There are at least two kinds of TV viewers: the group that goes to the refrigerator during the fight scenes, and the group that describes the episode's plot as "Blah, blah, blah, Fight Scene!, blah, blah, blah."
If you are going to have fight scenes, the trick is to write them in such a way that both groups are entertained. If you decide to leave out the "Blah, Blah, Blah" part, see Chop Sockey.
Also see Fighting Series, which use these regularly, Harbinger of Asskicking, which is often used to signal a Fight Scene, and Write a Fight Scene for how to write one.
Tropes common in Fight Scenes:<!—index—>
- Absurdly Sharp Blade
- Advantage Ball
- Aerosol Flamethrower: Setting an aerosol can on fire to use as a makeshift flamethrower.
- After-Action Healing Drama
- After-Action Patch-Up
- Artistic License – Martial Arts
- Ass Kicking Pose
- Ass Kicks You: Attacking with your butt.
- At Arm's Length: Stopping someone from attacking by holding them back with one arm.
- Attack Hello
- Attack the Injury
- Backstab Backfire: Defeated villain tries to strike back at the victor. It doesn't work.
- Back to Base Form
- Back-to-Back Badasses
- Badass Back
- Ballroom Blitz: Protagonist or bad guys interrupt the party.
- Bar Brawl
- Barehanded Blade Block
- Bathhouse Blitz
- Bathroom Brawl: Someone interrupts a party to start a fight.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: A fight scene where the area is on fire.
- Battle Chant
- Battle Cry
- Battle Discretion Shot: Something prevents the fight from being shown.
- Battle-Halting Duel
- Battle-Interrupting Shout
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Internal conflict is shown as a physical fight.
- Battle in the Rain: The rain falls on you during the fight.
- Battle of the Still Frames
- Battle of Wits: A fight where you have to outsmart your enemy rather than physically overpower them.
- Battle Theme Music
- Begin with a Finisher
- Behemoth Battle: Giant creatures fighting.
- Belly Flop Crushing
- Big Budget Beef-Up
- Big Guy Rodeo
- Big Heroic Run
- Black Screen of Death: While two or more characters are fighting, the screen goes black
- Blade Lock: Two blade users lock their blades against one another.
- Blast Out
- Bleed 'Em and Weep: Breaking down in tears after killing someone.
- Blocking Stops All Damage
- Blood Is the New Black: A dangerous character covered in blood.
- Blood on the Debate Floor: A physical fight during legislative meetings.
- Bloodstained Glass Windows: A showdown in a church where the stained-glass windows are used as a backdrop.
- Boomerang Comeback
- Booze Flamethrower
- Bowled Over
- Brawler Lock
- Brutal Brawl
- Bullet Holes and Revelations: Two characters are fighting over a gun. It goes off, and nobody immediately knows who was hit.
- Cable-Car Action Sequence
- Car Fu
- Catch and Return: A maneuver where the user catches some sort of projectile or attack and sends it right back.
- Cat Fight
- Ceiling Smash
- Chairman of the Brawl: Beating someone with a chair.
- Chandelier Swing
- Chaos While They're Not Looking
- Charge-into-Combat Cut
- Chase Fight
- Chop Sockey: Exaggerated parodies of East Asian martial arts movies.
- The Climax
- Close-Call Haircut
- The Coats Are Off
- Cock Fight: Two guys fight openly over a girl.
- Combat Breakdown
- Combat Parkour
- Combat Stilettos: Wearing high heels in combat.
- Combat Uninterruptus
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: One ninja is a deadly threat, but an army of them are cannon fodder.
- Counterpart Combat Coordination
- Cross Counter
- Curb-Stomp Battle: You easily defeat someone with no effort whatsoever.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: The one on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle gets a good retaliating hit or two in.
- Dance Battler
- Dangerous Backswing: Taking out someone standing behind you by swinging a melee weapon over your head.
- Dangerous Terrain: A battlefield dangerous for both parties.
- Deadly Dodging
- Deadly Sparring: A training session, friendly spar or pretend fight eventually becomes an actual fight.
- Delayed Causality
- Designated Girl Fight
- Destination Defenestration: Someone gets thrown through a window.
- Destructo-Nookie: Sex results in property damage.
- Diner Brawl
- Dodge the Bullet
- Dog Pile of Doom
- Doppelgänger Attack: Creating clones to use for combat.
- Doppelgänger Spin: Creating multiple illusions that are clones of the spellcaster.
- Don't Sneak Up on Me Like That!: Someone reflexively attacks a person who inadvertently surprised them.
- Double Knockout: Two opposing characters in a fight are both defeated at the same time.
- Dramatic Red Samurai Background
- Dueling Player Characters
- Dynamic Entry
- Elemental Punch
- Enhanced Punch
- Elevator Action Sequence
- Enemy Mine (one result of such a scene)
- Enemy Rising Behind: The enemy is slowly approaching their victim from behind, but only the spectator knows it yet.
- Epiphany Comeback: The hero gets a power-up after having an epiphany.
