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Ham-to-Ham Combat

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Dredd: You killed innocent people!
Rico: A means to an end!
Dredd: You started a massacre!
Rico: I caused a revolution!

When a work is populated by more than one Large Ham, and at least two get a scene together, it will usually turn into Ham-to-Ham Combat, where they try to out-over dramatic each other. The scene can become either really funny or really corny, or both, and really fast.

Note that they do not have to be enemies. It can be the Big Bad and The Dragon trying to out-evil-laugh each other, or a pair of heroes spouting Bond One Liners as they mow down the Mooks. The point is that their screen presences and overacting are competing.

Compare World of Ham. If they're villains trying to creep each other out, that's Eviler than Thou. Bigot vs. Bigot is when these characters are not only hammy, but extremely opinionated as well. Contrast Snark-to-Snark Combat.

Example subpages:


    open/close all folders 

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Blackened Skies: When Gundam first meets Kaito, he's briefly taken aback by how he proudly introduces himself as "Luminary of the Stars!" and gives a brief speech bragging about himself. That momentary shock's swiftly followed by a rapidly spreading grin and booming laughter as he declares how rare it is for anyone to introduce themselves with 'their true title', before the two plunge into what Kaede calls a monologue-off.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • The latest thus far is Goku vs Frieza. The latter loses his cool the more Goku demonstrates his stupidity by being oblivious of Frieza's insults and making random shouts at each other. Frieza finally snaps and goes all Large Ham and so does Goku upon becoming Super Saiyan.
    • Recoome spends his sweet time boasting and yelling in his fight with Vegeta, who in turn tried to shut him up, right after they had a theme song introduction.
    • Ginyu vs Goku. Impressive considering the fight was only seen for a few seconds. Ginyu compliments Goku's skill in battle whereas Goku comments on his skin color (purple).
  • The premise behind Family Honor is that Walburga Black's portrait meets Major Armstrong.
  • The Heavy thinks he's the biggest ham, until Duke Nukem thoroughly cooks him in HEAVY IS DUKE NUKEM.
  • The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney fandub of "Rise from the Ashes" evokes the game's Ham-to-Ham Combat nicely, which is impressive given that Phoenix and Edgeworth are the same actor.
  • Substitute Harmony: Trixie and Twilight Wish get into this; Gilda complains about it.

