. If the players have the insane idea to gradually move each other's starbases towards each other, when they eventually meet, they both destroy each other.
  • In ARMS, Double KOs are uncommon to see. In Versus Mode, Grand Prix and Arena matches, the win will not count if a Double KO is initiated and instead counts as an extra round regardless who initiated the attack. In Party matches, if a Double KO is invoked, it will count as a draw, even if the players before the final two are knocked out.


    Web Video 
  • 3DBotMaker had an Epic Fail example of this in the form of a Double DNF (did not finish). The ninth qualifying race for the first tournament of the channel's 2020-21-22 King of the Mountain season was abandoned after the cars couldn't get through the second turn without flipping over.note  This is odd because if a car meets the length and weight requirements, the car then must complete a solo run (held outside of video recording) in order to be able to race; this meant that the two cars completed a solo run to get to this point.
    3D (after the fourth race attempt ends in failure and The Price Is Right's Losing Horns sound effect plays): And that is it. Stick a fork in it, this race is over and done. I guess there's a first time for everything; there's our first double DNF. They say it's "MOPAR or no car"; in this case, it's "no car". This tofu is delicious.

    Western Animation 
  • Leela-1 and Leela-A performing a flying kick at each other in the Futurama episode "The Farnsworth Parabox".
    Professor Farnsworth: Now, now. Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.
  • This is nearly true in the Blur short film A Gentlemen's Duel. A Frenchman and a Brit face off in steam-powered death mechs, and each new feat (grapple, toss into building, fist-on-a-chain, electric fish coil, poodle cannon) is countered by another attack until finally both mechs are pushed to the limits of their overdrive, shred each others' limbs, crash together to knock the other over, and explode. Both gentlemen crawl from the wreckage and inch across the ground until they bump heads and vaguely try to start fighting again.
  • A non-video game example appears as a joke in Phineas and Ferb. Sort of. An episode has the Phineas, while sick in bed, playing a fighting game with his other invalid friends. Since everyone else fought against each other he has to go against himself. The result?
    Announcer: (after a double knockout) Phineas WINS!
    Phineas: I'm kicking my own butt!
  • In the Grand Finale of The Legend of Korra, this occurs during Korra and Kuvira's climatic duel in the control room of Kuvira's Humongous Mecha. The two encounter each other in midair. Korra hits Kuvira with a point-blank airbending blast, but Kuvira has already metalbent a piece of plating in retaliation, resulting in them getting launched in opposite directions. It's not a true knockout, but the Colossus is blown in two before they can finish the fight.
  • In Steven Universe, Steven and Amethyst end their duel by winding up for a punch... and then they both miss because they are so exhausted dishing out and taking each other's best moves.
  • In the Warner Bros. cartoon of the same name, the Dover Boys of Pimento University are about to collectively deliver a finishing blow to villain Dan Backslide, who collapses after already having his ass handed to him from damsel in distress Dora Standpipe. As a result, the boys knock themselves out.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Double KO


Black Lagoon

Revy and Roberta spend the entire night in a bloody fistfight, with neither of them willing to go down until both ladies simultaneously land a punch that knocks them both down.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhyWontYouDie

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