- Escalating Brawl
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Absolutely everyone in this fictional world knows how to fight, and fight well.
- Everyone Join the Party
- Excuse Me While I Multitask: Someone starts multitasking while fighting somebody with inferior fighting prowess.
- Executive Suite Fight
- Extreme Mêlée Revenge
- Eye Poke
- Fake a Fight
- Falling Chandelier of Doom
- Fastball Special: Throwing a (usually) willing teammate as an attack.
- Fearful Symmetry: A fight scene where both fighters are using identical movements and attacks, like a mirror's reflection.
- Fighting Across Time and Space
- Fighting Down Memory Lane: Character uses the opponent's memory as a weapon.
- Fighting in the Playground
- Fighting Your Friend
- Fight Clubbing: People meet in secret to beat each other senseless.
- Fight Magnet
- Fight-Scene Failure
- Fight Unscene: The animators use tricks to skimp on having to animate all of the costly fight scenes.
- Final Battle
- Finger Poke of Doom: A seemingly weak attack (such as a finger poke) that does much more damage than you'd think.
- Finishing Stomp
- First Blood: When two characters fight and one bleeds, you know it's serious.
- Fisticuff-Provoking Comment
- Fixed-Floor Fighting
- Forced Friendly Fire: A character gains control of their opponent's firearm and forces them to shoot it at allies.
- Free-Fall Fight
- Free-Floor Fighting
- Funny Bruce Lee Noises
- Gambling Brawl: A friendly wager or betting game turns violent.
- Game-Breaking Injury
- Giant Equals Invincible: Normal weapons don't hurt giant monsters.
- The Gloves Come Off: Deciding not to hold back one bit when defeating the enemy has become priority number one.
- Good Old Fisticuffs
- Grievous Bottley Harm
- Grievous Harm with a Body
- Groin Attack
- Ground Wave
- Gun Fu
- Gun Kata
- Gun Struggle
- Hallway Fight
- Hand Stomp
- A Handful for an Eye: Throwing sand, dirt or other substance in the opponent's eyes to blind them.
- Hard Head: Head injuries don't give any lasting effects.
- Hat Damage
- Headlock of Dominance: Showing power over someone by putting them in a headlock.
- Hero Insurance
- Heroic Second Wind
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker
- High-Dive Escape
- Highly-Visible Ninja
- High-Pressure Blood
- Hit Flash: A moment of violence is purposely obscured.
- Hit Stop: As something hits, the time slows down to show impact.
- Hit Spark (Those lines surrounding the spot where the stick lady kicks the stick guy in the face in the above illustration)
- Hoist Hero over Head
- Hold My Glasses
- How Much More Can He Take?
- Human Hammer-Throw: Swinging someone around by their feet and throwing them as far as possible.
- Ignored Enemy
- I Know Karate
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
- I Surrender, Suckers: Faking a surrender in order to catch your foes off-guard.
- Impending Clash Shot
- Improbable Cover
- Improbable Piloting Skills: Good piloting lets vehicles outperform others of the same model, or even break the laws of physics.
- Improbable Use of a Weapon
- Improvised Weapon: Anything can be a weapon with sufficient creativity.
- Interesting Situation Duel
- Intimidation Demonstration
- Invulnerable Knuckles
- Juggle Fu
- Just Eat Him: The predator holds its prey in its mouth or swallows it whole even though it is counterintuitive to do so.
- Just Hit Him
- Kiai: A scream signifying a significant release of power in preparation for, or during, a strike or battle.
- Killer Bear Hug: Squeezing someone around the midsection to inflict crushing pain or death.
- Kneel, Push, Trip
- Knife Fight
- Knockback Slide
- Knuckle Cracking: Showing off by cracking your knuckles.
- Kung-Fu Sonic Boom
- Kung-Shui: Fighting results in property damage.
- Ladder Tipping
- Last-Second Villain Recovery
- Launcher Move
- Leap and Fire
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Combatants lay down ground rules before fighting.
- Let's You and Him Fight
- Lighthearted Rematch: A rematch two or more characters have for fun when all the tension and conflict is off, and no strings are attached.
- Limit Break
- Lodged-Blade Recycling: Pulling the weapon that you were stabbed with out of your body and using it to fight back.
- Ludicrous Mêlée Accuracy
- Made of Iron: A character who can take an absurd amount of punishment with little consequence.
- Made of Plasticine
- Make It Look Like a Struggle: Pretending to have been beaten by intruders or escapees to cover up that you're on their side.
- Man Bites Man: A pragmatic, savage, or desperate fighter bites their opponent.
- Mech vs. Beast
- Mêlée à Trois: Three or more factions want to kill everyone else.
- Melee Disarming
- Meteor Move: Hitting an airborne opponent down to the ground.
- Metronomic Man Mashing: Repeatedly slamming a hapless foe left and right on the ground.
- Mid-Battle Tea Break: Characters take a break in the middle of a fight. Doing something silly in midst of the break is optional.
- Midfight Weapon Exchange: Two characters are fighting against or with each other in a battle, and occasionally they find themselves swapping their weapons with each other.