    Films — Animation 
  • The final 15 minutes of AKIRA: "TetSUOOOOOOOOO!" "KaneDAAAAAA!"
  • Alice in Wonderland:
    King of Hearts: What do you know of this unfortunate affair?
    March Hare: Nothing.
    Queen of Hearts: NOTHING WHATEVER??!?!?
    March Hare: NATTHING WHATEVVAAAH!!!!!!
    Queen of Hearts: THAAAAAT'S VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!
  • Fittingly, given it's based on the '60s Batman series and two of the actors present, Batman vs. Two-Face features this, between Adam West as the Caped Crusader and William Shatner as Two-Face.
  • Megamind and Metro Man engage in a lot of this Megamind. In their final battle, they have an extended sequence in which Megamind comments "In case you haven't noticed, you've fallen right into my trap," to which Metro Man replies "You can't trap justice. It's an idea, a belief," and Megamind replies "Even the most heartfelt belief can be corroded over time," and so on, and so forth. Eventually, non-stereotypical Damsel in Distress Roxanne Ritchie interrupts to tell them "Girls, you're both pretty" and ask if she can go home now. Later in the film, when Megamind creates Titan as a new hero to fight because of his And Then What? boredom, he's confused when Titan won't engage in this with him and instead has him Talk to the Fist.
  • Robin Hood (1973): Prince John as a spoiled, petulant brat, vs. Sir Hiss as a neurotic, scheming chancellor, devour the scenery with gusto. Matters get even hammier when Little John shows up in the royal box in disguise as the Duke of Chutney.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The first meeting between Gustav Adolph and Mike Stearns in 1632 is described as a lion (Gustav) fighting a tiger (Mike).
  • This is invoked when Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, in Fritz Leiber's "Swords in the Mist", where the two heroes meet unexpectedly as the champions of opposite sides in an arranged combat. They use traded insults and challenges to covertly establish the rules of what becomes, unbeknownst to their respective employers, a staged combat instead of a battle royal.
  • Pathruushkè and Trang Barok of The First Dwarf King manage to combine this with Evil Is Hammy every time they argue (which is pretty much every time they speak to each other).
  • The argument between Severus Snape and Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix escalates quickly into childish name-calling. Considering both characters are scene-stealing and bombastic on their own, the fact that they have a scene together at all should make the wizarding world explode. Just imagine if the scene had been in the movie.
  • Knight Jeidhe and the goddess Silamir are hammy enough on their own in Heralds Of Rhimn, and they only become more vehement when they come into conflict with each other. Silamir wins.
  • Shadow of the Conqueror:
    • Daylen and Ahrek occasionally get into this. Ahrek is usually calm, but he's capable of matching Daylen shout for shout.
    • After Ahrek helps Daylen escape the custody of the Archknights, Ahrek and Lyrah positively pommel each other, with Lyrah even giving him the in-universe equivalent of the Precision F-Strike. They agree to have Lyrah join the group to keep track of Daylen shortly afterwards, but nobody is happy about it, especially not Daylen.
    • Daylen and Lyrah are both such Hot-Blooded Determinators that their first few conversations are practically endurance matches until their related psychological issues force them to retreat to their rooms to recover.
  • Warhammer 40,000: In the Ciaphas Cain novel Cain's Last Stand, the confrontation between Cain and Warmaster Varan starts out like this. Then they fight. Bonus points for both of them explicitly playing it up for the propoganda potential, as it's being broadcast to the entire planet.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • Basically a recurring element in Soap Operas. This can go far with Latin American telenovelas, and Filipino teleseryes which were influenced by the aforementioned telenovelas.
    • As in the case of Maria Mercedes and its 2013 Philippine remake, and countless others that are basically rags-to-riches fairy tales with the underdog emerging from the slums and managing to out-rant at the aristocratic snobs...
    • ...and in the children's drama serye Annaliza where the eponymous Shrinking Violet ends up getting bullied and pissed at by her Attention Whore sister.note  It degenerates even more to a full-blown ham battle when even the adults are pissing the living daylights out of each other due to issues within their family, all while a Big Bad is plotting something sinister at Anna and her family.
  • Norwegian comedian Harald Heide Steen Jr. managed to make a Ham-to-Ham Combat with himself in a spectacular historical parody in Canis Latinicus and a strange variety of old Norse.

By Series:

