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I Can Still Fight!

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Bobby Heenan: Well that's all fine but wait till you're healthy, wait till you're 100%!
David McLane: Well... you're right.
Bobby Heenan: Of course I'm right, I'm the brain!

An injured character refuses to stay in bed, despite medical advice. And though he says it's Only a Flesh Wound, we know better. Sometimes the injured party might go to great lengths to hide his injuries from the other characters, knowing that he will get taken off the field. Other times, the character is mortally wounded and fights on regardless.

In military situations, often indicates strong esprit de corps or desperate danger, or both. Frustration with his ignorance — he doesn't know what is happening on the field, to his comrades, or what danger he is in — may come into play. It may also indicate that the character has been taunted by another and is desperate to prove himself.

Packing off the injured to safety may have to override this impulse, and doesn't always work. On the other hand, despite the danger, this can be survived, sometimes — but the very fact that the story shows real injuries shows also that they can lead to the logical denouement. Particularly likely if the character is trying to prove something. Even in milder cases, when victory is achieved, Post-Victory Collapse is likely to result.

Maybe he's not injured at all but is sick in some way and shouldn't be on at work or on any missions. This trope will still apply, as they won't admit that they feel sick and will insist on powering through. Even if said illness is life-threatening.

He may use Bottled Heroic Resolve to keep going. This attitude is one way to become an Annoying Patient. If the escape attempt has success, it's a case of The Patient Has Left the Building.