- Mirror Match: A fight between two of the same character.
- Mirrored Confrontation Shot
- Mook Chivalry
- More Than Infinite
- Motorcycle Jousting
- Mud Wrestling
- Mundangerous: The most powerful warrior can be laid low by a papercut.
- Murderous Thighs
- Mutual Disadvantage
- My Fist Forgives You: A character claims a right to one punch before forgiving the one who wronged them.
- My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours
- Near-Miss Groin Attack
- Neck Lift: Holding someone in the air by their throat.
- Neck Snap
- Negated Moment of Awesome
- Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight
- Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Near-impossible to hurt.
- No Escape but Down: An escape that ends with a long fall.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: A very brutal and violent one-sided battle, often to the point of being disturbing.
- No, I Am Behind You
- Nonchalant Dodge
- Offhand Backhand: Punching someone without even looking at them.
- Ominous Walk: Few better ways exist to intimidate the enemy than a slow walk.
- One-Hit Kill
- One-Hit Polykill
- Opponent Switch
- Orchestra Hit Techno Battle
- Palate Propping - A character tries to use a stick to prop open the mouth of a creature that's attacking them.
- Parallel Conflict Sequence
- Parrying Bullets
- Paying for the Action Scene
- Pedestrian Crushes Car
- Post-Victory Collapse: Someone collapses after completing an awesome but strenuous task.
- Power-Strain Blackout: A character using their powers causes them to faint.
- Pummel Duel
- Punched Across the Room
- Punch Catch
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...
- Put Their Heads Together
- Radial Ass Kicking
- Railing Kill: If you get shot near a railing, you'll fall to the other side of said railing, to your death.
- Rain of Blood
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs
- Recovery Attack
- Relative Button: Villain kicks the dog by taunting a victim about a relation.
- Reverse Grip: Holding a weapon with the blade end towards the pinky.
- Ring of Fire
- Rooftop Confrontation
- Secret Stab Wound: A character hides the fact that they've received a serious blow.
- Sensing You Are Outmatched
- She-Fu: Girls fighting with body-displaying acrobatics.
- Shifting Situation Duel
- Shooting Gallery
- Showdown at High Noon
- Simulated Urban Combat Area
- Slaughterhouse Fight
- The Slow Walk: Slow down foreshadows beat down.
- Spam Attack
- Sparing the Final Mook
- Speed Blitz: The ability to fight so fast that the enemy can't even react.
- Spectator Casualty: Someone watching a dangerous show gets harmed by things coming from it.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff
- Spinning Piledriver
- Spontaneous Crowd Formation
- Standard Female Grab Area
- Step into the Blinding Fight: The tactical use of blinding your enemy to shroud one's attacks.
- Strolling Through the Chaos: A character casually strolls through a hectic scene and emerges completely unscathed.
- Super-Detailed Fight Narration
- Super Rug-Pull
- Suplex Finisher
- Switch-Out Move
- Sword Fight
- Blade Run
- Clean Cut: A target is sliced through fully with seemingly no effort at all.
- Diagonal Cut
- Flynning: Showy Hollywood swordfighting meant to look cool, protect actors, and appease Moral Guardians.
- Implausible Fencing Powers
- Single-Stroke Battle
- Sword over Head
- Sword Sparks
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works
- Taking the Fight Outside: Two characters who are fighting or about to fight in a building are told by a bystander to continue their brawl outside.
- Talking Is a Free Action
- Talk Show with Fists
- Teeth Flying
- Teleport Spam
- Theatrics of Pain: When a professional performer exaggerates the impact of an attack for show.
- Throne Room Throwdown
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works
- Thwarted Coup de Grâce
- To Win Without Fighting
- Torso with a View
- Traintop Battle
- Transformation Is a Free Action
- Turn the Other Fist
- Unconscious Objector: Someone continues fighting even after being knocked out.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll
- Untouchable Until Tagged: Virtually unbeatable until one small injury leads to total defeat.
- Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight
- Use Their Own Weapon Against Them
- Victory by First Blood: A duel's victor is the first one to make their opponent bleed.
- Violence Is Not an Option
- Waif-Fu: Tiny girl delivers titanic ass-kicking with power that she presumably shouldn't possess.
- Wake Up Fighting
- Waterlogged Warzone
- Weapon Stomp: A battle ends by one battler's weapon getting stomped on and crushed by the other.
- Wedding Smashers
- When Props Attack
- Wimp Fight
- Wire Fu
- Within Arm's Reach: Character pinned down by a foe turns the tide using a conveniently close object as a weapon.
- With My Hands Tied
- "With Our Swords" Scene
- Wok Fu: A fight scene taking place in a Chinese restaurant.
- Worf Had the Flu: Character loses to someone they would have beaten normally due to an illness or some other handicap.
- Wrestler in All of Us
- You Are Already Dead: Fatal damage with a time-delayed effect.
- You Can Barely Stand
- You Fight Like a Cow: Exchanging witty insults during combat.
- Zorro Mark