  • 3rd Rock from the Sun:
  • 30 Rock:
    • Whenever occasional guest star Will Arnett's character gets into it with Jack Donaghy. Lampshaded by Liz Lemon when she affects a deep, gravelly, "intimidating" voice and asks if they're going to have a "talking-like-this contest".
      Devon: I'm honestly not trying to make this sound gay.
      Jack: No one is, it's just happening.
    • One episode has Jack encounter an Identical Stranger, meaning Alec Baldwin tries to out-ham himself.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Londo and G'Kar, pretty much every time they met in the first couple of seasons led to a spectacular argument with actors Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas trying to out-ham each other.
    • Ham is part of the job description for any Centauri ambassador.
    • The climax of "Moments of Transition" turns into three-way Ham To Ham Combat between Delenn, Neroon, and Shakiri. The part where Neroon makes his Heroic Sacrifice elevates the whole thing to Narm levels.
  • The Colbert Report:
  • The British impressions show Dead Ringers had a repeated sketch in which Ian McKellen and Alan Rickman battled it out in Ham-to-Ham Combat for token British bad guy roles. They were inevitably blown out of the water by a dramatic entrance from BRIAN BLESSED!!.
  • Doctor Who is practically a Ham-to-Ham Warzone.
    • Even the cast and crew weren't averse to a bit of it among themselves. Roy Skelton, one of the Dalek voice actors during the classic series, says he and his colleagues would often compete with each other on set, to see who could be the most evil-sounding Dalek.
    • Averted, surprisingly, in "The Underwater Menace". The normally quite over-the-top Patrick Troughton prepares to go up against the incarnation of Evil Is Hammy in the form of Professor "Noffink in zuh VORLD can SHTOP ME NOOOW!!" Zaroff... and scales his performance right down so he manages to upstage Zaroff by using his own ham against him. This is something his Doctor tended to do a lot — only ramping up the drama against a hammy villain if it was as part of a bluff, or when he's completely losing his cool at the end of "The War Games".
    • Showdowns between the Doctor and The Master. Any of them.
    • The entire Jon Pertwee era is just one huge Ham-to-Ham Combat zone. If it isn't Pertwee and Roger Delgado, it's Pertwee and Nicholas Courtney.
    • Any time there's a multi-Doctor story:
    • This happens any time one of the Doctors confronts Davros.
    • Tom Baker is clearly having an excellent time going up against the outrageous Pirate Captain in "The Pirate Planet" in the scene that calls for him to dispense with the cutesy Obfuscating Stupidity and launch into an Unstoppable Rage.
    • "The Horns of Nimon": Lalla Ward almost manages to out-ham Tom Baker himself. He resists the onslaught, but then, unbelievably, they are both beaten — completely and utterly beaten — by Graham Crowden as Soldeed. His famous DREEEeeeAAAAaaAaAAAAms of CONquest are only the icing on the cake. He overacts so outrageously that he manages to corpse during his own death scene and it was still put in because it wasn't breaking character.
      Soldeed: The Nimon will fulfill his great promise! (waves hands in the air beatifically) The Nimon be praised!
      Romana: "The Nimon be praised"?! How many Nimons have you seen today?
      Soldeed: Don't dare blaspheme the Nimon-
      Romana: How many?!
      Soldeed: Skonnos will-
      Romana: How - ma - ny - Ni - mons?!
      Soldeed: (grinning insanely) Threeeeee! I have seeen threeeee!
    • "The King's Demons", for the master class in ham from Gerald Flood's King John and Anthony Ainley's Master. Gerald Flood's performance is utterly magnificent. It's been a while since they boilllled someone in oilll.
    • "The Mark of the Rani" has a three-way ham-fest among Colin Baker's Doctor, Anthony Ainley's Master and Kate O'Mara's Rani, and it is glorious.
    • Colin Baker again in "Timelash" where he squares off against Paul Darrow. As has been said elsewhere, the resulting combat has to be seen to be disbelieved.
    • There's a truly spectacular ham-off between Colin Baker and BRIAN BLESSED in "Mindwarp". No wonder Peri (Nicola Bryant) left the show after this; it would be physically impossible to be exposed to such overwhelming hammy glory for more than five minutes without ending up either dead or pregnant.
    • "Ghost Light" is famous for two things: its Neon Genesis Evangelion level of incomprehensibility, and the sheer level of glorious over-acting by every. Single. Cast. Member. Even the extras. Somehow, though, it manages to be utterly awesome and a firm fan-favourite.
    • "The Christmas Invasion": The Tenth Doctor argues with the Sycorax leader. While still in his jimjams and dressing gown.
      Sycorax: [roaring] I DEMAND TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
      The Doctor: [bellowing in outrageous imitation] I! DON'T! KNOW!!
    • "Doomsday": The Cybermen and the Daleks meet for the first time... and promptly proceed to bitch at each other for a good five minutes. It's hilarious. (Not in the least because they're all voiced by magnificent ham Nicholas Briggs.)
      Cyberman: Daleks be warned, you have declared war on the Cybermen!
    • Whenever the Tenth Doctor and Donna get into a ham-off, it's epic. And Catherine Tate's very first appearance as Donna Noble had her up against the Racnoss Empress, truly one of the largest hams the series has ever seen. Tate as Donna Noble also has another special distinction: In "Partners in Crime", thanks to a sheet of soundproof glass, she and David Tennant had what might be one of the first silent examples of Ham-to-Ham Combat.
    • Let's not forget Donna's epictacular send off — the FOUR-WAY Kombat between the Doctor, the Doctor-Donna, the Donna-Doctor and Davros in "Journey's End". It is GLORIOUS.