See also Determinator, Perilous Old Fool, Major Injury Underreaction, Obviously Not Fine, Belated Injury Realization, and Weakness Is Just a State of Mind.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In episode 49 of the first season of Bakuten Shoot Beyblade Ray is directly attacked by Bryan's bit-beast Falborg's wind attacks. After winning the second match and tying the score, Ray blacks out. His teammates worry about him and try to talk him out of going back out there for the third match, but Ray doesn't listen. Ray is almost killed during the third match, but his bit-beast Driger saves him and Ray manages to win the battle.
  • Bleach has this a lot, especially with, Ichigo, who just never seems to sit still when injured.
    • Ganju's fist says "No, no you can't."
  • Toudou during Code Geass's finale insists this, but Chiba stops him. He actually does this twice in the same battle. After having a mountain explode under him he still kept trying to fight in his sparking crippled personal mecha until he was shot down and then after being recovered and half treated he brushes off further medical aid and tries to get back into the fight in a mook mecha. However he passes out from his injuries before he's even able to get into the cockpit, proving Chiba correct.
  • Most exorcists in D.Gray-Man are like this, but Allen Walker really takes the cake. There was that one time he was pulling off a rescue mission with one arm falling apart and his other hand broken in half while being continuously electrocuted. Allen asked the man he was rescuing to bite down on his broken hand so he could lift him because it couldn't function well enough to lift him on its own. The best example is probably when he gets thrown into a wall so hard it leaves a large crater and his resulting injuries are so severe he can't move anymore. He lets his sentient Innocence weapon take control of his body so he can still fight. Allen Walker. Is. Fantastic.
  • In Death Note, Soichiro Yagami sneaks out of his hospital room, where he was recovering from a (normal) heart attack in order to break into Sakura TV and recover the Second Kira's tapes. At one point, he claims he's never felt more alive.
    • Incidentally, he 'broke in' by driving an armored truck through the front wall. Because the second Kira was killing anybody she saw try to enter from her vantage point outside the building.
  • Occurs fairly frequently in Dragon Ball due to sheer stubbornness (and in Vegeta's case, pride). Sometimes their partner tells them to tag out, but just as often the situation is so dire that even this sort of help is accepted because it gives a stronger protagonist more time to recharge.
    • In a different take on this trope, Goku has had to argue more than once with his doctors and wife that he should even leave the bed; he was once caught doing push-ups while in a full body cast. This is at least somewhat understandable given that there's usually a Senzu Bean on the way, but that doesn't excuse them putting their existing injuries under such stress!
  • Nobody in Fairy Tail ever stays down; when the person really is too injured/suicidal to fight, Natsu knocks them out and takes their place.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Scar absolutely refuses to stay in the refugee camp for Ishvalans, despite the fact that he might not even be able to walk properly at any one point he's there. In his defense, he's also trying to protect them from being punished for harboring him.
    • Also, Edward Elric insists on automail surgery so that he can join the state military only days after losing two of his limbs. It takes a year for him to actually recover and join though (regular automail surgery and therapy would require three years).
    • There's also Izumi, who is missing nearly half her internal organs and frequently coughs up blood due to that fact, and continues to fight despite it. A couple of characters, including Winry Rockbell have commented on this, Winry in particular stressing the need for her to go to a hospital that could take better care of her. Of course, a hospital can't do much for the fact that she's downright missing several of her organs.
    • Then there's Lan Fan, who, despite not having a left arm anymore and severely weakened, still wants to go back and "protect the young lord." Doctor Knox manages to talk her out of it, though.
    • Said word by word by Captain Buccaneer even after he got one of his arms scrapped the hell out of him.
    • Oliver Armstrong is pissed when Greed makes her stay behind because of her broken arm.
    • Last, but definitely not least... Colonel Roy Mustang keeps on fighting even when he is blind.
  • Done nicely in Gintama in the Benizakura storyline. Otae is in charge of keeping the heavily injured Gintoki from returning to the fight against Benizakura. She breaks his sword and threatens even more bodily harm to him until he finally agrees to stay put. As soon as her back is turned, he's off, but Otae knew that was coming too. Not only does she have all his clothes laid out for him to leave, she's left her umbrella for him to borrow as he heads out in the rain, with a note requesting its safe return.
  • Gundam:
  • In Hakuouki it almost becomes Okita's catchphrase, after he comes down with tuberculosis.
  • Inuyasha:
    • Even after getting stabbed, blown up, poisoned, turned human and/or smacked by his own signature attack, Inuyasha will not stay down. Nor can his friends make him.
    • Likewise, his one-armed brother will not let others protect him during battle or move him off the battlefield even when that sole arm is ripped to shreds, disarming him in a truly unfunny way.
  • Tsuna from Reborn! (2004) essentially "powers up" based on this well as only being able to win because of it most of the fact he only won against Byakuran in the future arc in episode 203 because he has a habit of this. this is almost the basis of the "dying will" concept itself.
  • Played for laughs in Kill la Kill - As both a Blood Knight and Determinator, Uzu Sanageyama insists on continuing a fight even after he's been thoroughly defeated. The problem with this is that, since combatants are almost invariably defeated by destroying their Goku uniform, this means that he insists on carrying on with the battle completely naked. Gamagoori does not approve.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Nanoha and Vita's injuries at the end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS were revealed in supplementary materials to both be serious enough that the doctors told them to take things easy from now on and that they'll need to go through some rehabilitation, especially Nanoha, whose overuse of Blaster System had taken enough of a toll on her that her Magic Levels had gone down by 10%. Naturally, the both of them were the first ones to return to service on the aftermath of the incident, filling their schedules with many strenuous tasks like nothing happened.
    • Also before the final battle of the third season, Zafira and Vice. Especially Zafira, who fights despite being covered in bandages, managing to capture Otto with Shamal, finally turning the tide of the battle against the Numbers.
    • And before either of these, in the second episode of A's, Raising Heart, badly damaged, assures Nanoha it can be fired. "It's alright."
      Raising Heart: I can be shot.
    • Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force has Signum getting slashed multiple times and getting stabbed through the spine by an Anti-Magic weapon. After surviving that, she takes a few months of rest to recover then goes back to service as soon as she can despite the complaints of Agito.
      "My bones and guts are still inside me. I can't stay put any longer in this situation."
  • Although a football game isn't as life-or-death as some of the other examples, Hiruma in Eyeshield 21 returns to the game (over Mamori's objections) after Gaoh breaks his throwing arm. He makes his re-entrance more dramatic by using ketchup to make his face look like a bloody mess.
    • The title character also chooses to stay in the game after hitting 40 yards in 4.2 seconds in the Bando match, not wanting to miss out on their victory (or failure, as it had been last time after hitting 4.2.).
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto frequently does this. Often this is justified by his Healing Factor, which enables him to recover from injuries far faster than anyone else. The doctors are holding him back just to be safe, which is often an excuse to have him Put on a Bus for a few episodes.
    • Rock Lee, unlike Naruto, doesn't heal abnormally quickly. In fact, he's unable to use ninjutsu or genjutsu at all, forcing him to rely entirely upon strictly physical arts. But he remains determined to prove himself — so much so, in fact, that at one point he stands back up while still unconscious, bringing his mentor to tears.
    • Used twice by Hinata in the Three-Tails filler arc. The first time, she gets injured fighting Nurari, and after she tells Kakashi she can still move, Kakashi says the mission is still in effect. Two episodes later, after surviving being crystallized by Guren, Sakura suggests that she shouldn't force herself just yet, and has her stay behind until she recovers.
    • Special credit has to go to Onoki, who gets hit by a fucking meteor and still insists on fighting. Bonus points for Onoki already being an old man with a bad back before the injury.
  • Negi Springfield of Negima! Magister Negi Magi seems to fit this trope pretty well, much to the pain of his friends and family. Sure, he's only ten years old but that doesn't mean few injuries will stop him. Impale him on a stone spear? He'll just use it to bash you in the head with. Cut off his right arm? In his own words "I still have my left!". And you manage to leave a massive hole in his gut, doing so much damage to the rest of the body that it causes blood to pour from his eye sockets and causes him to vomit a pint or two of blood? Eh, you're still not gonna win.
  • Cruely subverted AND played straight in Neon Genesis Evangelion in the battle with Asuka and the Mass Production Evas. While the Mass Production Evas get their limbs ripped off, get ripped in half, have spikes launched through their skulls, and have their brains bashed out, they still come back to life every single time. On the other hand, Asuka gets impaled through the skull, then pinned to the ground, and then suffers as the MP Evas all feast upon her Eva's organs, while she suffers the same injuries as Unit-02. And yet, after being skewered, she still struggles to fight. Her dying words are literally "I'll kill you.".
  • One Piece has had this tons of times with just about every seriously-taken character.
    • Zoro is famous for this, though more or less because of Only a Flesh Wound as Zoro has been sliced and diced and is able to fight later. In one instance, Zoro had been severely cut down the chest and had very little medical help. Despite this, he was able to fight an octopus-man using six swords.
    • Brook, having already been heavily injured from his fight with Ryuuma, is sent away due to his injuries, and is absent from much of the early battle with Oz. He returns with salt to help the Straw Hats, claiming to have recovered by drinking milk. However, as he doubles over in pain, it's clear that he hasn't fully healed yet.
    • Wiper continues to fight in the Survival Game despite severe injuries, and manages to somehow survive using the extremely powerful Reject Dial three times in one day.
    • Luffy is defined by this trope. He beats Crocodile after dying twice, beats the embodiment of lightning with, literally, a ton of gold fused to his hand, and he climbs up a thousand feet of mountain carrying one person on his back and one person in his teeth after fighting bear sized rabbits. Talk about never surrender.
  • Pokémon: The Series: A standard for Ash's Pokémon, and Ash himself. Even Team Rocket have had their moments, most notably in buying time for their Weezing and Arbok to escape a powerful poacher.
  • Joe Asakura, in the last episodes of the first Science Ninja Team Gatchaman series: he suffers headaches, numbness in one hand, and is rattled by blinding flashes of light. He refuses to tell anyone what is happening to him, and then goes off to find Galactor headquarters. Once there, he gets bent, folded, spindled, and shot up — even while killing goons. He finally dies from his injuries — but not before saying goodbye to his comrades.
  • In the Sengoku Basara anime, Date Masamune, recovering from a gunshot wound and significant blood loss, gets up and starts to go after his men who were taken hostage. Kojuurou knows he's in no shape to be going anywhere and eventually has to challenge his master to a fight, which he wins by only attacking from his blind side, (gently) punching him in his injury and then (carefully) knocking him out with a blow to the head. Masamune later has another episode of I Can Still Fight (due to the same injury) against Nobunaga.
  • Shaman King:
    • Faust VIII regularly does excruciatingly painful things to himself that no sane doctor would do. Then again, Love Makes You Crazy... It might also be justified in that he's implied to be a morphine addict. From The Other Wiki: "When Yoh broke his leg during their fight. Faust tore the broken bone right out of his leg and had Eliza bring him another similar in size, reasoning that replacing the broken bone was faster than letting it heal."
    • When he and the other candidates are dropped from a great height, it is assumed they will use their powers to land safely. Faust? He does nothing. He reasons the morphine he is constantly hopped up on will leave him conscious after landing, and then he can use Eliza (who is a trained nurse) as his hands to stitch himself together afterwards. Basically, Faust VIII treats his own body as We Have Reserves.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: Hisame insists on tracking down the attackers who wounded himself and one of his men though he does relent and allow for a field dressing. He later joins those defending the garrison when it is breached by multiple attackers despite being ordered to limit himself to giving orders due to his injury, though he does wait until a good portion of the knights are down to enter the fight openly and he was furious at being given the order in the first place.
  • After being beaten into a coma in the twelfth episode of Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu wakes up the next day and insists on joining in on the mission to take Sternbild back from Ouroboros, despite the debilitating pain he experiences from just trying to get out of the bed. While Blue Rose manages to talk him out of it, he ends up doing it again, this time to save Barnaby, after he gets it in his head that his Hundred Power could probably work as a makeshift Healing Factor.
  • Transformers Victory: As part of their overall strategy to loot Earth of its energy supplies, the Decepticons successfully ambushed and wounded in succession the Autobot second-in-command and Brainmaster trio team leader Blacker, and then Autobot commander Star Saber (with the added bonus of mortally wounding Autobot Godmaster God Ginrai). The Decepticons then took advantage of the huge decrease in Autobot fighting power by launching numerous raids simultaneously, since the remaining Autobots were either comparatively inexperienced or just lacked the overall strength and power to match the Decepticons. Despite their grievous wounds, both Star Saber and Blacker joined in the fighting against advice from the chief doctor. In both cases it was a disaster since Blacker was so badly hurt he couldn't even transform while the towering Star Saber in his weakened state just made him a bigger target and forced his fellow Autobots to focus their attention on protecting him. The reconstruction of the dying God Ginrai into Victory Leo gave the Autobots just enough fighting power to give Star Saber and Blacker the time they needed to properly recuperate.
  • Van Fanel in The Vision of Escaflowne: neither the near-complete destruction of his mech nor his own dangerously serious injuries are enough to dissuade him from trying to rush straight to the battlefield on foot (or rather by wing) while screaming that he can still fight.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Happens with growing frequency in Yu-Gi-Oh!'s last arc, Millennium World, when stakes are upped to include more frequent injury (through the characters' life energy running out when their monster familiars are destroyed). The Pharaoh has his ka Slifer nearly destroyed in battle but refuses to give in, eventually using it as a decoy. He also is knocked off a cliff by Bakura, and returns wounded but insisting that they chase Bakura before the city is targeted again. In both cases, the priest Shada tries to reason with him, to limited success.
    • Crow Hogan takes on this trope in the World Racing Grand Prix Arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s. After his replacement team member Akiza also gets attacked, Crow decides to duel against the nasty Team Catastrophe that injured them both. With a half-broken arm, he manages to beat an enemy duelist all while figuring out then dodging their insanely cheap trick that makes motorcycles crash.
  • During the Team Masho fight during the Dark Tournament arc of YuYu Hakusho, Team Urameshi only has three usable fighters: Kurama, Yusuke, and a brutally-injured Kuwabara. (One of the corrupt rules board members has tricked their other two fighters into being unavailable.) The first two are taken out (Kurama with grievous injuries and Yusuke by a rules loophole). Masho has one fighter left... so Kuwabara forces himself into the ring to avoid the team being disqualified, even though he can't use his spirit energy due to his injuries. He wins thanks to some timely encouragement from his love interest.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman is notorious for refusing to stay in bed no matter what shape he's in. To an extent, this has rubbed off on the people he's trained - when Nightwing wants to head into battle with an injured leg, Alfred has to threaten to break the other leg for him to stay down.
  • Judge Dredd: On more than one occasion during the Mega Epics, Dredd has simply refused medical care after being badly injured because he cannot abandon his post for any length of time with the city on the verge of destruction.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW): Issue #24 has Tangle the Lemur, who's trying to buy time for her friends to escape, boast this as the Metal Virus spreads around her. She doesn't get to finish before the infection finishes and she becomes another Zombot in the crowd.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld Expanded Universe of A.A. Pessimal, pugnacious Assassin Johanna Smith-Rhodes is a repeated annoyance to Matron Igorina, repeatedly going against Igor advice that, for instance, a broken arm or very advanced pregnancy means she should retire honourably from combat. Igorina is less than enchanted in fiction Hyperemesis Gravidarum to realise Johanna's younger sister (a student Assassin) shares this family trait.
  • Hikari, the protagonist in the Fairy Tail and One Piece fanfiction The Dragon That Will Pierce the Heavens, is prone to this to unhealthy degrees. The first sign is in the Kuro Arc, where even when she could not so much as sit up under her own power, Hikari insisted on being thrown into danger to protect Kaya and Usopp.
  • Played for Drama in Five Petals (Naruto). Despite twisting his ankle in the Forest of Death, Sasuke refuses to drop out of the Chuunin Exams, insisting he's still capable of fighting. Naturally, his opponent targets his obvious weakness, aggravating his injuries further. Sasuke is then bluntly informed by the medical ninja examining him afterwards that this basically guaranteed that his ankle wouldn't heal cleanly, meaning he has to adjust to being permanently crippled.
  • Another 'refusal to break' one is Han Solo in the Star Wars fic Important Information. He endures beating, burning, whipping, rape, bugs called blood parasites burrowing into his flesh, and a force mind probe. He admits to Leia later that he came close to breaking, but managed not to reveal anything more than the person who told him the stuff (during the probe). And on top of that,driven by adrenaline and Luke lending him strength through the force, he stands up while the Roaring Rampage of Rescue is going on, not caring that both his arms and a number of other bones are broken, and manages to take out two Stormtroopers and the guy who originally set the whole thing up. He takes out one trooper, then confronts the mastermind. The guy starts choking him while he's dealing with a trooper that Luke warns him is sneaking up behind him, but after blasting the trooper, Han manages to turn his blaster backward,shove it into the guy's chest, and pull the trigger before collapsing from his injuries.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series fanfic Insontis, McCoy insists on running after Kirk when he escapes from his kidnapper, even though he's barely recovered from being drugged half-conscious.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: Despite being heavily injured and exhausted from the battle, Yang and Blake insist on continuing to fight during the Breach in order to protect Vale's civilians. Jaune actually has to resort to Mind Manipulation to make them finally pull back to safety.
  • Opalescent: During the pienado massacre, Opal gets hit with a contaminated pie, and then tons more, before collapsing and losing consciousness. She comes back to consciousness several hours later and begins treating other contaminated agents despite the contamination still flowing through her.
  • Pokémon: The Lost Child: The Magby that Treecko and Piplup rescue in Chapter 5 insists he can still walk but quickly realizes he can't and Treecko and Piplup need to carry him back to his village.
  • In The Power of the Equinox, Lieutenant Steel Blitz receives an incessantly bleeding gash on her side during the fight against the Entity-possessed Dimmed Star. However, she refuses to stop fighting, so her squadmate Maple Branch must forcefully carry her away and help the medics strap her onto a gurney.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes fanfic A Study In Situations, Holmes becomes ill thanks to having to go out into the rain to find Watson and neglecting to care for himself afterwards. Once the sickness has passed the crisis point, Holmes wants to get out of bed and get on with the case, despite being too weak to contradict Watson's argument that one more day of convalescence is not going to ruin anything.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: Lost in Gotham:
    • Batman, despite getting his foot busted in a fight with Bane, insists on accompanying Spider-Man, Orphan, and Wonder Woman on a mission to stop the Penguin. It takes convincing from Alfred and his kids before Batman agrees to sit the mission out. The only reason he relented was because he knows that Diana is fully capable of protecting the teens.
    • Most of the family's other members try to avoid this trope, or at least do it reasonably. In "Why Spiders Don't Drive Cars", Spoiler accompanies Spider-Man when he goes to help Batman in the Batmobile despite her injured arm, but she's mostly feeding him instructions (same as Oracle) and not actually fighting.
    • Deconstructed in a later chapter. After receiving a nearly lethal injury (only surviving thanks to Doctor Thompkins reaching him in time), Bruce still tries to get back to work. After spending nearly two days fighting to keep Bruce in bed, Peter lets him have it, telling him that he has an entire family who wants him to get better and can protect Gotham in his stead while he recovers. He then reminds Bruce that he's already lost four parental figures in his life, and that he doesn't want to lose another one.
  • In the final chapter of Turtle Kittens, all four Turtles have suffered severe injuries from Shredder, with him even threatening Mikaelangela's life to get Leonardo to call Master Aspen. Once she arrives and starts kicking the crap out of him for attacking her kids, all four Turtles get back up and help her fight (with Mikey even saying the trope almost word-for-word).
  • You Obey (My Little Pony): Shadowfax refuses to break, no matter how harsh the interrogation methods her captors use.