    • The mexi-ham standoff between the Doctor, the Master, and Timothy Dalton from "The End of Time".
    • River Song is an incredible ham when she's very young, and Alex Kingston has a lot of fun overacting when her character gets to meet the Doctor for the first time (from her perspective). Eleven decides to accessorize with an impeccable top hat and tails tuxedo for the occasion while wildly gesticulating with a cane. It's absolutely incredible.
    • Every time Strax shows up. He will find an excuse to pick a fight with anything that moves and promptly obliterate it with anything from laser monkeys to acid traps, and grenades. ESPECIALLY grenades.
    • "The Crimson Horror": In one corner, Matt Smith as the Doctor. In the other, Dame Diana Rigg as the Axe-Crazy old crone Mrs. Gillyflower. The winner: Everybody.
    • "Nightmare in Silver" has Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor compete against an even hammier Matt Smith as the Cyber Controller, and it is glorious.
    • "The Time of the Doctor": Matt Smith hams it up against every Dalek attacking Trenzalore.
    • "The Husbands of River Song": River Song, the 12th Doctor, and a constantly-shouting Hydroflax (even when he's just a head in a sack). Gloriously over the top. Special note of the Doctor's Bigger on the Inside speech when River doesn't know yet who he is and they enter the TARDIS, and he describes how he thinks such a speech really should go.
      The Doctor: Oh... my... GOD! It's bigger!
      River: Well, yes.
      The Doctor: On the inside—!
      River: We need to concentrate.
      The Doctor: Than it is—-!
      River: Yeah, I know where you're going with this, but I need you to calm down.
      The Doctor: On the outside!
      River: You've certainly grasped the essentials.
      The Doctor: [prowling round the console, gesturing wildly] My entire understanding of physical space has been transformed! Three-dimensional Euclidean geometry has been torn up, thrown in the air and snogged to death! My grasp of the universal constants of physical reality has been changed... forever. [Beat] Sorry. I've always wanted to see that done properly.
  • In the second episode of Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza, Jeff Davis and Chip Esten get into one of these while singing that little-known jazz ballad "Dust Storm". Near the end, Jeff puts his hand over Chip's mouth, then Chip grabs Jeff's microphone and sings the last line into two mics at once.
  • Frasier:
    • The rivalry between Frasier and Cam Winston was truly a joy to behold.
    • Whenever Frasier and Niles got worked up with each other was the cue for an impromptu ham-off, due in equal parts to their natural pompous demeanors, their high education levels and established familiarity with theater, opera, and musicals, and their Sibling Rivalry urging them to show off by trying to outdo each other in the dramatically complex insults and long, hard-to-pronounce words departments. Also, Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce having too much fun for their own good.
  • A scene in Friends has Joey and Gary Oldman devolving into one of these as both attempt to spit more in their dialogue.
  • Matthew Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris in Glee, competing for a role in Les Misérables, singing Aerosmith's Dream On and getting progressively more over-the-top. It is unbelievably awesome.
  • Gotham is a live-action Batman show full of comic-book gimmicks and villains. Hamtastic showdowns are inevitable.
    • Putting Penguin and Riddler in a room together, especially when they're feuding, will usually result in a titan clash of egos. Even when they're not arguing, they still tend to overwhelm every other character on screen with their Suddenly Shouting and Hair-Trigger Temper tendencies.
    • Barbara and Fish Mooney are also good sources of this, especially when paired with one of the above two characters.
  • The main characters in How I Met Your Mother absolutely love, love, LOVE doing this, usually over very bizarre, trivial, or theoretical disputes, and usually while sitting in their booth in McLaren's. So commonplace is it to see them over-dramatically (and often over-eloquently) yelling and cussing at each other in the middle of the crowded bar over, say, what the most common food in America is, that Fridge Logic forces the conclusion that their Ham To Ham Combat must be a well-known, taken-for-granted fixture of the bar, or else it would draw dozens of gawking spectators or scare customers away.
  • iCarly: Spencer and Jack Black in "iStart A Fan War".
  • James Nesbitt as both Tom Jackman and Billy Hyde in Jekyll.
  • In the Kamen Rider crossover movie Movie War Megamax, Shotaro Hidari meets Gentaro Kisaragi. "Right!" "Right!" "Right!" "Right!"
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat was really the basis of Hawkeye and Trapper's (later B.J.) whole relationship in M*A*S*H. This was as much their characters desperately trying to deflect the horror around them with silly puns, as it was Alda, Rogers, and Farrel having altogether too much fun working together.
  • The Match Game regulars and host Gene Rayburn turned the ham up, but when it came to Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly, pork flew fast and thick.
  • Any scene in Mork & Mindy with Exidor and Mork. Exidor is a role that requires the finest hamming, and Mork is... well, Robin Williams.
  • Any episode of Our Miss Brooks where Madison High Principal Osgood Conklin faces his archrival, Clay City High School Principal Jason Brill.
  • Basically, any time any group of Power Rangers face their Big Bad. Especially when a Hot-Blooded Red Ranger faces their Big Bad.
    Devastation: That was your lesson for today! Your homework: Feel the emotion that rages within you. It is called—FEEEEEEEEAR! [Best if imagined in Macho Man Randy Savage's voice.]
  • Prodigal Son focuses on imprisoned serial killer Martin Whitley who, played by Michael Sheen, chews the scenery with relish. Who can possibly match him? An Interpol agent played by Alan Cumming.
  • Psych: There are at least flashes of this in either of William Shatner's appearances as Juliet's dad, any time he and James Roday Rodriguez share screen time.
  • In Robin of Sherwood, guest star Lewis Collins and Nickolas Grace had a competition to see who could out-camp the other. The results are magnificent and full of glorious Ho Yay.
  • Rome: Any scene in involving Pompey, Cicero and Cato. Pompey and Cicero will attempt to out-bumble each other, and Cato and Pompey will attempt to out-snarl each other.
  • An episode of Roseanne had Roseanne's cousin Ronnie visiting from New York. Cousin Ronnie was played by Joan Collins. A rare female case of Ham-to-Ham Combat ensued.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race runs on this trope. In addition to the Passive-Aggressive Kombat and screaming matches between drag queens that make up a normal episode, the two worst contestants in a challenge are forced into a "Lip Synch for your LIFE!" dance-off. The backstage companion series RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked has also become notorious for its bitchfights, though past contestants have admitted that, at least in the earlier seasons, they were getting drunk off endless free cocktails during the Untucked portion. Eventually, production limited the queens to only two drinks, but this didn't entirely stop the fighting:
  • Plenty of examples from Saturday Night Live, but one of the best is between Jon Lovitz as Master Thespian and Phil Hartman as R.H. Macy in "Master Thespian: Santa Claus":
    Macy: Weeelll, are we ready, Mr. Thespian?
    Thespian: Pleeease, call me MAS-TAAHH!!
    Macy: Well, aren't we PICKY?!
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Being a pair of Large Hams, both Ryuunosuke and Genta fall into this when they argue. A good example is at the start of Act 19, where their argument of whether Genta is an authentic samurai involves both yelling and slamming their chests against each other while Mako and Kotoha try to pull them apart.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Put two System Lords in a room together, and this is the inevitable result. It helps that their voices are extremely deep and they often like to display their Glowing Eyes of Doom.
    • Or put Anubis (who takes the traits of your average System Lord to extremes) up against President Henry Hayes, who goes full confident folksy politician. While relatively subdued compared to Anubis, after their conversation is over he asks his staff "Did I overdo it?"
  • Star Trek:
    • In just about every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, William Shatner brings enough ham to the table to feed a small nation. But in "The Doomsday Machine", he meets his match in Captain Matt Decker. Shatner wisely chose not to engage Ham-to-Ham with William Windom. His performance is for the most part very subdued, making Decker look even more deranged.
      Kirk: Matt, where's your crew?
      Decker: ...On the fourth planet.
      Kirk: There is no fourth planet!
      Decker: Don't you think I know that? THERE WAS! BUT NOT ANYMORE!!
    • The TOS episode "Whom Gods Destroy" featured a veritable clash of the titans between Shatner and Steve Ihnat. When Inhat's character disguises himself as Kirk (and is thus played by Shatner) it's a miracle that the universe didn't collapse in on itself.
    • About Shatner: look at most of the big-name guest appearances on most of his shows. Basically, Shatner is the Iron Ham, and any show he's on automatically becomes Ham Arena. Presumably, it's every actor's dream to go Ham-to-Ham vs. Shatner.
    • On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ambassador Sarek comes aboard the Enterprise — and brings aboard a Hate Plague in the form of Bendii Syndrome, a degenerative disease causing him to lose his emotional control. Coupled with Vulcan telepathy, it causes him to inadvertently project bursts of anger onto random people, leading to such disturbances as a Bar Brawl and a shouting match between Picard and Riker on The Bridge.
    • Then there was the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Rules of Engagement". In the red corner: Avery Brooks as Ben Sisko, one of the few Starfleet captains who could give Kirk a run for his money. In the blue corner, Ron Canada as targ-acting Klingon Amoral Attorney Ch'pok. Given that the judge was a Vulcan, and thus unlikely to be swayed by mere volume, presumably they were trying to intimidate each other.
    • As if that wasn't ham-tastic enough, "Waltz" provides Sisko's next major competitor: former Cardassian ruler (i.e., Dominion pawn) Gul Dukat, driven insane by the loss of both his conquest of the Alpha Quadrant and his daughter, Ziyal. And just to make it an even bigger ham sandwich, hallucinations of Kira, Weyoun, and Damar take turns screwing with what's left of his mind. If they hadn't been able to escape the uninhabited planet they were stranded on, they could've feasted on their own ham for the rest of their lives.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: Much of "Message In A Bottle" is made up of two cantankerous EMHs arguing with each other.
  • That '70s Show: Bob arguing with a drive-thru statue of a clown, "voiced" by Fez. Must be seen to be believed.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2019): one episode has Laszlo (played by Matt Berry) up against Jim (played by Mark Hamill) and the two are clearly having a blast hamming it up opposite each other.