    Films — Animated 
  • Said almost verbatim in Cars, only replace "fight" with "race". One car gets totaled so badly... well, see for yourself.
  • In an alternate ending of Disney's Robin Hood (1973), Robin is in bed with an injury suffered rescuing Maid Marian from the sheriff. A rider is coming and Robin insists on dressing and getting up.
  • In Transformers: The Movie, a badly damaged Megatron protests that "I still function" when Starscream decides to institute a "survival of the fittest" policy after Astrotrain protests that he's carrying too much. Unsurprisingly, Starscream goes ahead and throws Megatron off into space over the latter's protests. Unsurprisingly, this ends up biting Starscream in the exhaust port when Unicron reformats Megatron into the more powerful Galvatron, who kills Starscream in revenge.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 13th Warrior: "Lo there do I see my father. Lo there do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers..."
  • In 300, this seems to be more or less expected of the spartans.
    Leonidas: I trust that scratch hasn't made you useless.
    Dilios: Hardly my lord. It's just an eye. The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare.
  • In The Alamo (1960), Jim Bowie was no doubt the worst patient among the fort's defenders. Often yelling loudly at those who tried to get him out of harm's way whenever he became injured.
  • Happens to the main character in the movie Click, so he could tell his son that "family comes first" and make up for never being at home thanks to the fast-forward on the remote. He dies, but It was All Just a Dream.
  • Best of the Best. Eric Roberts gets his shoulder severely injured, and should on all normal accounts be taken out of the karate tournament, but persuades the coach to finish his match for the good of the team.
  • Literal scene in Black Hawk Down, but it takes some conditioning from officer in charge to have severely wounded soldier eek out "I'm still in the fight". Repeated in the aftermath scenes with the same soldier telling the same officer "Don't go back out there without me. I can still do my job". In the epitaph, we'll learn said soldier actually died from his wounds.
    • When the Rangers are about to depart their base with reinforcements for the battle a soldier originally left out for a sports injury demands to join them. His platoon sergeant remarks "not with that you're not" (arm cast). The soldier then wips out a knife threatening to just saw off the cast right in front of him. He gets approval to go.
  • Steve Rogers/Captain America of the Marvel Cinematic Universe often says this when backed into a corner or seemingly outmatched:
    Steve: I can do this all day.
  • Humorously by the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Even with all his limbs get hacked off he insists he can still fight.
  • Zig-zagged in Tombstone; Doc Holiday is clearly in the terminal phases of his tuberculosis but this doesn't stop him from facing down film arch-villain and deadshot Johnny Ringo, so as to prevent his friend Wyatt Earp from facing a duel he can't win. However, first the good doctor has to feign being already on his death bed in order to get ahead of Wyatt. Of course, being the gunslinger badass that he is, terminally frail or not, Doc easy dispatches Ringo in their (highly foreshadowed) showdown.
  • The entire second half of The Wrestler is based on this trope.
  • Time and time again in Zulu.