  • The song "Under Pressure". Freddie Mercury and David Bowie duet.
  • Bowie and Mick Jagger dueting in "Dancing in the Streets", too, especially in the video.
  • Related to Mick Jagger, live performances of "Gimme Shelter" usually devolve into a hammy duet between Jagger and whoever is doing the female parts. Also occurs in Meat Loaf's live covers.
  • Anywhere that GACKT and Yoshiki appear together.
  • We could be here all week if we tried to list all the examples in the genre of Power Metal considering the prominence of Large Hams and guest vocalists. Special mention, however, goes to the following:
    • Ayreon is described on its page as an excuse for the "who's who of Progressive Metal to compete to out-ham each other."
    • Avantasia, much like Ayreon, gets this as a direct result of the numerous guest vocals. The songs "The Wicked Symphony" and "Stargazers" in particular have managed to bring together three (four in the case of "Stargazers") of the largest hams in power metal by having Tobias Sammet, Russell Allen, Jorn Lande and, in the case of "Stargazers," Michael Kiske all sing on the same songs.
    • Allen/Lande is a superband that came together entirely for the purposes of this trope in regards to the aforementioned Russell Allen and Jorn Lande.
  • From the realm of classical music comes Rossini's "Duetto buffo di due gatti" ("Comic duet for two cats"). Any sopranos who do not use this song as an exercise in competitive hammery are just doing it wrong.
  • Depending on whom you ask, Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman's Spirituals in Concert & Mythodea concerts were either the most sublime music of their genre (especially the latter) or a massive friendly showdown of two divas trying to outham each other (especially the former).
  • Heavy metal is made of this trope, especially if a band has two lead guitarists (Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing of Judas Priest, most famously). They'll hit all the highest notes, play the fastest riffs, and do everything short of tickling their guitars to death. The hammiest of them can not only short-circuit their guitars, but cause them to melt.
  • The Flanders and Swann song "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" ends every verse with a singing duel between the two duetters. The ham level is high enough it can alter your blood cholesterol.
  • Daemonic Angel's song "That Which Is Wrought of Fear." It consists entirely of two "Metal Screaming" vocalists, playing the part of a demon and a monster slayer, talking trash on each other. It then ends with a flurry of lyrical trade-offs before the both of them let out a massive unison roar.
  • Meat Loaf and Ellen Foley during the second half of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". "LEMME SLEEP ON IT!" "WILL YA LOVE ME FOREVER?" "LEMME SLEEP ON IT!" "WILL YA LOVE ME FOREVER?!"
  • Led Zeppelin once opened for The Doors. Led Zeppelin once opened for The Doors. If only we could've gotten Jim Morrison and Robert Plant on stage at the same time...
  • Korn's "All in the Family," a sort-of rap battle between Jonathan Davis and Fred Durst that ends with the two of them just screaming at each other.
  • Michael Jackson and sister Janet in "Scream". The title already states they have to raise their voices, and they don't disappoint!

    Music Videos 
  • In Journey's "Chain Reaction" music video, singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon engage in this, culminating in Steve laying the smackdown on Neal.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 

  • During the legendary Jack Benny-Fred Allen feud, any time either of the two appeared on the other's show, the hamminess reigned unrestrained.
    Jack Benny: (as his pants are being removed) Allen, you haven't seen the end of me!
    Fred Allen: It won't be long now!
  • In the Rotterdam episode of Cabin Pressure, Roger Allam and Anthony Head compete to appear in the introductory video for MJN in oh so smooth duvet tones - leading to Carolyn complaining she is being drowned in syrup.


  • Chicago: The climactic scene of the original play note  is a contest between Billy and Roxie to decide who can do more to guilt the jury into exonerating her. Billy makes his closing argument furiously Chewing the Scenery, but Roxie, not willing to let her lawyer steal the show from her, wins without uttering a single line of dialogue.
  • The two princes singing "Agony" in Into the Woods frequently takes this form. It's in the script. "Agony! Far more painful than yours!"
  • In a recorded production of Jekyll & Hyde starring David Hasselhoff as the eponymous character(s), he's at his highest level of ham in the climactic song "Confrontation". Why is that an example of this trope? Because Jekyll and Hyde both sing that song. That's right, The Hoff can have Ham-to-Ham Combat with HIMSELF.
  • Les Misérables: Any scene between Valjean and Javert. Notable on the original cast album with Colm Wilkinson and Roger Allam, taken to extremes with Alfie Boe and Norm Lewis in the 25th Concert.
  • Cirque du Soleil's Mystère turns the eternal struggle that is Order Versus Chaos into this, pitting the conceited emcee Moha-Samedi against story-intruder Brian Le Petit. This climaxes with the emcee declaring "GET OUT!" and Brian taking on a look sooooooo pitiable that one can't help but "Awwwww..." for him... which is his intention — effectively calling upon hammy reinforcements.
  • Peer Gynt: The titular character goes head to head with almost everybody else currently on stage. It begins with the first exchange of lines:
    Aase: PEEEER! You are LYYYING!!!
    Peer: NO! I AM NOT!!! ...and so forth.
  • Older Than Radio: Mozart's opera-within-an-opera Der Schauspieldirektor has two sopranos both insisting "Ich bin die erste Sängerin" ("I am the prima donna") and seeking to prove their claim with abundant coloratura.
  • A Very Potter Musical has three extremely Large Hams (Voldemort, Malfoy, and Snape). They finally get a scene together and it turns into this. And it's totally awesome.
  • Wicked has a scene set almost immediately after Dorothy leaves munchkinland in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz where Elphaba and Glinda begin bickering and eventually catfight. Now, Glinda is miscast if she's not a Large Ham but the special treat in this scene is the actress playing Elphaba beginning to ham it up as well. It's also the last comic scene in the show too, so the actresses clearly like to have fun with it.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe example: in "Boston Brawl", The Necromancer and Fey have a one-on-one magical battle in the middle of Boston, complete with calling their attacks.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers:
    • Optimus and Megatron are the masters of this trope, pretty much in every continuity (and they usually play it up during actual combat). Megatron and Starscream have their moments, too.
    • Unicron, Primus, and the Original 13 (7?), too, ham it up every time they activate their vocal processors, and go into overdrive when running combat subroutines.
    • Near the end of the Rebirth story arc, which serves as the conclusion to the original G1 cartoon, Spike Witwicky!Fortress Maximus and the evil Nebulan Lord Zarak!Scorponok have such an epic confrontation. In particular, Spike not only out-fights Lord Zarak, he arguably also manages to out-ham him. It has to be heard to be believed.
    • In Beast Wars Megatron and Tarantulas have formulated an Evil Plan. They begin to laugh in celebration. This becomes an Overly-Long Gag as they try to have the last laugh.
    • Just about every fight between Autobots and Decepticons are this.
  • Invader Zim: Anybody going against Zim will inevitably be involved in one of these, although Tak is probably one of the best examples. Dib vs. Zim is an odd aversion: while both are accomplished Large Hams in their own right, whenever they have a scene together one or the other will generally fall into a more subdued Straight Man role...generally.
    Dib: Just this once, we work together! Mortal enemies working together for the common good!
    Zim: BE QUIET!
  • Danny Phantom: Technus (who was a grade A ham from the start) versus Super Danny (who, apparently, is one of the hammiest characters of all without his human side to subdue it).
  • Colonel Gathers and General Treister in The Venture Bros..
    Gathers: Don't kill yourself, you crazy bastard!
  • Anytime Brain and Snowball face off in Pinky and the Brain.
  • From Xavier: Renegade Angel, Xavier's epically stupid battle with himself, from "Shakashuri Blowdown."
    Xavier: You sound like the ugliest son of a bitch I ever heard!
    Other Xavier: YOU sound like the physical manifestation of some LOSER'S inner DEMONS!
    Xavier: YOU sound like some total chode's inability to confront his past actions!
    Other Xavier: If I ever hear one more word from your stinky mug, I swear to Jack-off I'll knock your clock off!
  • Adventure Time:
    • There are a lot of these, but special mention has to go to any scene involving Finn and Lemongrab together.
      Finn: [puffs out his chest and slaps Lemongrab on the hand] WATCH your MANNERS with the PRINCESS!
      Finn: What the HUH?!
      Lemongrab: [frowning] MMMMMM...! [gasps] -MUH!
    • Any scene with Finn and the Ice King.
  • In Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, just about any exchange between Beth Lestrade and Professor Moriarty...
    Lestrade: Must the two of you be so theatrical?
    Moriarty: [practically purring] But of course.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: There's a reason the World of Ham trope is listed on this show's page.
    • Every scene with Buzz Lightyear and the EVIL Emperor Zurg. Every. Single. Scene.
    • For that matter, XR's exchanges with Nos-4-A2 and Warp Darkmatter...
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Plankton and Mr. Krabs commonly do this.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, this trope is the natural state of Gumball and Darwin.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
  • Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck both would usually attempt to out-ham anyone else on the screen, so when the two of them faced off against each other (as in the "Duck Season/Rabbit Season" cartoons), it was epic.