  • In A Brother's Price, one of the princesses refuses to stay out of combat: "We had to all but sit on her to keep her where things are safer."
  • In Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel Duty Calls, Cain refuses to stay in bed longer than three days despite his concussion (and he does not have a Hard Head). Of course, he was afraid that the enemy were too close and he might die in his bed.
  • In the Discworld novels, Sam Vimes the workaholic Watch Commander does this all the time. The people who know him mostly give up after a token protest and wait in patience until he falls over.
    • In Carpe Jugulum, Granny has been drained by vampires, nearly frozen to death, and is clearly exhausted and weak, but still intends to march off and face the monsters. Pastor Oats protests the people of Lancre allowing her to do this, but they have a different perspective; why should they care what happens to monsters?
  • The Dresden Files: Starting in about the third book and continuing from there, Harry Dresden tends to be beat to hell and back before the final showdown, and heads into battle when in any other circumstances he'd be in too much pain to go on.
  • In the Everworld book Enter the Enchanted, Galahad managed to get out of his tent and stand to provide moral support, after he was wounded in a way that would have fatal in his time, but he managed to pull through after stitches and a blood transfusion. Then, in the process of blocking an attack, his stitches burst and he bled to death anyway.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts:
    • In Honour Guard, Corbec and other injured Ghosts, order to evacuate, instead desert to join the Ghosts in their honour guard duties.
    • In Ghostmaker, when Dorden and other Ghosts were trying to protect injured soldiers in a field hospital, Culcis, one of the wounded men, led several of them out to help: they were capable of shooting, though not all of them could stand.
    • In Only In Death, Tona Criid, suffering a concussion, had to be argued with — and finally given a flat order — to get on the plane for evacuation.
    • In Straight Silver, Rawne and Barda leave their beds — though frustration with ignorance had more to do with it than desire to fight.
  • In the Harry Potter series, when Harry had been arguing with an annoying Quidditch teammate (Cormac McLaggen) during a match, who was trying to show another player how to do their job during a match. When Harry tells Cormac to get back to his own position, Cormac accidentally knocks Harry unconscious and, for the umpteenth time, he finds himself in a hospital bed, remarking furiously to Madame Pomfrey,
    "I don't want to stay here overnight. I want to find McLaggen and kill him."
    "I'm afraid that would come under the heading of 'overexertion'."
  • Honor Harrington at the end of Flag In Exile. Honor has: been called a whore for most of the book, blamed herself for an industrial accident which killed a group of schoolchildren, learned that the "accident" was sabotage, had her armoured shuttle shot down so thoroughly it blew up, and saved from a point-blank assassination when Grayson's spiritual leader threw himself in front of her, and generally suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. She finally gets to the Council Chamber, battered, bruised, limping and exhausted, presents her evidence, and names the man who's been orchestrating all of this... who promptly claims a traditional form of justice and demands to face the Protector's Champion in trial by sword combat. And guess who that is? The Protector, seeing that she's in no shape to fight, begins to back off from his proclamation (which will undermine his authority for all time), but she cuts him off:
    Honor: Your Grace, I have only one question. Do you wish this man crippled, or dead?
    • After disemboweling and decapitating her opponent on the floor of the Council Chamber, she then goes on to design a strategy to allow the Grayson navy to fight and win a space battle in which they were outnumbered about three to one without getting any sleep for the day or so after the swordfight (as that would hurt morale). After coming up with the battle plan, she very sensibly delegates the actual execution to her flag captain; he hadn't been blown up recently, had had a good night's sleep, and was generally in better condition to judge the best time to start each stage of the plan.
    • Practically anytime one of the competent admirals, captains, or X Os is injured, they are going back to their bridge as soon as they regain consciousness regardless of what the doctor thinks unless they are physically unable to move themselves there or there's someone above them to order them back to bed.
  • Between the Horatio Hornblower novels The Commodore and Lord Hornblower, Hornblower spends a year on medical leave for the case of typhus that nearly killed him during Napoleon's attempt to invade Russia. When he's put in charge of a squadron again, Bush (who as his longtime Number Two knows that Hornblower routinely pushes himself to the limits of endurance anyway) suggests that he ought to take it easy because, again, a year's medical leave from an almost fatal case of typhus. Hornblower gets quite angry at him for hinting that he might be less than fit for duty. Then he feels ashamed of himself for snapping at an old friend who's just worried about his health and apologizes... though he still doesn't take it easy.
  • This is the climax to Ivanhoe. Nobody will fight for Rebecca except for Brian DuBois-Guilbert; the Templars, knowing that, have tapped to be their champion against her, but Ivanhoe, still suffering from the side wound that has kept him unconscious for most of the book, shows up to defend her, still barely able to keep on his horse. In the book, he wins by virtue of DuBois Guilbert's guilty conscience-induced heart attack, while the movies play it much more straight.
  • The Tharks of John Carter of Mars have literally made this their tribal motto: "Leave to a Thark his head and one arm and he may yet conquer."
  • Éowyn tries to pull this in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. They drag in Faramir to stop her; he points out that the army has gone too far and she can't catch up, and if the battle does come to them, she would be better able to fight if she rested now.
  • Simona Ahrnstedt gives us a moment of this in her debut novel Överenskommelser. When female protagonist Beatrice falls off a horse and gets injured, she still wants to get up, despite being adviced not to do so by Seth, her love interest.
  • Merric insists on joining Kel's other friends in the fourth Protector of the Small even though he's still weak from blood loss. So Neal and the others come up with a solution, to Kel's displeasure.
    Kel: You had to tie him to his horse to get him this far!
    Merric: But I'm really well tied.
  • In Rachel Griffin, Rachel takes quite a beating during the final battle but refuses to follow advice or orders to stay in the infirmary, since she can still help save others.
  • Urthstripe the badger in the Redwall novel Salamandastron. In this case, he's delirious as well as severely injured. The hares tried to keep him down by tying him into bed. He gets up to fight anyway.
  • Revelation Space Series: In Redemption Ark, Ilia Volyova demands control of a militarized freighter and a portion of the Hell-Class weapons to hold off the Inhibitors, after she receives a terminal dose of radiation during the battle between the the Nostalgia For Infinity and Zodiacal Light lighthuggers.
  • In Lee Lightner's Space Wolf novel Sons of Fenris, when Jeremiah revives his fellow Dark Angels, he asks Nathaniel how his wounds are; Nathaniel answers, "I can fight."
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Shatterpoint, Depa Billaba (suffering from a combination of mental and Force breakdown) invokes this trope verbatim: "I can fight. I can always fight." She eventually goes on to defeat Mace Windu in single combat.
    • Another story has the ARC Trooper Alpha, pretty much the badass among badasses of the clone troopers, get crippled from the waist down when General Grievous impales his spine on a pair of lightsabers. When Obi-Wan Kenobi calls for medics, Alpha instead insists that he just give him a blaster. After all, his arms and eyes are still fully functional, so he can still shoot.
    • In the beginning of The Truce at Bakura (taking place immediately after Return of the Jedi), Luke Skywalker is still suffering from the barrage of Force lightning he got from Darth Sidious which calcified his skeleton. In spite of this he goes on a mission to rescue Wedge, and while he's recovering from the operation simply hearing a trooper hurrying down the hall is enough to activate his Chronic Hero Syndrome and make him commandeer a floating chair to find out what's going on in spite of everyone telling him to go back to bed. Ironically, when he finally calms down and agrees to stay put Obi-Wan shows up and tells him he has to go.
    • New Jedi Order: In "Star by Star", Anakin takes a hit rescuing his sister from some Yuuzhan Vong warriors, but despite the large amount of blood this produces insists it's nothing and he's fine. Right up until he passes out. Medical examination finds his spleen's ruptured and unless something is done soon he's in trouble, but their situation doesn't exactly leave a lot of options, and Anakin refuses to go into a healing trance. He soon ends up dying.
  • The Underland Chronicles: Gregor and the Code of Claw has everyone doing this.
  • In The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas, Raoul, the son of Athos, combines this with Death Seeker at the Battle of Gigelli. Despite being wounded, Raoul continues trying to fight, helping to encourage and rally the faltering French assault. The French win, but Raoul dies.
  • Used now and again in the X-Wing Series, when pilots in their snubfighters are badly damaged and have to keep flying. Lara Notsil is fully aware that "No, I'm good to fly" is the pilot's "automatic response, whether Imperial or New Republic, whether truth or self-delusion".
  • Warhammer 40,000 novels:
    • In Dan Abnett's Horus Heresy novel Legion, Mu checks this with Soneka: should he really be up? He assures her that the medical papers were just to convince the authorities that his erratic behavior had been combat fatigue.
    • In James Swallow's The Flight of the Eisenstein, after Garro loses his leg, he still hobbles into the fight, with help from another Death Guard, who tells him he's in no condition to fight.
      As long as a Death Guard draws breath, he's in a condition to fight!
    • In another James Swallow novel, Faith & Fire, Isabel is dragging one leg, but in answer to "Can you fight?" says "Need you ask?"
  • Every single character in The Wheel of Time has pulled this at least once. Every main male character except for Mat has pulled this at least five times. The record probably goes to Rand, especially as he has another character with an empathic bond with him nearby at almost all times shocked at how he endures the pain of his unhealed wounds.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted in The A-Team episode "Deadly Manuevers". Hannibal tries to struggle back to his feet to go after the villains who kidnapped the rest of the team not long after he's awakened after being dosed with spiked milk. However, the fact that he's so in pain he can't even stand up and Dr. Sullivan's advice that he's going to have to wait longer before he can be back to normal make him lie down again.
  • In the series finale of Angel, Gunn is wounded really badly and losing blood fast, but he still insists he can continue to fight in the incoming (and seemingly endless) battle.
  • Band of Brothers has a few instances of soldiers returning to the frontline before being released as fit by the military hospital, to the extent that one soldier gets scorned by Easy Company for not returning to the field as soon as he was able.
    • This is a common phenomenon with soldiers in any war. They would rather be with their troops and fight than leave them. Whether their doctors allow them to do so is another matter. There is also the factor that when released from the hospital a soldier would often end up reassigned to whatever unit was needing replacement rather then their original units. There is a strong desire to go back to fight with your friends then a bunch of guys you've never met.
    • Frequently, the soldier has to escape from the hospital.
  • Booth on Bones in the episode "Two Bodies in the Lab". He got blown up by a bomb, was barely able to stay on his feet, and still signed himself out of the hospital to go with Hodgins, then insisted on going in to save Brennan.
  • Reid's drug problem in Season Two of Criminal Minds is the result of a lot of factors coming together, but this trope is definitely one of them. Being kidnapped and tortured left him traumatized and in no shape to spend all day looking at photos of bloody crime scenes. However, by the very next episode, he's back at work doing exactly that, and overreacting to the point of paranoia at any tiny suggestion on his coworker's parts that he might not be ready to do so yet. Instead of taking the time to cope with his issues in a healthy way, he starts using Dilaudid, which, if it doesn't make his trauma go away, at least lets him forget about it long enough to kind-of-sort-of do his job.
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight: Chris, frequently. It didn't work so well for him.
  • Lost, "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1": Jack rushes off after the mercenaries' helicopter hours after an appendectomy.
  • M*A*S*H: Happens a few times over the series:
    • In the episode "Carry On, Hawkeye", the entire camp comes down with a flu virus until the only ones who aren't (and don't) get sick are Margaret, Radar, Father Mulcahy, and a handful of nurses. Hawkeye gets sick towards the end of the episode, but is forced to continue operating (despite being clearly sick) as he's the only surgeon left. He's thanked and praised by everyone in camp for this (even by Frank) and allowed some time to recover after.
    • In the episode "Yalu Brick Road", a mishap with the Thanksgiving turkeys leaves everyone in camp laid up with salmonella except for Father Mulcahy (who missed Thanksgiving dinner because he was visiting the orphanage), Margaret, Charles, Hawkeye, and BJ (all of whom were at other units for various errands, and the latter two got lost and don't return until the end of the episode). Despite feeling very sick, Colonel Potter does all he can to help the camp recover.
    • The episode "Lifetime" has a downplayed version with Charles. Despite having given blood twice that day (and not having waited the allotted time before he donates again), Charles insists on being the blood bag for the soldier's operation. As one would expect, this leaves him dizzy, uncoordinated, and needing a rest for a while.
  • Tony on NCIS returns to work shortly after having the pneumonic plague, looking peaky and pale. He still manages to outrun an exploding car, albeit not as quickly as he might have if healthy. Of course, all is forgotten during the next episode (the third season premiere) even though the timeline has only advanced a few hours.
    • Actually, the timeline advances 1-2 days from the car bombing until the finale proper. And another 1-2 days (at least) from Kate's Death to Ziva's introduction. And it is implied that he had been on sick leave for a period of time before all this started. Still fits the trope though.
  • Power Rangers, every time anyone has ever gotten hurt, it seems.
  • Spoofed in Stargate SG-1, when O'Neill wakes up in a hospital bed and wants to get back to active duty at once, he tries to stand up and immediately collapses in a heap on the floor, not having the strength to even walk.
    Teal'c: Dr. Frasier believes you are not strong enough to undertake such a mission.
    O'Neill: Yeah, whatever. [stands up; collapses]
    Teal'c: Dr. Frasier is usually correct in such matters.
  • Sheppard in Stargate Atlantis is crushed when a booby-trapped building collapses and a metal rod pierces his side. When he is saved Dr. Keller tells him he needs a transfusion and surgery immediately, but he insists on a quick patch job so he can lead the mission to rescue Teyla. Ridiculously, both the doctor and the expedition leader decide to allow this.
  • Happens a lot in Star Trek.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two", Sam still grimaces and winces when he moves, but insists on pursuing the Yellow-Eyed Demon.
    Dean: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop, Sam, stop! Damn it. You almost died in there. I mean, what would I 've — can't you just take care of yourself for a little bit, huh? Just for a little bit?
    Sam: I'm sorry. No.

    Myth & Legend 
  • A commonplace version of the legend of Robin Hood is that he sat up in his sickbed to shoot off an arrow and directed Little John to bury him where it hit. Then he died.
    • There is a joke, stating that, because of this, Robin Hood was buried in his wardrobe.
      • Referenced in the erotic webcomic Oglaf — the arrow lands in a man's butt. The not-quite-dead man's response? "What, again!?"

    Professional Wrestling 
  • During the May 6th 1992 No Ropes Barbed Wire Fire Death Match against Atsushi Onit and Tarzan Goto at FMW, The Sheik suffered third degree burns for being the last person to leave the ring after the fire got out of control and it literally started to melt. The Sheik then berated his own Tag Team partner Sabu for dousing him with water, as this prevented The Sheik from throwing a fireball at Onita and Goto. Only after the match was ruled a no contest did The Sheik agree to go to the hospital and get his burns treated.
  • After missing out on a title match against Fantasia and being regulated to managerial duty at the 2004 GLORY convention, Lexie Fyfe decided to defy doctors' orders when she saw then TNA wrestler Desire was set to appear at Spinebuster Championship Wrestling and no opponent had been booked. Fyfe ended up hurting herself more than Desire did through accidental use of her injured arm.
  • Samoa Joe was't medically clear for ROH The Final Showdown on account of his broken ribs, but insisted on entering into a four way dance with Jack Evans, Delirious and Ebetaroh anyway, saying that if any of them could pin him he'd give them the Pure Wrestling Title belt.
  • Just as ROH was finally convincing Joe to stay out of the ring, his protege Jay Lethal claimed as much at Nowhere To Run when it was announced his doctor had said he may never be able to return to the ring after Low Ki and Homicide gave him a Ghetto Stomp and Cop Killer at the same time.
  • Enforced in Ring of Honor after Lacey sees Austin Aries refuse to let her throw in the towel for him. Jimmy Jacobs, by contrast, very much wanted Tyler Black to throw in the towel and end their "I Quit" match but Lacey forced Black to let it play out to the end.
  • Before Supercard Of Honor VII, Jay Briscoe received the first injury of his then thirteen year career after being gored by Rhino of SCUM. His doctor suggested Jay get surgery but Briscoe refused because that would mean he would miss the pay per view where he would be getting a title shot at SCUM leader Kevin Steen. When the doctor said he'd have to miss the event whether he opted for surgery or not Jay just blew him off and went anyway...and won the belt, leading to SCUM's gradual decline. But before that happened, SCUM attacked Briscoe again after he defeated their new leader, Matt Hardy, injuring Jay's shoulder once again and forcing him to vacate the belt...or rather forcing matchmaker Nigel McGuinness to vacate the belt since Jay refused to stop defending it even with his arm in a sling.
  • Fire Ant prevented the referee from calling a disqualification at EVOLVE 30 after Moose interrupted an Open The United Gate match between the Bravado Brothers and The Colony, caught Fire Ant while he was doing a plancha and rammed him into the ring post.
  • While listing the wrestlers not medically cleared for SHINE 24, Lexie Fyfe dryly noted La Rosa Negra had been begging and pleading for another shot at Taylor Made, who gave her a brass knuckle beating and didn't do worse only because of Ivelisse Vélez, who was banned for other reasons.
  • After SHINE 28, La Rosa Negra would demand a rematch, in text, after an assault on her throat from Malia Hosaka and Leilani Kai left her unable to speak. On the same show, Velez returned from injury, possibly too soon, and had a fit when her title match vs Santana Garrett was ended due to referee stoppage, even though it was clear she couldn't fight at that point.
  • After being being forced out of the ring due to a shoulder injury in 2016, Hiroshi Tanahashi admitted that he had been getting advice to quit and rehab his shoulder before he'd be forced out by it and concluded this attitude was his biggest weakness.
  • In October 2015, Nigel McGuinness removed Steve Corino from his commentary position for putting his hands on a wrestler, BJ Whimter, but understanding why, given Whitmer had brainwashed Corino's son, reinstated him back on the active roster. This lead to Corino saying goodbye from ROH, since he had a doctor's note saying he could no longer wrestle. However, Whitmer was so persistent in his antagonism of Corino and his friend Mr. Wrestling III throughout 2016, even threatening to bring Corino's wife into the equation that Corino ended up going against doctor's orders and vowing to be ready for a fight without honor by July.
  • Vélez herself became the poster girl for it in SHINE when she wasn't able to capitalize on a title shot she earned due to breaking her ankle at a Lucha Underground event. About seven months later Vélez returned to SHINE with much fanfare to challenge reigning champion Santana Garrett... who retained when the referee stopped the match out of concern for Vélez's ankle. Ivelisse started building a Valkyrie like power stable in retaliation to this "screw job" only to miss more SHINE shows when her ankle was broken again on another Lucha Underground event. Still, Vélez returned from injury much quicker, and seemingly much stronger than she had from the first, successfully winning the SHINE title...only to be forced to vacate it when her doctor disputed the notion Vélez was medically clear.

  • In the final scene of Cyrano de Bergerac: an injured Cyrano refuses palliative care and insists on dying with his sword in hand, fighting his demons.
  • In the final scene of Man of La Mancha:
    Quixote: Not well? What is sickness to the body of a knight-errant? What matter wounds? For each time he falls, he will rise again, and woe to the wicked! Sancho!
    Sancho: Here, Your Grace!
    Quixote: My armor! My sword!
  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: Despite her injury in the first scene of Base Instruments and Mary and Nathaniel's concern, Mrs. Hawking insists on going about her usual business as a society avenger.

    Video Games 
  • In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Ragna says this word-for-word, albeit with pauses between, after you beat him in Hakumen's Arcade Mode path. Tager also says this verbatim as one of his Quick Tech quotes.
    • Just the once? Please. Besides the aforementioned encounter with Hakumen, he also did it with Nu at the end of the first game, against Hazama at the end of the second game, and against Azrael in the third game. Fighting on with grim determination when he realistically has no chance of winning is pretty much Ragna's entire thing.
    • Jin is just as stubborn - bonus points for parachuting out of an airship despite his injuries and having the balls to fight Hazama in his bad state. Hazama even lampshades this in Slight Hope.
      "We set you up all nice and comfy in the NOL medical ward, and you just hobble off? Not gonna lie, it smacks of ingratitude..."
  • Done as a game mechanic in Breath of Fire II. Sometimes when a character loses all their HP, they will get back up and regain a small sliver of health.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Vergil pulls this in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, refusing to stop fighting his brother despite his own exhaustion. This all plays into Arkham's hands as both Vergil and Dante are left so worn out, they can barely struggle against Jester who is well aware of how much stronger they are at full strength than him.
    • Devil May Cry 5:
      • Nero says this phrase word-for-word, insisting to fight Urizen despite it being clear that the demon king already thrashed all of the protagonists who went after him.
        Dante: V, get Nero out of here! This is a bad move!
        Nero: I can still fight!
        Dante: Nero, go! You're just dead weight!
        Nero: Back off!
      • Vergil battles Dante to a near standstill, and both are worn down by the time Nero intervenes with his full Devil Trigger. Vergil then jumps straight into a fight with his son, ultimately being pushed back but adamantly claiming he's still able to battle. However, he acknowledges that destroying the Qliphoth is more important at the moment, as it'll destroy the human world if left unchecked, which would get in the way of his quest for more power and his rivalry with Dante.
    • The Visions of V manga reveals this is Vergil's response to Mundus defeating him at the end of Devil May Cry 3. He says this after Yamato is shattered and he's held up only by the various sharp spikes stabbing into his arms, legs and chest.
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Thursday tanks an attack from the ghost of Don Joaquin that was meant to strike down a recently disgraced Gordon. It isn't until the battle afterwards that it is discovered his memory circuit took gratuitous damage and could trigger complete memory loss. He chooses to go on fighting anyway, and starts breaking down once Laharl defeats Don Joaquin in combat. Moved by the concern Gordon and Jennifer have for Thursday, he restores Thursday to functionality, his last act as Defender of Earth.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, Dwarves have been known to keep fighting until they pass out from pain. Then again, so does everything else.
    • Inverted on occasion, too—sometimes, cuts or fevers can send them to the hospital, unable to fight, work, spar, or feed themselves until the chief medical dwarf checks them over and fixes their boo-boo if possible. This may be justified, however; small cuts often lead to deadly infections, and fevers may come from forgotten beast or similar syndromes which may also cause such effects as massive bleeding or necrosis of the skin or Armok knows what.
  • This happens to no less than three characters in Final Fantasy IV. First is Edward, who was squishy to start with (and not much good in a fight anyway, come to that), who remained bedridden for a good chunk of the game after a shipwreck. Then there's Cid, whose injury was riding a nuclear bomb to close the hole linking the surface to the underworld, who ignores the medical advice and fixes your airship before passing out again. Finally is Yang, who stopped the Tower of Babil's cannon from firing, and after you revive him via Frying Pan of Doom was told by the Sylphs to stay in bed.
  • Galuf, from Final Fantasy V would kindly like to remind you that he can still fight. On 0 hp.
  • Holy Umbrella:
    Viper: Alright then. (Starts to leave)
    Princess: Viper! You're too weak to move!
    Viper: Sorry, but I really gotta dash. Gotta act before the Princess loses her strength.
  • Subverted in Inazuma Eleven 2, a large number of Raimon soccer club members gets hurt, sent to hospital, and is never used again during the main game. Someoka is injured during one point, and the first thing Coach Hitomiko does is sacking him off the team.
  • Done as a tragic example in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a flashback. 100 years prior, Calamity Ganon broke free and corrupted the ancient battle machines, the Guardians and the Divine Beasts. Link and Zelda are caught by the Guardians and with nowhere else to run, Link decides to hold his ground to protect Zelda and fight them all head on. Link collapses to his knees and struggles to stand as another Guardian closes in while ignoring Zelda's pleas to run away after having sustained mortal injuries. Zelda's powers awakens and she obliterates the rest of the Guardians herself while Link collapses and falls unconscious. Link would have died on the spot if Zelda hadn't given the Sheikah orders to have Link be put in the Shrine of Resurrection.
  • Said word-for-word by Dante in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 when defeated with a light attack.
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect 2's "Overlord" DLC, there's a minor example of this: a security mech tries to shoot Shepard and gets shot. Acting like nothing happened, it tries to shoot them again and gets its arm blown off. Undeterred, it tries to shoot them with its remaining arm, and gets that shot off. At that point, it gives up and runs.
    • In the Citadel siege in Mass Effect 3, bringing Javik and EDI along will result in a conversation, after the squad is in a car crash, where EDI notes Javik has a severe concussion. He grumpily notes that medi-gel isn't going to do anything about it, and just powers through the remainder of the mission.
    • With the extended cut in Mass Effect 3, several of your squadmates will pull this during the evac scene before Shepard goes up the conduit, insisting they stay with Shepard despite needing the other squaddie to hold them up. James Vega and Javik will actually say "I can still fight."
  • In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you rescue an informant named Nikolai from a brutal imprisonment. Nikolai is handed a weapon and quotes this trope word-for-word.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has this as a game mechanic. As long as Travis is still on his feet when he loses all his health, the player can furiously waggle the sticks to make him regain a bit of health and keep fighting. It can be done up to four times.
  • In Persona 3, Akihiko gets himself injured in combat the first time one of the giant Shadows appears, and spends the following month driving Mitsuru up the walls with his repeated attempts to get back into training before he's fully recovered.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Arthur Morgan says this word-for-word in the "Red Dead Redemption" mission when Sadie Adler asks him if he's going to be alright in covering her as a sniper backup while still riddled with tuberculosis.
  • Resident Evil:
    • In Resident Evil 4, if Leon is killed by an attack that makes him lie face-down on the ground, he'll try to push himself back up before collapsing.
    • Resident Evil 5 has the dying mechanic. If you're hit by an overwhelmingly powerful attack or run out of health, the character starts limping slowly and clutching his chest while his vision blurs. If help gets to you in time or if you manage to tap the button fast enough, you'll recover with a sliver of health.
    • Resident Evil 6 also has this same mechanic, but you're reduced to slowly crawling on your back until you recover. At least you can still shoot while you're dying this time.
  • In Sengoku Basara, several characters have dying animations that consist of them struggling to stand up or acting like nothing happened to them before collapsing on the ground.
  • Sonic Forces: After Infinite's third and final boss fight, these are his last words before being teleported away and absorbed into the Phantom Ruby, insisting he can still beat Sonic and the Avatar.
  • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Fayt Leingod will invoke this trope verbatim (quite doggedly to boot) if his hp is knocked into the redzone from taking massive damage.
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 2, Kyouske insists on getting back into the fight despite Axel sending him to the ICU a few scenarios earlier. By the next mission, he's rolled out his Mid-Season Upgrade and hell bent on rescuing his partner, who's also his girlfriend, mind you, from the hands of the Einst. Tweaked a bit in the anime where he's forced to play a sideline role using a customized Mook unit until the repairs on his machine can be completed.
  • After a vicious fight with Rance in Target Earth, Rance's Assault Suit is badly damaged, and Rance himself is bloodied and burned. Rex (the hero), says "It's over," to which Rance shouts, "Not while I live! I can still—" Cue Assault Suit explosion.
  • Villainous example: In Xenogears, Ramsus tries for this after getting the crap beaten out of him by Fei's alter ego, Id, only for his partner Miang to fly him out of the battle. Technically, it was only his Gear that was damaged, not him, but the way that battle was going, he still wouldn't have lasted much longer.
  • In Xenonauts, wounded soldiers can be sent on missions, as long as they're not too wounded. Their wounds have little impact on their performance anyway (especially because of the current Good Bad Bug that makes it possible to instantly heal these injuries with a simple medikit).
  • Said by Elena every time she loses a unit in Yggdra Union's PSP port. Subverted in that she doesn't take any damage herself until she's the last unit, but she still insists on fighting even if it's just her against four dragon riders.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Hakuouki, "I can still fight!" is practically Okita Souji's Survival Mantra after his tuberculosis starts to get the better of him. In all routes but Okita's own, Hijikata refuses to hear of it and flatly forbids Okita from going anywhere near action; in the anime adaptation, however, Okita manages to pull a Last Stand, burning himself out in combat.
    • Hijikata himself proves to be an even worse case: after taking severe injuries during the battle at Utsunomiya Castle, he's all set to drag himself out to the front lines in Aizu, and it's only via a very pointed and physical smackdown from Saito that he's convinced to stay behind and recuperate properly.
  • Shiki from Tsukihime and Shirou from Fate/stay night are both grade-A perpetrators of this trope, refusing to stay in bed even when crippled, sick, recovering (or suffering) from Demonic Possession, energy drained or recently come Back from the Dead. Also in the Fate route, Saber gives this line when severe exhaustion leaves her unable to even arm herself. She tries to pull a Heroic Sacrifice, distracting Berserker while Shirou and Tohsaka escape, but that little honor goes to Archer.
    • It's justified in Shirou's case, due to having Saber's sheathe inside his body, giving him super regenerative powers.
    • In the gacha game Fate/Grand Order, this is played more lightly. Okita Souji is quite known for this historically, so when she wins a battle, she may claim, "Okita-san's big victory! Yep! My body is all fine! I Can Still Fight" and immediately followed with an Incurable Cough of Death.

  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: Bruce gets antsy pretty much immediately when put on bed rest to recover from injuries and tries to sneak into the Batcave to do some work as Batman. Later issues show him still doing this, such as the episode where he had a broken leg and still showed up for a Justice League meeting.
    • Played for Laughs in an episode featuring Zatara Zatanna. Copperhead gets his hands on a wand while fighting her and Nightwing. The magic turns Nightwing into a sentient bunny. He looks at himself, shrugs, and keeps fighting... leading to several images of Copperhead getting his butt kicked by an adorable bunny.note 
  • In The Beast Legion, after Xeus gets a thrashing from Ginta.
  • Girl Genius:
  • Antimony from Gunnerkrigg Court gets a knock on the head, blacks out, and wakes up in the infirmary. She's told to stay in bed, but she sneaks off to find Reynardine.
  • Agent Benjamin Prester, the protagonist of A Miracle of Science gets shot in the shoulder and hospitalized. Both his boss and his doctor insist that he needs rest, but - since the case is pressing and his partner has been kidnapped by the villain during that firefight - Benjamin successfully talks his boss into letting him bring the bad guy in.
  • Ethan of Shortpacked! parodies the Megatron example under "Films - Animated" when he wakes up in the hospital with a burst appendix, and realizes he's going to miss BotCon, crawling to the door and yelling "I still function!"
  • Unsounded: Toma has Elka help him strap his arm down so that he can fight Bell’s insurrections and try to find and rescue his daughter in a khert fire after he is tortured and given a rather nasty compound fracture.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
    • After getting a bad case of bilge (read: fast-replicating nanovirus) from Chemo, Batman is told to stay put while the Atom and AQUAMAN solve the problem. While leaving Batman on his own. Naturally, he doesn't stay put, which actually makes the situation worse for the two heroes.
    • In another episode, he again refuses to stay in bed after being hospitalised. Even after the Justice League reminds him that Gotham still has his protégés, he insists that Batman is a symbol of hope Gotham needs.
  • Beast Wars: In the finale, Silverbolt insists he's not hurt after getting caught in an explosion. It takes Blackarachnia telling him to go get repaired (and his head falling off) for him to concede.
  • Exo Squad features a battle between a human and "alien" fleet. The Jerkass captain of the human flagship, with his ship crippled, says, "If she can fly, she can fight!" He then performs a Heroic Sacrifice, resulting in Alas, Poor Scrappy.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: "I can breathe... I CAN FIGHT!"
  • Justice League: In "Injustice for All", after narrowly surviving being poisoned by Copperhead, Batman refuses to stay in bed despite Superman and Martian Manhunter telling him otherwise. He goes off to investigate the Injustice Gang solo, only to get knocked out and captured by the Joker. This actually works out for him, as he's able to turn the villains against each other from inside.
    Superman: No, you're staying here. That venom almost killed you.
    Batman: So?
    Superman: So, you're staying here.
  • Subverted in a Teen Titans (2003) episode. After Robin has his arm broken, back at the Tower, the Titans are prepared to force him to relax instead of going after the criminal, knowing full well his obsessive personality. So Robin...just goes and watches TV. Huh.

    Real Life 
  • Jim Bowie (of Bowie Knife fame) at the Alamo, fighting literally from his sickbed, first with a multi-barrel musket, then with a pair of guns, then throwing his eponymous knives, until finally overwhelmed by the sheer number of Mexican soldiers coming into his bedroom after him.
  • Alexander the Great once had to ride around in front of his army with a punctured lung to show the troops that he wasn't that badly hurt.
  • Richard the Lionheart got various forms of diarrheal diseases while on crusade, and had the butt cut off his suit of armor so he could relieve himself in the middle of battle without having to take off the whole armor.
  • Admiral Yi of Korea pulled this trope in spirit after the Korean fleet was devastated (read: 12 ships remaining out of 130+) due to a Japanese plot that saw him deposed from his position and the replacement commander fooled by disinformation. The Korean government was on the verge of disbanding the navy entirely to focus on defending the mainland - this was Yi's written reply.
    Admiral Yi: This humble subject still has 12 ships. However small the number may be, I solemnly swear I will be able to defend the sea if I prepare myself for death to resist the enemy.
  • An Australian soldier in the battle of the Kokoda Trail was wounded in the chest with three machine gun rounds. Unable to be evacuated to the rear, he fought on for nearly a month from his stretcher, continuing to man a heavy machine gun, despite pink froth coming out of his three sucking chest wounds the entire time and no painkillers available.
  • Major Robert Cain got blinded, deafened and all-round mauled by German tanks in WW2. Bastard still kept on hunting tanks. In a three-day period he destroyed six goddamned tanks.
  • Several American pilots during the Battle of Guadalcanal continued to fly missions despite bad malarial fevers.
  • The American general who commanded forces in the Philippines after MacArthur escaped, and who spent the rest of the war in a Japanese prison camp, was so weakened by malnutrition and disease that he could barely stand, but he stood proud to sign the Japanese surrender documents on behalf of the Americans at the end of the war. Admiral John Sidney McCain also was at that ceremony, despite being so sick that he died only a few days later.
  • An American sailor on one of the destroyers at the Battle Off Samar was split open crotch to throat by a Japanese shell splinter, but still lay on the deck next to his gun mount, shouting encouragement to his fellow crewmen and begging someone to keep firing the gun.
    • That sailor was Paul Carr, crew chief of his gun.
    • Let's not forget the rest of Taffy 3 especially Captain Earnest Evans and the destroyer Johnston. During the battle the bridge of the Johnston was hit and while wounded Captain Evans steered the ship from the rear steering station of the vessel. His ship now having only one functioning engine then saw a Japanese Cruiser and destroyer squadron doing a torpedo run on the carriers and rushed in to engage. Evans didn't get a Medal of Honor for nothing!
  • Ronald Reagan famously refused to stay in his wheelchair when released from the hospital following the 1981 assassination attempt, as he felt it necessary to show America that he had not been incapacitated.
  • Jack Cornwell, a sixteen-year-old sailor in World War One, fought in the Battle of Jutland aboard the HMS Chester. Even though huge pieces of steel shrapnel were embedded in his chest, he remained at his gun sight and waited for orders. He died two days later.
  • Cervantes (the author of Don Quixote) was in bed with a high fever when the Holy League's navy shipped out for the Battle of Lepanto, but insisted on coming along. He was wounded three times, including losing a hand.
  • Gustavus II Adolphus, King of Sweden and one of the major players in the early Thirty Years' War had a musket ball lodged in his neck that prevented him from wearing armour, since a cuirass pressing on the ball caused excruciating pain. He led cavalry charges wearing a leather jacket instead.
  • Gustav´s Danish contemporary Christian IV suffered the loss of an eye during his campaign in the Thirty years war. His response? "I Still Live!" His response, and attitude, was rendered so badass, the whole incident became the central theme of the Danish royal hymn.
  • Nusaybah bint Kaab was a female warrior who fought in the armies of the Prophet Muhammad in the early days of Islam's expansion. During the battle of Uhud in the 7th century, she was nearly killed defending Muhammad. Lying near death the day after the battle, she heard the Prophet call for reinforcements and got up to answer to call, at which point she keeled over from blood loss. She eventually recovered.
  • The sports world is full of this; especially American Football, where the ability to play through pain is considered to be a job requirement. One particularly famous example is when San Francisco 49ers safety Ronnie Lott, a player noted for hitting opponents so hard that he sometimes knocked himself out, was to be held inactive for the Super Bowl due to a broken finger; he instead asked doctors to amputate it so that he could compete.
    • Another typical example: in one of the early Arena Football League championship games, a quarterback suffered a knee injury, and could be heard to say, "I heard it pop". Torn ligaments typically require surgery, and as much as a year and a half of rehabilitation, and many players report that the most difficult part of rehabilitation is the psychological aspect of learning to put trust in that damaged knee again. This player demanded to return to the game, and was effective, despite reinjuring the knee.
    • Ben Roethlisberger is notably for regularly playing through various injuries. While usually relatively mild, most people wouldn't keep playing football with a broken foot, broken thumb, or separated AC joint in their throwing shoulder.
    • Matthew Stafford put himself on the map by doing this during his 2009 rookie season with the Detroit Lions. Trailing the Cleveland Browns by 6 in the final seconds of their Week 11 game, Stafford tossed up a Hail Mary, at which point two things happened: the Browns committed pass interference in the end zone, giving Detroit one last shot from the one-yard line, and Stafford went down hard and separated his non-throwing shoulder on impact with the turf. To the absolute shock of everyone watching, as the Lions began preparing for that last-chance play, Stafford, who just seconds earlier had been doubled over in pain on the sidelines, stepped onto the field and proceeded to throw for the game-winning touchdown. What really made the moment was that Stafford was mic'd up for the contest, so fans got to hear every word of it.
    • Given that it's tackle football without the benefit of a face mask, rugby players will often get bloodied in the face, with things like bloody lips or broken noses, or just cut above the eyebrow and the like. Unless accompanied by a concussion, there's rarely an actual injury along with the cut. But, for sanitation's sake, they have to leave the field until the bleeding is stopped. So it's not uncommon to see a player with a face full of blood run off the field, only to run back on five minutes later, wrapped up in gauze and such.
      • The most famous instance of this in rugby was from Wayne Shelford, who, while playing for the New Zealand All Blacks against the French squad, somehow managed to get his scrotum torn open. He calmly asked the trainers to triage the mess as best they could, and returned to the match. Then subverted when he got knocked loopy enough from a shot to the head in that same match that they refused to let him continue and he was subbed out.
  • In the boxing world, Smoking Joe Frazier EMBODIES this trope. The man would quite literally never stop coming forward giving him his nickname as he resembled a continuous train on its tracks. All of his losses either came from a decision or otherwise the fight was stopped. Hell, after being knocked down at least seven times in two rounds, he STILL kept coming forward against Foreman, and would have got up against Ali in the Thrilla in Manila had it not been for his manager. Plus, he had a cataract in one of his eyes meaning he fought many fights of his career partially blind. The man always would carry on fighting and most likely would keep on doing so until he keeled over and died. Demonstrated here:
  • Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart, two Delta Operators who fought and died during the Battle of Mogadishu. If anyone know's who I'm talking about, these TWO men single handedly held off hordes of Somalis, killing 24 before they were overrun themselves... And to make it even more interesting, there's unofficially 1000 of equally well trained men like these two. Just Sayin'...
  • In Easy Company, of the 101st Airborne during World War II, if you didn't duck out of hospital as soon as you were able, the rest of the squad wouldn't be all that happy about having you back, figuring that you would rather spend time laid up than fighting alongside your fellow troopers. This was actually relatively common in World War II among injured troops, who would sneak out of the hospital in an attempt to get back to their units, as official Army policy was to assign them to the nearest shorthanded unit rather than their former group.
  • Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (yes, the son of that Theodore Roosevelt) suffered from arthritis (which forced him to walk with a cane) and heart disease, but that still didn't stop him from personally leading his troops ashore on Utah Beach at Normandy on D-Day, an action which won him the Congressional Medal of Honor. He died of a heart attack just over a month later on July 12, 1944. Badass runs in the family.
  • Before the climax of the Battle of Thermopylae, two of the 300 Spartans named Eurytus and Aristodemus were allowed to go home after they were stricken by eye inflammations. Eurytus stayed even though he was practically blind, and died together with the rest of the 300. Aristodemus went home and was shunned by Spartan society for being a coward, and this only stopped when he also died in battle. Herodotus surmises that if only one had been sent home, or if both of them had left, the Spartans would not have considered it cowardice.
  • The German 70th Infantry Division in WWII was known as "the stomach division", and was comprised of soldiers who had minor illnesses (such as stomach upset and diarrhea) which would not prevent them fighting should the need become desperate enough, as it did for Germany during the Battle of the Bulge.
  • USS Yorktown (CV-5) was seriously damaged at the Battle of the Coral Sea in World War 2, to the point that the Japanese assumed she must have sunk. Upon Yorktown's return to Pearl Harbor, it was initially estimated that it would take two weeks to fully repair her. A mere 48 hours later, she was underway again, patched up enough to lend needed support to a task force headed to reinforce Midway ahead of an impending Japanese attack. In spite of her partially-repaired state, it still took a Rasputinian Death of torpedoes and bombs over three days before she finally sank, and her planes helped take down two enemy carriers, including the one whose own planes mortally wounded Yorktown.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): I Can Fight


Jaden wants to duel

Jaden's still in recovery after his duel with Nightshroud but still insists he should duel Camyula. Chazz (and a sheet) prove him wrong.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ICanStillFight

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