    Real Life 
  • The United Nations can on occasion descend into this when representatives of two unpopular countries, like North Korea and Myanmar, end up in a debate with each other.
  • It happens a lot among sport fans: matches between teams that share a bitter rivalry with one another will see their respective fans fully indulge in this most of the time.
  • World War II: Patton and any other general. Special note goes to him and Montgomery: The invasion of Sicily would have probably been a lot less bloody for the Allies if the two weren't trying to show each other who was the better conqueror. The movie Patton had Patton say this line:
    Patton: Hell, I know I'm a prima-donna, I admit it. The thing that bothers me about Monty [UK General Bernard Law Montgomery] is he won't admit it.
  • The British House of Commons, because of the incredibly adversarial setup of the Chamber, often features attempts by the Members to out-ham one another. A typical exchange generally goes like this:
    Minister: (outlines government policy)
  • Really, any parliamentary government will get into this on a regular basis.
  • On the battlefield, feudal Samurai often engaged in single combat, all the while exchanging colorful and extravagant insults and self-promotions. It occasionally got to the point that they'd momentarily stop dueling just to argue or praise their own combat prowess.
  • Salt Lake City Comic Con 2013 had a panel featuring, for the first time ever, William Shatner and Adam West on stage together.
  • The Norwegian constituent assembly of 1814 had several. Most notably the on going feud between the speaker, principal of the University Georg Sverdrup known for his lack of indoor voice, and the priest Nicolay Wergeland (the father of Henrik Wergeland), known for his lengthy speeches. They continued out-hamming each other even when the constitution was signed and sealed.
  • As of September 2017, the war of words between the United States and North Korea, or rather, between Trump and Kim Jong-Un. However, given the stakes, this is less entertaining than disturbing for observers.


Isaiah Mustafa vs. Terry Crews

Here are some Old Spice commercials featuring two Old Spice Men fighting to advertise different Old Spice products: Isaiah Mustafa for Timber/Swagger, and Terry Crews for Bearglove.

How well does it match the trope?

4.72 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / HamToHamCombat

Media sources: