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Post-Victory Collapse

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"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."
Vince Lombardi

A character, despite long odds, does something awesomely cool. Maybe they get a Heroic Second Wind that lets them survive long enough for the bad guy to give up and leave them alone, or maybe they just won a particularly difficult fight that they didn't think they could win.

But, after the character's sure the danger has passed, he promptly collapses, whether from the stress of dealing with someone who completely terrified him, because he overtaxed his power too much, or just because he got hurt too badly in the fight. If he actually succumbs to his injuries and dies, it becomes a Heroic Sacrifice. Less serious injuries may start the action back up with an After-Action Healing Drama.

This one is frequently used with the Doomed Moral Victor, Heroic Safe Mode, or with I Can Still Fight!. See also similar tropes Heroic RRoD and Power-Strain Blackout. Compare Fainting Seer.

Commonly used so the author doesn't have to write about all the boring clean-up after the battle climax. The hero may last just long enough for The Cavalry Arrives Late, so they can do the clean-up. For more minor injuries, After-Action Patch-Up may suffice to let him out of the work.

May result when the Bottled Heroic Resolve or Super Mode wears off. Often produces Asleep for Days or Deep Sleep. It's common for the character to awake and find themselves Waking Up Elsewhere, with After-Action Healing Drama or Undressing the Unconscious in effect.

Truth in Television, to an extent: Ever felt extremely tired in the hours that follow periods of high stress? This trope is a more significant form of that fatigue; Adrenaline and other stress hormones can enable people to go for a long time, despite their injuries and exertion, only to collapse once the danger is past and the stress hormones wear off. It can be seen in Real Life when marathon runners cross the finish line and collapse.

As this is a Victory Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Happens to Maya in Azumanga Daioh after he rescues Sakaki and Chiyo from Kamineko's violent cat gang.
  • In Baccano!, Luck Gandor manages to keep from passing out until after he's not only torn open Gustavo's throat with his own severed arm but also delivered an appropriately pithy Bond One-Liner and made sure The Ingenue is okay. Then he falls over.
  • Both Orihime and Chad's first battles against Hollows in Bleach end with them passing out from exhaustion having used their newly awakened powers to defeat them.
    • Ichigo also does this a few times. In one instance, after his fight with Byakuya in the Soul Society arc, he shouts out a victorious "I won!" and then collapses.
  • In Bokurano, whenever the pilot of Zearth or one of the other robots wins, they collapse and die due to the fact that the robots drain the life force of their pilots.
  • In Brave10, this is a regular feature of post-battle scenes. It once goes horribly wrong for Saizo and the others when after defeating Hanzo and Okatsu, Date Masamune shows up and effortlessly kidnaps Isanami while everyone's too weak to stand.
  • Seems to happen several times in A Certain Magical Index... granted in one, Touma just after having his arm cut off, talks his enemy into insanity, and beat him since his enemy's reality-warping magic relied on if he truly believed he could make it happen the rest is generally since he took a massive beating before the good ol' punch in the face.
  • In the manga version of Chrono Crusade Rosette collapses and dies after she manages to shoot Chrono's horns off Joshua's head. She's revived.
  • Rolo from Code Geass applies Explosive Overclocking to his Geass and earns himself an Alas, Poor Scrappy ending.
  • Cowboy Bebop's Spike Spiegel ended a few fights like this, including his last one against Vicious and The Syndicate.
  • Digimon Adventure features a lethal version. After just barely beating Metaletemon, Saberleomon reverts back to Leomon and falls face-first onto the ground. He soon after dies from his injuries.
  • Daisuke in D.N.Angel has a moment where he stops a fight with Krad by using The Power of Friendship to turn him back into Satoshi. After the battle, he leans against a rock wall and admits sheepishly that he couldn't stand otherwise, before promptly collapsing.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • After killing King Piccolo, Goku falls asleep in Yajirobe's car, completely exhausted from his epic match.
    • Goku was unable to move after overusing the Kaio-ken technique during his first bout with Vegeta. Being Goku, he didn't collapse or anything, but a congratulatory pat on the back made him scream in pain.
    • Happened to Gohan at the end of the Cell Saga and in one of the Dragon Ball Z movies.
  • Eyeshield 21:
    • Hiruma holds together impressively throughout the entire Death March, showing barely a trace of fatigue, until they finally reach the hotel and everyone else has dragged themselves to bed, at which point he stumbles into his room and collapses face-first into the mattress without bothering to take his shoes off or let go of his gun.
    • And at the end of the Bando Spiders game, Sena makes it all the way off the field and halfway to the locker rooms before collapsing into Suzuna's arms.
    • Also after Hiruma's arm is broken, he puts on an impressive front throughout the whole game and even onto the celebrations afterward with his arm on a sling. But Musashi reveals to Sena that Hiruma has been going to an oxygen capsule to recover from his injuries and he also left the party early to rest.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Roy incinerates Lust, despite having just been stabbed twice through the side. He cauterizes his and his dying subordinates' wounds, comes back into the fray with all his badassery intact, and finally defeats Lust. Then, of course, he falls to the floor, asking only for some help for Jean Havoc, his wounded subordinate.
  • Kurapika from Hunter × Hunter pulled one at the end of the Yorkshin arc. He slept for two days.
  • Bell from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? achieves one, after initially being stricken with fear against an enemy that's leagues above him, he gains a Heroic Second Wind because he does not want to be saved by the same person once again. He sets aside his fear and fights an intense battle. After a hard-fought battle he barely manages to win, he then collapses on his feet, truly a badass moment.
  • InuYasha: In the anime filler episode "The Tragic Love Song of Destiny," Inuyasha and Kikyo's first unofficial meeting is depicted as such; while looking for a place to hide during his human night, he comes across a battered and bruised Kikyo after she just fended off a large legion of youkai. Kikyo simply warns him to stay away from her and turns to leave... and promptly passes out from her wounds. Inuyasha sticks around just long enough to see she's still alive, and high-tails it out of there when he hears a search party looking for Kikyo approaching.
  • The page picture is Jonathan Joestar from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, passing out after defeating Dio Brando. As he'd just fought off two vampiric knights simultaneously as well as Dio, he'd completely burned out his energy reserves. Alternatively, it could also be thanks to the emotional strain of Jonathan having to fight his adopted brother.
  • Happens occasionally to Kazuma in Kaze no Stigma, though he's too badass to pass out entirely, he tends to spend a while lying flat on the floor. Usually making snarky comments. Or possibly looking up skirts. It's explained that his 'Contractor' state is rather exhausting to use, leaving him severely weakened after it runs out, thus handily explaining why he doesn't use it all the time.
  • The very first thing that Captain Global and his bridge crew do in Macross: Do You Remember Love? once Gorg Badolza is defeated and the final climactic battle is won, is collapse on their seats and get some well-deserved rest.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto collapses after hitting Kabuto in the stomach with a Rasengan. Unfortunately for him, Kabuto is not actually unconscious even though he was smashed into a boulder, which shattered. He has, however, taken too much damage for even his prodigious healing - as he finds out after trying to walk and then collapsing. It also turned out Kabuto severed the chakra pathways that connected Naruto's heart to the rest of his body, which would've killed him if Tsunade hadn't healed him (and it was a close call too). It left him unconscious for the rest of her fight with Orochimaru.
    • After defeating Zabuza, Kakashi attempts to continue his journey with his students and the bridge builder... but he collapses after taking only one step.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. Shinji Ikari gets this almost constantly.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has Setsuna pass out shortly after enduring (and ignoring) an intense force field to save Konoka. It's implied that Setsuna would have died were it not for Konoka's swift actions.
  • One Piece does this a lot, not surprising as their opponents give no quarter in fights and it takes everything the crew got to beat them.
    • Subverted after Sanji seemingly defeats Gin. He walks away from the downed Gin, and falls over to the ground. Then Gin gets back up and gets ready to kill Sanji. Only Sanji's previous kindness keeps Gin from killing him.
    • At the end of the Alabasta Arc, following several epic battles strung together, the entire Straw Hat crew suffers this simultaneously after they're sure Vivi is safe.
    • Happens again after Luffy beats Rob Lucci in a battle that required every bit of his strength. He's so badly exhausted that even being a Determinator isn't enough to help him get off the floor, and he has to be rescued by his crew.
    • Happens for a third time after the fight with Gekko Moriah in Thriller Bark. Luffy was actually unconscious by the time the battle was over, which makes sense given all the damage he took, not to mention downing 100 shadows when the max for a regular human is 2-3.
    • It also happens again in the climax of the Fishman Island arc when Luffy defeats a steroid-enhanced Hody Jones, only in this one, he utterly owned Hody, and his exhaustion seems to have more to do with the fact he was occupied wrecking the giant ship, Noah, from destroying Fishman Island, only for the falling ship to be caught by a number of Sea Kings, leaving him to collapse from the blood loss he incurred earlier in the battle. In a way, it's very much this trope, since it was still Hody's plan to destroy Fishman Island and recreate it, which the Straw Hats prevented.
  • In the final match of Pokémon Journeys: The Series's Masters Eight tournament, Pikachu is so exhausted after barely beating Leon's Charizard for the win he barely stays on his paws for a few steps before Ash scoops him up. Apparently his rest in the Pokémon Center was that needed, as he has to remember the result.
  • In the finale of the first season of Princess Tutu, Fakir drags himself up to his feet after nearly being killed and dramatically takes away the villain's trump card...then faints backward into a pool of water and apparently drowning. He survives, but barely.
  • Happens in Ranma ½. After taking the full force of several perfected Shishi Hokodans and defeating Ryoga, Ranma manages to carry Ryoga's body out of the crater and deliver a dramatic quip about the pointlessness of said attack, before comically collapsing in an exhausted heap.
  • Multiple times in Rave Master. The first is after Haru's fight with Lance before his body has fully adjusted to all the fighting. The most understandable was after Sieg's week-long battle with Haja, and there's no telling if he passed out from injuries and energy spent in the fight of the simple fact that he went 168 hours without sleep.
  • Rebuild World: Phlebotinum Overdose of Nanomachines in his bloodstream from high tech Healing Potion combined with exhaustion causes several Heroic RRoD for Akira like this that leave him comatose for days. Eventually he finds that more expensive medicine combined with mid-mission naps prevents it.
  • Kenshin has this happen to him several times in Rurouni Kenshin, especially after fighting Shishio and being barely able to stand up and even collapsing once before. Needless to say, after that Kenshin's out of action for quite some time and apparently never fully recovers.
  • This happened to Sailor Moon a few times after she'd unleashed new powers or defeated someone particularly nasty.
  • Date Masamune pulls one of these in the Sengoku Basara anime so well that his men didn't even realize he was even shot until he fell off his horse miles away from the battlefield. On top of that, it's heavily implied that he was riding the horse unconscious at least half of the ride back home.
  • In Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Chun-Li collapses after suffering critical injuries in an epic fight with Vega that takes up 4 minutes of screen time. Despite her devasting wounds, Chun-Li ultimately prevails, kicking Vega out a window to his death.
  • Uber-Determinator Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann takes a fatal shot from Thymilph, and was actually dead for a couple minutes, then gets up anyway to help Simon finish him off. Then promptly returns to being dead.
  • In episode 13 of Tiger & Bunny Kotetsu makes a show of using his Hundred Power to accelerate his natural healing before leaving to help Barnaby fight Jake Martinez. As soon as he leaves the room, he collapses against the door, since only his superficial surface injuries were healed: he still has severe internal injuries.
  • In Tomorrow's Joe, Joe does this at the end of his final match with Jose Mendoza once the final bell has rung. We only learn after Joe has collapsed that Mendoza won the match by decision, and the manga ends with the implication that Joe passed away before he heard the decision.
  • In Until Death Do Us Part, Mamoru waits until the bad guy's being dragged away screaming to collapse. This is after he's lost his sight, been hounded across the wilderness, and won an apparently-hopeless fight; the man is badass. Also noted by another character.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters this is subverted. After a brutal duel between Joey and Yami Marik, Joey is able to survive the sheer power of the Winged Dragon of Ra's attack, surprising everyone and giving Marik an Oh, Crap! face, when Joey proceeds to attack the now defenseless Marik, and win the duel before Joey can announce his attack, he collapses from exhaustion, but at least with the knowledge he technically would have won.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Judai goes through this early on in the Seven Stars arc after his duel with Darkness (Asuka's missing brother Fubuki), and stayed that way for a while, until Carmilla tricks Ryo into losing a duel by risking Sho's life.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the BoBoiBoy Season 2 finale, Fang, after producing a Shadow Dragon to finish Ejo Jo's PETAI, collapses from exhaustion.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Strange falls victim to this occasionally after a major magical feat, with effects ranging from "minor dizzy spell" to "coma."
  • In ElfQuest: The Rebels, one of the titular rebels has a very surprising chat with the (then on leave) officer in charge of hunting them down and convinces him he's not one of the wanted, but rather his cousin. And has a minor breakdown as soon as the officer's left.
  • In Hellblazer, John Constantine visits the powerful voodoo magician 'Papa Midnite' to ask for help, and mocking him for good measure, he collapses shaking in the elevator on his way out, because he's secretly terrified of the guy.
  • In Invincible Iron Man #132, Tony Stark finally manages to deliver a punch that knocks the Hulk unconscious. Problem is, he harnessed all the energy his suit had left. This causes the suit to seal Tony inside, so when Rhodey tries to pat him on the back, he knocks him over. In the next issue, Scott Lang has to rescue Tony before he suffocates.
  • Red Robin: When Tim defeated and outmaneuvered Ra's al Ghul's plan to kill Bruce's loved ones and take over Wayne Enterprises but did not defeat, nor plan to defeat, Ra's in the one-on-one sword vs. staff fight the two are having to keep Ra's distracted from his plan's failure Tim lets himself slip into unconsciousness before Dick swoops in to grab him when Ra's kicks him out a window.
  • Runaways:
    • Molly Hayes tends to pass out after any given awesome moment, due to her super-strength draining her stamina.
    • During a trip to 1907, Karolina and Xavin had to combine their powers to create a barrier strong enough to withstand a nuclear explosion. The barrier holds, but they collapse on top of each other afterward.
  • In Superman crossover H'el on Earth, Supergirl stabs H'el with a shard of Kryptonite and pushes him through a dimensional gate, ending his threat. Kara mutters she wasn't about to leave things to her baby cousin before collapsing.
  • Teen Titans. For a while, Changeling/Beast Boy's particular method of shapeshifting could physically exhaust him very quickly, particularly when growing to massive proportions or rapid-fire shapeshifting.
  • Happens to Ultimate Spider-Man quite a few times, at least at the beginning of the series. After he pulls out note cards to insult the Kingpin to his face, he seems to suffer from it far less, however.
  • Wonder Woman: Dead Earth: After Wonder Woman won her intense battle to the death with Superman, she passed out and didn't wake for centuries.
  • X-Men:
    • Hellion of the New X-Men, desperate to save a dying X-23 by rushing her to Elixir (a mutant with the power to manipulate biology which lets him heal anything short of actual death), begs Emma Frost to help him. Emma does so by temporarily removing Hellion's subconscious limits. He flew several times the speed of sound, took out a Sentinel with an armored wagon, and managed to get X-23 to Elixir just in time. He immediately passed out afterward and slept for several days.
    • X-23 gets one of these herself in the Chaos Theory arc of her solo book. After the Enigma Force possesses Laura to help her repair the damaged seal preventing the Whirldemons from crossing back into this universe, she falls unconscious when the Uni-Power separates from her again once the battle is over, awakening later in a medical bay at the Fantastic Four's headquarters.
  • An issue of Young Justice had Arrowette defending the continued existence of the group of teenage superheroes to the Justice League, primarily, Batman. Once she was successful in convincing them to allow the group to exist, she breathed very rapidly into a paper bag, because she had just faced down Batman.
  • In her first mission with X-Statix, Venus Dee Milo rapidly teleports a bomb away from her teammates. When she teleports back, she laughs nervously about some eyeless fishes that have seen better days and then dissipates - it turns out that she's a sentient energy cloud, and the only thing keeping her together is her will power and her suit.

    Fan Works 
  • In Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles, Fluttershy defeats Night Raven. Despite being very exhausted and feeling immense pain, Fluttershy doesn't collapse but remains semi-conscious. She passes out after Firefly congratulates her.
  • In Back to the Future Prequel, Doc passes out after saving Marty from drowning in an icy lake. According to the narration, between the running and the car wreck he was in, he wanted to pass out earlier.
  • In the crossover Code Wings 3.0, Cassidy faints after a harrowing battle in Denver.
  • In An Extended Performance, the Great and Powerful Trixie accidentally summons her Super-Powered Alter Ego, the Alicorn Illusion, to defeat the Shadow Coven. When the power departs her, Trixie is left confused and exhausted on stage, with no very clear idea of what just happened. She attempts her smoke-bomb exit but faints on stage halfway through the trick.
  • In Power Girl fanfic A Force of Four, Kara faints right after defeating Mars.
    "Okay," said Power Girl. "I think we can power down right now."
    "Kara," said Diana. "Let me—"
    That was the last thing Power Girl heard before, exhausted, she hit the ground.
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, this happens to Harry in chapter 6, when he and Professor McGonagall have a showdown.
  • Hellsister Trilogy: It happens to Supergirl after every major battle when she passes out due to both the enemy's blows and her pushing her own body past her limits.
    Supergirl, bone-weary, fell out of whatever had been sucking her through its interior and tumbled into solid reality. Rocky ground, sand, a blue sky, ahhh, that was nice, that was very nice indeed. She lay on the ground and was very glad that there was ground to lay on.
  • In Hope for the Heartless, this happens to the Horned King after he has killed the entire Mad Pack. It's justified since the battle caused him to lose much of his black substitute for blood. He might have died if his prisoner Avalina had not taken him back to his castle.
  • In Hope on a Distant Mountain, Naegi collapses after the first school trial.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Bell is exhausted after killing the man holding Haruhime hostage and collapses into her arms. But fighting go on around him is so intense that he doesn't actually pass out until Oryou deals with Araki.
  • Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily: Near the end of the Fog Car, Paul London does this due to a combination of having been electrocuted by (Dark) Easter, and then being thrashed about by Pyramid Head and stabbed to the side, a combination of exhaustion and blood loss. Notably the "victory" wasn't in battle, but based on how Specter had to confess what his problems were and Pyramid Head considered that a victory in context.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: At the end of "Chapter 7: Fear", Jaune collapses after using the last of his strength to help his friends kill the terentatek, due to a mix of exhaustion and heavy injuries sustained while fighting the terentatek.
  • In The Lorelei Chronicles, the titular heroine does this after fighting off the Dream Lord in "Return of the Dream Lord".
  • The Most Evil Trainer: Justified; Max spends the entire Conference arc as a Nervous Wreck, under enmourmous stress to win, and thus isn't eating or sleeping properly; his final battle with Roland is an incredibly close call, that he only wins by a hair's breadth. The sudden relief of that win, combined with his poor health and the incredible stress of that last round, all cause him to lose consciousness and be immediately rushed to the hospital.
  • In A Prize for Three Empires, Carol Danvers passes out after defeating Kree gladiator Iva Kann in a fight to the death.
  • In the Danny Phantom/Beetlejuice crossover story, Say It Thrice, this happens to Betelgeuse. After dealing with Sanduleak and getting the group somewhere safe, he succumbs to exhaustion due to his method of reaching them in time. He does try to resist as long as possible though.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Solvernia, just as in canon above, Kamina also dies after combining one last time with Nia. The difference is that this happens to Viral as well. He was hit by a drill in the back but managed to have enough energy to save Tsuuma from human forces and expires when he's sure that she's safe.
  • Trade Us for the World: Marcy forces herself to keep standing until she's watched Captain Grime leave Wartwood. Only then does she let the full impact of tapping into the power of Wit hit home, knocking her out cold.
  • In Travels of the Trifecta, Paul faints after he wins his Mine Badge, due to him challenging the gym while being sick with a severe cold/flu.
  • During the Cephiro arc of Undocumented Features' "Symphony of the Sword", Kyouichi Saionji does this immediaitely after defeating a brainwashed Lafarga, collapsing from his (severe) injuries. Corwin Ravenhair even describes it as that "he was just too busy to keel over."
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl fic The Vampire of Steel, Supergirl falls to the ground once she and Buffy have managed to kill off Zol-Am.
    A two-person meteor fell from the sky and slammed into the ground with the impact of a moderate California earthquake. It would have taken a sharp eye indeed to see the effect of a wooden stake coming up through the back of the Zoner who contacted the ground first, penetrating his heart, causing his eyes to widen to an incredible degree and his mouth to open for a curse and a shout of pain, neither of which he could manage to render.
    Within an instant, Zol-Am turned to dust.
    Supergirl lay there on her hands and knees, panting, the stake below her just abutting her blue-clad stomach. She put out a hand and knocked it flat. Then she collapsed, getting her face in the dirt that had been Zol-Am a few seconds ago.
  • What You Knead (Naruto): Kakashi passes out after his first fight with Zabuza, leaving the rest of Team Seven panicking. This also forces Tazuna to have a Jerkass Realization about how he'd been treating the team, thanks to Naruto's frantic screams for his Big Brother Mentor.
  • Jessie in Pokémon fanfic Where Angels Dare to Tread; after running Ayesha through with a sword, she collapses in tears in James's arms.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Hans Christian Andersen's version of The Six/Wild Swans, the protagonist Elise passes out after she's saved from being burned at the stake by her brothers, who then recover their human forms thanks to her magical shirts. In the Brother Grimm's version, she doesn't.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Beauty and the Beast, after saving Belle from the wolves marauding the woods near the castle, the Beast looks at her briefly and then falls down into the snow.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: At the very beginning of the movie when Hiccup frees Toothless instead of killing him (knowing there's a very high risk of him being killed himself), the very angry dragon pins him to a rock, roars only inches away from his face, and bounds away. Hiccup starts to turn around to head back home and, instead, immediately crumples to the ground and faints out of fear and exhaustion.
  • In The Little Mermaid (1989), after defeating Ursula at sea, Eric makes it back to the beach where he collapses in exhaustion.
  • In Mulan, after Mulan saves herself and her fellow soldiers from being slaughtered by the Huns by causing an avalanche that buries the Hun army, as well as saving Shang from dying in said avalanche, she collapses and faints from having been slashed by Shan-Yu's sword during the battle. This leads to the army surgeon discovering her true gender while treating her.
  • In The Secret of NIMH, Mrs. Brisby faints after using the power of the Stone to lift her home from the mud and placing it at the lee of the stone.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Arthur (1981), after Arthur's confrontation with Susan and Burt Johnson is over and he's taken the altar to explain to the guests that there isn't going to be a wedding, he says, "Now that there's a good chance, I should go to the hospital," and promptly collapses.
  • The Avengers: Iron Man, after helping save New York from an alien invasion and a tactical nuke, is found lying on the street, nearly comatose. After he regains consciousness, he doesn't have any particular desire to sit up again right away:
    "All right. Hey. All right. Good job, guys. Let's just not come in tomorrow. Let's just take a day. Have you ever tried shawarma? There's a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don't know what it is, but I wanna try it."
    • And in the credits, they're shown-in full Avengers costumes- sitting around silently in the shop, eating shwarma and fries, too tired to even talk.
  • The Bluesmobile from The Blues Brothers pull off all sorts of crazy stunts throughout the film, but after a 120-mile mad-dash to the city tax office with just about every law officer in the state hot on their tail (plus a few other groups they pissed off along the way), the car quite literally falls to pieces after pulling up in front of the building, its mission complete.
  • In the first Count Yorga, Micheal succeeds in staking Yorga and rescuing his girlfriend, Donna. But then must fend off the remaining two of his vampire harem (One of which was his friend, Erica) with a cross. He manages to force them into a room and lock the door, before dropping his cross and leaning against a wall to catch his breath. Unfortunately he drops his guard too early as he finds out too late that Donna was turned and turns to her just as she lunges at him.
  • In the original version of Game of Death: After Hai Tien (Bruce Lee) defeats his last opponents his collapses from exhaustion. He does not go to the highest floor and asks the mafia guys for help. They don't care very much and tell him that there's more fighting downstairs.
  • In Gladiator, the hero collapses and dies from his wounds after having defeated the villain Commodus.
  • In Godzilla (2014), after Godzilla flambes the female Muto's innards and rips her head off, he takes a power nap. The military thinks he's dead until he wakes up a few days later. In a parallel, human protagonist Ford Brody manages to get the remaining nuclear warhead (which has a hardwired countdown) onto a boat and set course for the ocean before he collapses on the deck, and looks back to see Godzilla do the same.
  • In The Great Houdinis, Minnie notes that Harry's milk can escape is aptly named, as he milks as much drama from it as possible. He stays inside a can full of water for so long that audience members run onstage to free him. After he escapes, he collapses from holding his breath for so long.
  • It's quite a tearjerker when this happens to Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi after he saves the Resistance one last time by using arguably the most impressive display of the Force in the films, but tragically expends too much energy in the process. Bonus points must be given since he was levitating a few inches off the ground prior to his collapse, making his fall even more cinematic.
  • Variant of this in Liar Liar, after Fletcher "roasts" the board room, shattering Miranda's attempts to torpedo his career, Fletcher walks out of the board room laughing triumphantly, and as soon as he's in the hall, he passes out from the stress he's under.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has Sam and Frodo, er, chilling on a big rock after they destroy the One Ring.
  • In the Gary Cooper movie Meet John Doe, romantic interest Ann convinces the title character not to commit suicide. Once he is safe, she promptly faints in his arms.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout makes a point of Ethan's quiet collapse after the climax scene.
  • Napoléon (1927): When Dugommier goes to promote Napoléon Bonaparte after the victory at The Siege of Toulon, he finds him fast asleep.
  • Napoleon (1995). The eponymous Napoleon collapses after rescuing a wild dog pup from a desert flash flood.
  • In National Velvet, the titular Sweet Polly Oliver faints from exhaustion after winning the climactic horse race. This leads to a doctor examining her and discovering her real gender, similar to Mulan's post-battle gender reveal.
  • The Princess Bride: "Why does Westley need helping?" "Because he has no strength." "I knew you were bluffing! I knew he was bluffing!"
    • Makes Sense In Context: Westley could barely muster the strength to stand before that, having been mostly dead for the better part of the day. He shouldn't have been able to do anything but collapse, yet he had the determination to strike an Ass Kicking Pose and deliver the To the Pain speech to Prince Humperdinck and achieved victory with that alone.
  • In Season of Miracles, Rafer passes out and falls on his face after hitting a home run. He's rushed to the hospital, where he's diagnosed with a fatal blood disease.
  • In Speed Racer, Speed auto-starts the Mach 6 after an engine flame-out caused by another racer's illegal move and must go from last to first place in the Grand Prix. After using every legal trick available to him, he performs a final spinning jump over the finish line, winning the race. As the Mach 6 comes to a stop, both Speed and the car are visibly fatigued, broken, and exhausted.
  • A very moving one in Spider-Man 2. Peter is saved from falling when he stops a railway train by the people he just saved. Unfortunately, he's in no shape to fight Doc Ock when he comes back to kidnap him later.
  • The Thing from Another World (1951) - news reporter Scottie, though not as tough as his combat-hardened comrades, fights alongside them against the alien invader - after they finally destroy it, he folds like a cheap deck chair.
  • Yakuza Apocalypse: After Angus' brother wins a battle he had, he flashes Angus a thumbs up... and then falls down.

  • Another has a rather dark example when Kouichi kills Reiko after finding out she's the extra. His collapse was due to his collapsed lung flaring up after he kills her. It becomes the victory part after he wakes up to find most of the class 3-3 not remembering Reiko, as Matsunaga implied, would happen.
  • I Became the Villain the Hero Is Obsessed With: Super Villain Protagonist Da-in's powers are Cast from Hit Points to some degree so that this frequently happens when he pushes his Psychic Teleportation power to its limits by teleporting long distance, starting with Blood from the Mouth and collapsing. This causes several people to worry for him and for him to take long periods of recovery inbetween his terror attacks.
  • Book of Swords: Happens regularly with users of Townsaver. Townsaver will keep its bearer on their feet and fighting so long as there are people to protect, but once the battle is over, the magic that allowed the wielder to ignore their wounds (Which are frequently numerous because Townsaver makes its owner attack those trying to harm the innocent without giving them the ability to defends themselves) goes away, often causing the owner to drop dead of blood loss on the spot.
  • The Brotherhood of the Conch: In The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, Anand and the conch use up almost all their energy banishing Ifrit to the Great Void. Afterwards, Anand faints, his hands and lips burned by the power released by the conch, while the conch becomes brown and cracked. The conch could heal itself once it gets back to Silver Valley, but it chooses to keep the damage to remind people of the necessity of sacrifice.
  • Codex Alera: Tavi passes out hard at least once from pushing himself way, way too far. When breaking Varg out of jail in the fourth book, by the time he got to a point where he could collapse, his arms and legs were about to stop working.
  • Discworld:
    • Vimes is exceptionally fond of this.
      • Jingo: Vimes convinces his arch-rival Lord Rust that he's some sort of badass by handling hot coals (emulating a story about Lawrence of Arabia). Then he waits until Rust leaves to clutch his hand in pain. ("Are you quite sure he can't see me?" "Not unless he can see through camels, sir.")
      • The Fifth Elephant: In only his underwear, Vimes wins a rigged contest against a pack of werewolves, which entails both outrunning and outfighting them in the snow. Carrot and Angua rescue him just in time for him to pass out.
      • Night Watch: "I'll teach him to walk! I'm good at teaching people to walk!" *falls over* Context; Vimes has just gotten back from an involuntary Time Travel adventure to a war zone in time to see his newborn son. And he does teach watchmen how to walk with minimum effort, to make their patrols easier
      • Snuff: After a fierce battle aboard a storm-tossed ship which eventually surfs ashore on a tidal wave, Vimes has just enough time to send someone to make him several bacon sandwiches with some good old Ankh-Morpork sauce before he drops where he stands.
      • Feetof Clay: Has a decidedly more lighthearted take on this trope, when introduced to prospective watchman Cheery Littlebottom, Vimes make polite conversation with her, correctly guessing the derivation of the name and eventually ushering her out. Only then does he finally break down laughing at the poor dwarf's name, repeating it over and over.
    • Granny Weatherwax gets a similar event once. She had to catch the villain's sword with her bare palm to make him surrender - and afterwards, there wasn't any cut. However, a long time after, when she had finally traveled back through half a continent to her home (and prepared bandages and water), she allows the cut to finally happen.
  • The Divine Comedy: After emerging from the firewall at the end of Purgatory, our poor middle-aged protagonist is so exhausted that he collapses and falls asleep on the stairway to Heaven.
  • In Dolphin Island, Professor Kazan falls ill with pneumonia right after a hurricane destroys the island's medical supplies and radio transmitters. Heroic dolphins tow Johnny 100 miles on a surfboard to mainland Australia so he can summon help. After he arrives safely at his destination, the danger of what he's just done hits him, and his legs give out.
  • The Dreamside Road: Orson barely sheathes his sword before collapsing, after finally defeating Master Nine.
  • The Dresden Files. Harry Dresden, most of the time. Especially at the end of Dead Beat, when Murphy gets back from vacation to find him bedridden and on an IV, and as such he does not get chewed out for trashing her house. But then, he wouldn't have been able to move at all from Cassius's torture session on if Lash hadn't taught him how to block the pain.
  • Everworld: In #7, during a Hetwan-Olympus battle, April babbles something incoherent before falling over.
  • After King Arthur truly defeats Meleger in The Faerie Queene, he collapses from blood loss and begins to die. Thankfully, his squire is there to return him to Alma's castle to have his wounds tended to.
  • Freckles: Freckles fights Wessner and then argues with McLean about finishing his round, before he collapses.
  • The Glass Inferno: When everyone is rescued and they're no longer in danger, the junkie resumes having withdrawal symptoms which were suppressed while he and everyone else were trying to avoid burning to death.
  • "Gods Of The North": Conan the Barbarian suffers a touch of this after the fight.
    The Cimmerian stood upright, trailing his sword, a sudden sick weariness assailing him. The glare of the sun on the snow cut his eyes like a knife and the sky seemed shrunken and strangely apart. He turned away from the trampled expanse where yellow-bearded warriors lay locked with red-haired slayers in the embrace of death. A few steps he took and the glare of the snowfields was suddenly dimmed. A rushing wave of blindness engulfed him and he sank down into the snow, supporting himself on one mailed arm, seeking to shake the blindness out of his eyes as a lion might shake his mane.
  • Harry Potter, all the time.
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: The final face-off at the end culminates with the agony in his scar reaching such high levels that he loses his sight and all rational function before falling into a three-day coma.
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: When Harry wins a Quidditch game by catching the Snitch, only for a Bludger to hit him on the arm hard enough to break it. He falls off of his broom and says "Ah, we won," before fainting.
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: After a chase, a fight, a series of mind-blowing revelations, another fight, and almost getting his soul sucked out through his mouth, he faints and gets shipped off to the hospital wing before the second mini-climax.
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Harry is forced to watch a friend die, witness Voldemort's return, gets tortured, and duels both physically and psychologically, all the while bleeding from a leg injury. He is semi-conscious when he gets back, gets even more danger and revelatory crap dumped on him and is mercifully put out with sleeping potion afterward.
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: This is notably averted in contrast to book four. He goes on an extended rescue mission, gets into a huge melee chase, which later becomes an all-out brawl, with the Death Eaters, watches a loved one die, and gets possessed. However, this has traumatized him so badly he breaks down and goes into Rage Against the Mentor mode.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: During the final battle, he is temporarily refreshed by dying, plucking him up enough to save the day, after which he stumbles off to bed on his own power for a sandwich and some sleep.
  • Horatio Hornblower: In Lieutenant Hornblower (which is narrated from Bush's point of view), Bush manages to get through the Spanish prisoners about to seize the ship, but he's so full of fighting madness that he has no idea of the nine wounds he incurred in doing so. When Hornblower arrives with the prize crews to lead a counter-charge, Bush tries to join them and ends up flat on the deck with increasingly muddled thinking as he nearly bleeds to death.
  • Hurog: Tisala escapes from a torturer - after being tortured - walks miles in the ill-fitting shoes of a killed enemy, and kills a couple of bandits. Only then does she collapse. The farmer whose farm she defended against the bandits is very impressed.
  • Inverted in The Long Walk by Stephen King (published under the pseudonym Richard Bachmann), when the protagonist wins the Walk by being the only survivor and somehow finds the strength to run after the exhausting ordeal. Played exaggeratedly straight at the same time. It's heavily implied that Garraty, the hero, is dying.
  • Judas Unchained: Mark Vernon curls up into a fetal position after completing the final piece of engineering for a critical defensive weapon in the middle of a massive alien invasion. He has to be dragged to safety, completely unable to move after the stress and mental effort of the job.
  • In The Lord of the Rings:
    • Merry and Éowyn collapse, after defeating the Witch-King.
    • Sam collapses, after stabbing and driving off Shelob.
    • And Frodo and Sam, as in the movies, both collapse after disposing of the Ring in Mt. Doom and then hiking back to the foot of the mountain. They had burned through all their reserves just to get there and had long since given up on the idea of getting home again after.
  • The Magicians:
    • Early on, Quentin is already tired and hungry after spending all day on the bewildering Brakebills entrance exam, but the process of being spurred into casting his first Minor Incantation leaves him barely conscious. In the end, one of the teachers has to half-carry him upstairs to bed.
    • After walking five hundred miles to the South Pole, naked and protected only by magic, both Quentin and Alice hit the deck and have to be helped through the exit portal - the latter barely conscious.
  • In John Hemry's The Lost Stars novel Tarnished Knight, Kontos insists on opening the bridge to Iceni alone, but once he does, he and the rest of the forces collapse virtually instantly; the major problem was starvation because they had been on short rations for days.
  • Mercedes Lackey loves to cap her heroes' victories by having them fall over, usually waking up bandaged, with friends and allies around them, after being Asleep for Days.
    • In the first book of the The Obsidian Trilogy, after he and Shalkan fight off a pack of stone hounds, a heavily injured Kellen is forced to get back on the unicorn and be dragged agonizingly to safety before he can fold up. Quite a few of his more impressive fights end in such a way, though as he rapidly becomes commander of an increasing percentage of the allied armies he has to delay this pretty often.
    • Heralds of Valdemar:
      • Very frequent for Vanyel Ashkevron across the Last Herald-Mage Trilogy, especially since he seems to specialize in resorting to Taking You with Me against strong mages.
      • Exile's Honor: Alberich is nearly flattened when his Foresight kicks in unexpectedly, then goes full-berserk defending Princess Selenay from a Tedrel kidnap team, then forces himself to remain functional, alert, and on guard for over an hour while now-Queen Selenay grieves over her father's corpse. His friends are looking for a Mindhealer to knock him unconscious when he finally passes out on his own... right at Selenay's feet.
      • By the Sword: Kerowyn takes a Tap on the Head at the very end of a battle against Hardorn. She's okay, but there doesn't seem to be much point for it except to provide a convenient place to close the scene.
  • Mermaid's Song: After the Seadragon goes berserk, partially destroys the Caverns, and kills scores of merfolk, Elan fully opens her mind to him, creating a Psychic Link in order to calm him down. In the process, her hair becomes tangled around one of his horns, causing her to be thrown around so violently that many of her bones are broken. She succeeds in calming the Seadragon before sinking to the seafloor, unconscious. Afterwards she is severely ill for many days, not only because of her injuries but also because the Seadragon's despair is making her lose the will to live. She only rallies when Tia tells her that she can only help the Seadragon by getting her strength back.
  • In Pamela Camel, after Pamela stares down the oncoming train, she faints, with her head landing on the broken rail she was trying to warn them about.
  • Probably in several instances in The Power of Five, but most notably with Matt at the end of Evil Star. Even put him in a Convenient Coma, to show off Pedro's power.
  • Sanctuary: After the battle with the ghost eater, Morgan falls asleep sitting up in the hallway. Once they make it back to their bed, they sleep for over a day and then spend several days hiding in their room, too exhausted for any human interaction.
  • The Sherlock Holmes story "The Reigate Squires" begins with Holmes ill in a hotel room after solving an enormously difficult case (which had kept him working day and night with hardly any sleep for about two months).
    • Holmes also collapses at the end of the pastiche The Seven Per Cent Solution, after engaging in a sword-fight with the villain on top of a moving train.
  • In the novelization of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Relics", an entire subplot involved Riker taking a team down to the surface of the Dyson Sphere. Needless to say, complications arise and the team has to scramble to get out with their lives. After being beamed up, one of the Red Shirts asks if he's off-duty. When Riker says yes, the ensign promptly passes out on the transporter pad.
  • Tales of Dunk and Egg
    • There are two cases near the end of "The Hedge Knight". First, main character Ser Duncan the Tall manages to fight to the end of a multiparty Trial by Combat despite suffering a wound from a lance at the very start. Once it's over, however, he gets hit by the severity of his wound and collapses, needing various friends and onlookers to help him.
    • Tragically, there's also Baelor Breakspear, who is The Wise Prince and the story's Big Good, who fought on Duncan's side. Baelor played a pivotal role in Duncan's win, and approaches Duncan after the fight and speaks to him, only to collapse and die due to a head wound he suffered during the fight. Nobody even realized that Baelor was injured until they assisted him in taking off his helmet, at which point they were horrified to see that his skull was cracked and the Prince promptly fell over.
  • Kahlan, from Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, always collapses from exhaustion after using her Confessor power.
  • In Poul Anderson's Three Cornered Wheel, the natives arrive as The Cavalry to save young David Falkayn and he faints. Meaning his comrades have more time to worry about their youngest crewmate because the natives can't operate his radio.
  • Warrior Cats: In The Darkest Hour, after defeating Scourge, Firestar collapses due to exhaustion and blood loss. Graystripe worries that Firestar's dying, but he needs only rest.
  • In the Worlds of Power book based on Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, the kid from our world accompanying Simon Belmont taunts and beats up Death, believing that the worst thing that could happen would be that he would be sent back home. After the battle, when Simon tells him that, unlike all the other monsters they've encountered, Death really was capable of killing him, he faints.
  • Xandri Corelel: During the climax of Failure to Communicate, Xandri is kidnapped, witnesses a battle, and gives a speech to the World Council of Cochinga. Afterwards, she collapses from exhaustion in the hallway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played for laughs in an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun where Dick injures his foot and believes he has become impervious to pain. Too bad the adrenaline wears off immediately after he punctures his skin several times with staples.
  • In The A-Team episode "Harder Than it Looks", B.A. beats a very strong opponent and collapses when Face and Murdock give him congratulatory pats on the shoulder.
  • In one episode of Air Crash Investigation, a young first officer is left to pilot the plane after his captain is sucked most of the way out the window in a freak accident. While in the air, he keeps his nerves and his plane under control, pulling off a seriously difficult landing in an unfamiliar airport with textbook precision, and even has the presence of mind to use "please" and "thank you" while communicating with the ATC. But as soon as he brings the plane to a stop on the runway, he breaks down completely and has to be helped off the plane by rescue crews. Based on witness statements, this is pretty much exactly how it happened in real life.
  • Better Call Saul: In "Point and Shoot", Gus has a desperate one-on-one gunfight with Lalo after being cornered in the under-construction underground meth lab. Gus kicks out the lights, grabs the pistol he secretly stashed in the lab earlier, and manages to score a fatal neck shot firing wildly into the darkness. After Lalo bleeds to death, Gus promptly falls over as the adrenaline wears off and weeks of paranoia over Lalo catches up to him. He didn't get away unscathed, as Gus examines his bulletproof vest to find Lalo got him twice in the torso during the exchange (as well as an early shot to the chest Lalo gave Gus as a warning).
  • Farscape:
    • In an early episode, D'Argo ends up getting shot in the back while escaping from an enemy fortress, but manages to keep on running the next few hundred meters to safety. As soon as he stops moving, he promptly keels over, revealing that he is seriously injured.
    • In the same episode, Crichton has to rescue Rygel from a gang of kidnappers while wearing a gauntlet weapon that doses him with a powerful stimulant: under the influence of this drug, he runs several miles in the space of a few minutes, fights off two enemy soldiers, and duels their leader to a standstill before the already-overused gauntlet finally runs out of juice. He manages to convince them that Rygel isn't worth keeping, and then carries Rygel back all the way through the jungle to the campsite... then, he finally collapses. For good measure, Crichton is not seen in the epilogue of the episode, being presumably fast asleep.
  • In the Firefly episode "Out of Gas," Mal gets shot in the stomach, and then proceeds to run off his attackers, stumble to the infirmary, shoot himself in the heart with a tube of liquid adrenaline, stumble up into the engine room, repair the ship's core, and then stumble all the way to the bridge to activate the recall beacon to bring the rest of the crew back....and collapses, after showing just how hardcore he really is.
    • And the fact that he collapses JUST short of reaching the recall button does nothing to diminish his badassery in that episode. However, it may not fit this trope, as he passes out before completing the task, not after. Then again, he wakes up to his crew having returned anyway without the signal, confirms that they are all real and okay, then passes out again. This second pass-out may count.
  • Not uncommon in Highlander due to the force of the Quickening leaving Duncan or occasionally a supporting character exhausted when it subsides.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, after finally defeating Ackdos Gill, the Gokaigers do this when celebrating their victory.
  • A meta-example of this occurs in Red Dwarf. Lister is threatening a particularly arrogant hologram, and for emphasis, he eats his cigarette. Once the hologram has left the area and the take has been completed, Craig Charles spits out the chewed remains of the cigarette and mutters "I don't know why I (beep) did that."
  • In the Sherlock season one finale, John very nearly collapses on the spot after being released from his bomb jacket by a frantic Sherlock, in a rare moment of vulnerability on both sides.
  • At the end of the Stargate Atlantis episode "Sateda", Ronon Dex collapses just as Dr. Beckett offers him a tranquilizer before removing a Wraith tracker. To be fair, Ronon had spent the whole episode getting beaten up by Wraith hunters, and especially by their leader, the "Big Wraith". Any lesser man would be dead.
  • In the finale of the second season of Supergirl (2015), Kara narrowly beats her Brainwashed and Crazy cousin in battle, but falls unconscious immediately after.
  • The presenters on Top Gear (UK) occasionally do mild versions of this at the conclusion of their long-distance races. Most recently, Clarkson fell over after the Season 13 London-Edinburgh race after spending eight hours stoking a steam engine and then running a short distance to the finish line.
    May: (pulling Clarkson upright and holding a beer to his mouth) Jeremy. Speak to me.

  • There is, of course, the tale of Ragnarok, from Norse Mythology, where Thor, the son of Odin, slays the Miðgarðsormr (a giant serpent), takes nine steps, then falls dead as a doornail (due to the fatal venom of Jörmungandr).
  • The Tall Tale of John Henry had him beat the Steam Drill in hammering a mine; but he died from the exertion.
  • The Thebaid: After killing forty-nine men who ambushed him, Tydeus realizes he's in terrible pain and drops to the ground, moaning like a lion who's had too much deer carcass to eat.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • During one of her Ring Warriors Title defenses against Su Yung, La Rosa Negra received a concussion and fell under the bottom rope to the floor after pinning her. Then she got up to walk out of the arena and fell again. Then she got back up made it to the curtains before falling through them. She ended up needing a stretcher.
  • Another for La Rosa Negra was her match against Datura at STARDOM Appeal The Heart #2 where she countered a flying attack off the ropes by catching Datura in her arms, and broke her knees in the process. Datura pressed her advantage but La Rosa made a comeback after finding she could put weight on one leg, won, and could no longer stand on either leg after that.


    Tabletop RPG 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a spell that gives temporary extra HP and can cause the lethal version of this when it wears off.
    • The barbarian's rage ability gives temporary extra HP, as well, leading to the same possibility.
    • Normally in Dungeons and Dragons, a character who is between 0 and -10 HP is unconscious and dying, but in some editions, there is a feat (Diehard) that players can take that allows them to temporarily act as if they're "disabled" (conscious but with limited actions available, and some actions can injure them further) when they're in this range instead. If they stop forcing themselves to act before they're somehow healed back to at least 0 HP, they fall unconscious and are subject to the normal dying rules.
    • GURPS has the same mechanic for the Advantage called Blessed: Heroic Feats.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, during the Second War for Armageddon, Commissar Yarrick loses an arm in combat with the Ork Warlord Ugulhard, but still manages to cut off the xenos's head. He does not 'allow himself the luxury of passing out' until the Orks are finally driven from Hades Hive. Oh, and he now uses the Ork's Power Klaw as a prosthetic arm. And this was just the first assault on the hive.
    • A number of stories about Space Marine Standard bearers like Ancient Helveticus of the Ultramarines, feature them standing in the midst of an enemy assault, holding their banner high despite grievous wounds, and only after the battle has been won allowing themselves the luxury of dying.

    Video Games 
  • This can happen to your soldiers in Dawn of War after using the "Will of the Emperor" ability. It makes surrounding soldiers immune to death, but not damage, which means that they will die easily once the skill wears off.
  • In Disney Magic Kingdoms, during the Turning Red Event, Mei falls asleep after reaching her fundraising goal having neglected to eat, drink or take breaks during the whole day long campaign.
  • The hero of Dragon Age: Inquisition almost makes a Heroic Sacrifice in order to let the rest of the residents of Haven evacuate. After successfully deterring the Big Bad, s/he must plod through a swirling blizzard in order to reach everyone else. In true Determinator fashion, they allow themselves to lose consciousness only once they're within sight of the camp.
  • Galuf's Deader than Dead scene in Final Fantasy V: He keeps on fighting well after his HP hit 0, until finally collapsing after the bad guy's been beaten.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Ninian collapses after using her power to knock out two of three fire dragons charging the group. Justified in that this was just after she was revived by Brammimond so she was likely still a bit disoriented from it. Plus she had spent almost the whole game in her human form, save for a short time right before she died; channeling her Dragon-born ice powers probably took a lot of energy in itself.
  • On her route in the first Galaxy Angel, Forte pushes herself to the limit to clear the path for the Elsior to escape from Sherry Bristol's fleet and destroy the attack satellite. When she gets back to the hangar, she passes out in exhaustion and needs to be taken to the infirmary to rest.
  • Issac in Golden Sun collapses after winning the final battle in the Colosso. Strange, given that if Issac is a decent level (and is spamming the right move), he wipes the floor with his opponent.
  • Hellish Quart: Downplayed. Many characters such as Kalkstein, Isabella and Alexander grimace and keel over in pain and exhaustion if they win the round but take any damage in the process. It has no effect on gameplay, but it sells that even minor sword cuts and punctures are extremely painful.
  • One of Shingo's win poses in The King of Fighters games is him falling on his knees in exhaustion.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Played for laughs in Kingdom Hearts; if you manage to defeat Leon in Traverse Town, Sora will pass out afterward, allowing the story to continue in the exact same way as if you had lost.
    • Near the end of Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Xion, who has absorbed half of Roxas' strength, and Axel clash outside of the old mansion in Twilight Town, and Axel wins. He collapses from exhaustion after bringing her back to The World That Never Was, indicating a very close match.
    • After her second fight with Vanitas in Neverland during Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Aqua is left so exhausted that she can't even stand up, and ends up passing out. She comes to just as Peter Pan and the Lost Boys show up, and by then, Vanitas has recovered and gotten away.
    • Sora collapses again after defeating Xemnas near the end of Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], though it's played for drama this time, and is very tragic. As soon as the latter vanished from sight, Sora collapses and nearly dies while Young Xehanort reveals the truth about the former's quest, and what they plan to do with his body now that his heart has been destroyed. Riku would soon revive him by repairing his broken heart.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Lufia 2 Rise Of The Sinistrals, Selan drops dead after the team successfully withstands the Sinistrals' final attack. Maxim also goes out in this fashion as he overuses his Spiritual Force to prevent Doom Island from falling on Parcelyte.
  • No one actually collapses at the climax of Mass Effect 3 (except the dead people, obviously), but Shepard's palpable relief at finally ending the Reaper War after shooting the Illusive Man and allowing the Crucible to dock qualifies. If he's present and not one of the aforesaid dead people, Anderson comments that it "feels like years since I just... sat down".
  • Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty collapses in exhaustion at the end of his battle against the 25 Metal Gear Rays. Understandable, but the bad news is that there are still 3 Rays left.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3:
      • In the ending, an extreme version occurs to the protagonist, who lives on for a month after his Heroic Sacrifice, and fades away just as his friends shake off their Laser-Guided Amnesia and rush to meet him.
      • Much earlier, the protagonist spends a week in a hospital bed after they first summon a Persona and use it to fight off the shadows.
    • In Persona 4, Teddie can destroy an otherwise unbeatable boss by himself, because he himself is a powerful Shadow and can tap into his natural abilities for the sake of those who've given him the love he craves. Doing this not only makes him briefly collapse, but also literally flattens him. Depending on how long you took to get to said unbeatable boss, it can take him a couple of weeks or a single night to recover.
    • In Persona 5, every party member awakens to the Persona when the party is cornered by the enemy and must use it to save everyone, always violently and with incredible power (for the duration of the battle, their Persona is always visible, which is noted to be draining). Afterward, they become incredibly tired, usually ending the current trip to the Metaverse. The exception is the protagonist, Joker, and it's justified: he doesn't have full control of his persona yet (constantly switching back to his normal clothes when he's not in combat), and while he's able to escape back to the real world, by the time he gets home, he's too exhausted to do anything productive.
  • In Pokémon, if a Pokemon's HP is low enough this can happen when they use moves with substantial recoil damage (Flare Blitz, Wood Hammer, Head Charge) to finish off their opponent.
    • It should be noted that if both you and your opponent were on your last Pokemon, this actually causes you to lose the match when battling another person. Against a computer opponent, you lose, no matter which side initiated the attack, because the game can't let you walk around with a knocked-out party. However, Generation VI changed this slightly so that the player whose Pokémon faints last wins, so if you knock out the opposing Pokémon with a recoil move and take yourself out in the process, you win because they fainted first (even if you're in the Battle Maison, which is notorious for skewing the hax rates heavily in the AI's favor).
  • Non-violent example: Chris, your character in Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches, passes out each time one of the elemental orbs is successfully completed. Overexcited by the special effects, perhaps?
  • In Sonic Unleashed, Sonic faints after defeating Dark Gaia, showing just how tough this battle was and how much he had to overexert himself to win. Unfortunately, he was in his Super Mode at the time and floating hundreds of feet above the Earth's core — luckily, Chip/Gaia Colossus catches him in time.
  • Suikoden:
    • Suikoden II, after the main character Riou finally defeats Luca Blight following a long and harrowing battle, passes out from exhaustion as soon as he returns to his headquarters.
    • In Suikoden IV, every time the main character used the Cutscene Power to the Max of the Rune of Punishment, he'd collapse immediately afterward due to the rune's soul-draining side-effects. Depending on which ending you get, it ends up killing him after the final battle, or he manages to push the rune into its rarely seen 'Forgiveness' form, where it's got all the ass-kicking with none of the side effects.
  • Happens to Dr. Derek Stiles in Trauma Center: Under the Knife and its Wii remake Second Opinion after he uses his Healing Touch power for the second time.
    • He successfully (and accidentally) uses it the first on the car-crash victim. As said victim fibrillates, Derek's concentration and "don't die on me!" determination kicks the Touch in. After he REFINES the touch in Power of Asclepius he complains of a headache. After squandering it in the very NEXT surgery, he collapses and spends the next few days asleep in a ward.
  • In Wild ARMs 2, a variant of this is the best explanation for the final boss that otherwise sort of comes out of nowhere. After finally saving the world at a very high cost (specifically, killing the team's commander and his sister after they sacrifice themselves to become a mortal body for a living universe), the heroes silently mope their way out of the final dungeon. On the way, the protagonist's depression eats away at him so much that the Eldritch Abomination sealed inside of him drags him into a final battle inside of his soul.

    Visual Novels 
  • Takeshi in Ever17 actually gets two of these. The first and more minor is instantly collapsing after rescuing Tsugumi despite coughing up lots of blood, flu-like symptoms, decompression sickness, swimming through frigid water and some other minor things after not eating for a good day or so. The second comes just a little later when he basically comes back from the dead and does the same thing again, only this time after being under pressurized water and not breathing for a good half an hour or so at least, rescuing Coco and a couple other impossible things before 'getting tired' and entering a cryogenic chamber which keeps him alive while his body fights off TB.
  • Tsukihime. Immediately after defeat Nero Chaos, Shiki collapses and returns to bleeding to death. By his own earlier admission, his entire body is basically one giant wound by this point, so it's hardly surprising. He lives only because Arcueid knows how to heal him with Chaos' remnants. Or Ciel saves him in her route.

    Web Animation 
  • Done a few times in DEATH BATTLE!:
    • In Fox McCloud vs Bucky O'Hare, Fox falls on his back in relief after he uses a last-second Indy Ploy to get around the loss of his legs and barely take down Bucky.
    • In Ryu vs Scorpion, Ryu collapses in exhaustion after using the Power of Nothingness to reduce Scorpion to a skeleton. However, Scorpion was still 'alive' even like this, so Ryu was left defenseless against Scorpion's Hellfire counter.
    • In All Might vs. Might Guy, Might Guy collapses and eventually dies after killing All Might as a consequence of opening his Eighth Gate in order to finish him off, which would kill him in his home canon. The hosts deem that, because he should be more than capable of killing All Might before succumbing, he's technically the winner.
    • In Goro vs. Machamp, After Machamp dismembers Goro with its Dynamic Punch, Machamp strikes a victory pose, before fainting due to the burns Goro inflicted on it prior kicking in.
    • In Scooby-Doo vs Courage the Cowardly Dog, Both Scooby and Courage end up fainting after the end of their fight out of both fear and exhaustion after the Chest of Demons is opened and drags Eustace inside. The hosts note that this result is pretty much the only viable end for both, as both dogs are simply that unkillable.
  • In RWBY, this often happens with Ren, who is stated to have the lowest stamina of the main cast. One notable example is in episode 8, where he promptly faints after defeating a Deathstalker (a giant scorpion monster).

  • Antihero for Hire: Dechs does this after infiltrating TeraCorp and nearly dying several times, and also after having to fight during the daytime.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Doc learns a secret technique that will let him jump off of the Moon to escape Dracula's moon base (it makes sense in context). Safely back on earth, he has just enough time for a brief victory strut before the consequences of making such a leap catch up with him.
    Doc: Ohgodmylegs.
  • Girl Genius:
    • When Gil faces down an army with his new lightning gun, he is shot. He is initially fine, but quickly starts getting worse, to his surprise.
      Gil: I feel... strange. I didn't think I had been hit that badly.
      Jenka: Oh, you prob'ly izn't hit too bad.
      Gil: But—
      Jenka: Iz dis de first time hyu faced down an entire army all by hyuself vit a veapon hyu vasn't sure vos gonna vork?
      Gil: Well, yes...
      Jenka: Vell den. Dat's just hyu body bein' all suprized hyu ain't all blowed up and dead! Next time, hyu von't even blink!
      Gil: Next... I really think I have to lie down now.
    • Shortly after the above, he fights off a supersoldier. Once the supersoldier leaves, he promptly collapses.
    • Agatha experiences this trope a few times, earlier in the story run. She'd start to display Spark behavior by going on a Mad Scientist rant, only for her power-dampening locket to shut her down with powerful headaches that leave her crashed.
  • In El Goonish Shive, this happens to Nanase after she saves Ellen from Abraham and her Deadly Upgrade wears off bringing her down to normal.
  • There's one scene in The Last Days of Foxhound where Raven has to stare down Big Boss, who has possessed Liquid's body. Big Boss has already been shot with a tranq, but it doesn't seem to be having any effect. Despite this, and despite Raven knowing that he would get his ass handed to him in a fight, Raven calmly stands there, eye to eye in a staredown, and even Trash Talking his enemy until the tranq finally kicks in. Afterward, he looks ready to collapse with relief, and says "That took waaaaaaay too damn long".
  • Angora collapses after the first time using her nature powers in The Meek. The author based it off of an actual collapse of hers, where she fainted but was out for only a few seconds.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Para Ventura, newly restored to the company as coxswain to their gunship (which would take orders only from her), promptly issues out a series of brisk orders like a seasoned officer, stunning most of the assembled crew. Once that's done, she immediately goes to the medlab and has Tailor find her something to stop the shakes she'd developed out of stress. Turns out Bristlecone, the ship itself, had been feeding her the appropriate lines through an earpiece, and her confident commander act was just that.
    Tailor: So... Our gunboat will only take orders from the girl who needs our gunboat's help to issue the right orders?
    Ventura: Hence this case of the shakes. Now fix me up so I can start closing recursions, please.
  • Sleepless Domain:
    • In Chapter 8, Undine manages to pull off an impressive Heroic Second Wind to take out a monster that breached the Inner Barrier and nearly killed her newfound teammate Heartful Punch. After she and HP escort the civilians that were attacked to a nearby hospital, the adrenaline begins to wear off, and Undine passes out from exhaustion. She wakes up in a hospital bed the following day, embarrassed at having passed out on the spot.
    • In Chapter 13, Rue ends up being cornered by monsters while on patrol and already low on magical energy for the night, and it's only thanks to Zoe finding the courage to step in and save her that she makes it out alive. Afterword, Zoe apologizes for getting in the way, to which Rue can only laugh incredulously before she passes out in the street.
    • A flashback in Chapter 17 shows that Mingxing once arrived too late to find that a monster had breached the Inner Barrier, and had already killed her friend and former teammate Mitsuki. Even after killing the monster in a fight that cost her left arm, she still pushes through to get Mitsuki's daughter Kokoro to safety. After exerting her powers of Super-Speed to get Kokoro to a hospital, Mingxing finally collapses outside the hospital door in a pool of her own blood, her magical energy completely spent.
  • In Sluggy Freelance Riff's Mark-1 robot is able to kill the Easter Bunny, rob a bank, and take down the U.S. military. However, once they get it back home, it promptly breaks into a hundred tiny pieces.
    • This gut-wrenching final panel of the "That Which Redeems" arc, as Torg finally arrives home from weeks or months of fighting demons, taking a level in badass, and being unable to save alternate-universe Zoe from dying.
  • Tales of the Questor:
  • Happens to Humphrey a couple of times in Use Sword on Monster. We don't see it happen with Oz or Hilda, but Hilda's apparently familiar with the problem.

    Web Original 
  • Cerberus Daily News: During Operation Death To Discord, the asari commando Desta T'Res collapsed after delivering a mortal blow to Discord. She had already been seriously wounded and was running on pure adrenaline. She made a full recovery.
  • In the first campaign of Critical Role, barbarian Grog slays his uncle Kevdak with a last-chance Death from Above gambit, but the resulting fall takes him down to zero hit points; he drops unconscious with a satisfied smile on his face.
  • Logan collapses from radiation poisoning in the Fortification Hill bunker in Logan's Tale after activating the systems for Mr. House. Veronica saves his life by carrying him out and giving him Rad-X.
  • PONY.MOV: In SWAG.MOV, Rainbow Dash turns into a giant monster pony and finally kills Discord. After she does, she faints.
  • In Worm, Chapter 13.10 opens with a description of Taylor, the protagonist, passing out cold after getting back from rescuing her teammate Grue from Bonesaw.
    • Later, in 30.6, Taylor, undergoing serious Sanity Slippage from her 11th-Hour Superpower, is finally able to kill Scion, and, with that task completed, decides that she is free to lose her mind. She then does so. Spectacularly.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender. In the beginning, this trope happened to Aang when he came out of the Avatar State, but there's notably less effect with each successive use. By the first season finale, he can stay on his feet, and as of the grand finale, he seems to have overcome the problem entirely.
  • In the premiere episode of Batman Beyond, Bruce and Terry fight off a gang of Jokerz. Terry then has to help Bruce back to Wayne Manor to get his medicine, after which Bruce falls asleep in his chair. This serves as an Establishing Character Moment — Bruce Wayne still has his old skills, but time has left him without the stamina to engage in an extended battle.
  • Happens to Ben quite often in Ben 10: Alien Force; his record is 3 times in one episode.
    • The worst case was when he would pass out just before every commercial the middle of the final battle with the Highbreed.
  • Has been happening to Danny Phantom ever since the very first episode Mystery Meat.
    Tucker: You've been asleep for four days.
    Danny: Four days?!
    Tucker: Nah, it's only been a couple of hours.
    • Subverted in The Movie: Danny's Ghostly Wail knocks Dan into a building, and as it crumbles on him, Danny turns back to his human form, falling on his knees...only for Dan to emerge from the rubble, leading to Danny whipping out the Fenton Thermos for the win.
    • And again with Vlad who didn't even flinch let alone collapse from the Ghostly Wail. Danny's friends and Opposite-Sex Clone were the ones who finished him off.
  • In the Galaxy Rangers episode "Scarecrow," the titular Eldritch Abomination had injured Niko severely, then crashed into her sickroom. She tried to fight him off, only for a royally-pissed Goose to bust in and start fighting the thing. The thing managed to stun Goose and was about to kill him when Niko recovered enough to distract him and let off a few rounds from her BFG. As soon as the Scarecrow ran off, she passed out cold from the strain.
  • An episode of Justice League Unlimited had Superman raiding Cadmus headquarters to rescue a missing comrade, only to find his old friend Professor Hamilton working there. He confronts the good doc about his betrayal, only to get a verbal bitchslapping over his own betrayal of Earth at the hand of Darkseid and subsequent rage at him to save Supergirl's life last year. Big Blue looks like he's about to crush Hamilton's head between his fingers, but backs down, and after he leaves, Hamilton collapses in relief, having just stood up to a living god of a man and survived.
    • In "Only a Dream", Batman finally falls asleep in the penultimate scene. The fact that he's in a chair near Hawkgirl's bed rather than in his own bed suggests that he was trying to stay awake long enough to see for himself that his teammates were all right. It Makes Sense in Context: Batman had already been without sleep for three days before having to stay awake long enough to defeat Dr. Destiny.
  • The Real Ghostbusters had Winston do this in "Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream". The other Ghostbusters and Janine each got hit by a blast of sand from the Sandman that puts them to sleep. Once Janine turns her dream-self into a Ghostbuster and traps the Sandman, Winston falls asleep on the couch.
  • The Rocko's Modern Life episode "Pranksters" ends with Filburt so happy he finally pranked Heffer that his heart gives out.
  • Samurai Jack: Ashi falls down after defeating her own mother in a long ensuing battle to protect Jack during his meditation for his sword.
  • In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, in episode Nightfright, a has-been horror movie actor named Vincent van Ghoul invites Shaggy and Scooby to his mansion, where a monster called night fright terrorizes them for the whole night. In order to trap the monster, Vincent must act unfazed by its threats and lead it to the trap, by confusing it with his non-caring attitude, Vincent surprisingly pulls this off, but the minute the monsters caught, he collapses out of the sheer terror he was in, but is impressed with his acting skills.
  • Spider-man does this pretty often. In one episode of the Spider-Man: The Animated Series cartoon, after a grueling battle, he went home, collapsed into his bed, and slept for a day straight.
  • In the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "SpongeBob vs. the Patty Gadget", SpongeBob collapses after facing off against the gadget.
  • Mild version in the Teen Titans episode "Haunted"; Robin manages to pull himself off the floor and to his feet for his final confrontation with a hallucinatory Slade, and stays on his feet just long enough to dissolve the illusion with the light switch and tell Starfire that he's okay. He then promptly collapses into her arms.
    • A straighter version in "Fear Itself"—Raven admits her fear, regains her powers and sends out a huge blast of dark energy that demolishes all the evil creatures in the Tower, and then falls to the ground exhausted when she's finished.
  • Total Drama:
    • Tyler gets the apple bobbing in the pond in "Broadway, Baby!" to shore by smashing it forwards with his head. He succeeds, but ends up more than a little dazed because of it. Tyler goes under, prompting Owen to grab into the water and haul him up. Owen also carries him the rest of the challenge.
    • Chef is the mystery person who Blaineley gets to pull her rickshaw during the race in "Chinese Fake-Out". To ensure he isn't seen and their illegal alliance exposed, they take a detour that Blaineley abuses to get the full tourist experience and yet Chef still manages to get her to the finish line and make himself scarce before anyone else arrives. By the time the race has finished, he has made it to the restaurant to prepare the next challenge and collapses from exhaustion on a table.
    • Lightning fights with mutant alligators while his hands are bound in "The Treasure Island of Doctor McLean". He wins, but at the cost of losing most of his blood and a tooth. Upon regrouping with Jo, Lightning has just enough strength left to declare his greatness before he collapses, which by sheer coincidence is right next to the stone underneath which the keys are hidden to undo the restraints. The metal detector he was given cues Jo in to take a look.
  • In Winx Club, Stella holds off a giant ice serpent in the Omega Dimension with her magic, but as soon as it is no longer needed she collapses.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in television: When in literal "life or death" situations, adrenaline and other endorphins are more than capable of pushing the human body beyond normal limits. Once the danger is over and the body stops producing these drugs, people will obviously crash.
    • It's one of the reasons why, if you're in an accident, the authorities will often want a doctor to look you over even if you think you're fine. Once the adrenaline wears off, you may find that you're not in such good shape after all.
  • The "Marathon run" is named after a feat that occurred after the Battle of Marathon, in which Pheidippides ran 225km from Athens to Sparta in two days to ask for aid in the coming battle, participated in the battle, and then ran another 42km in full armor from Marathon back to Athens to head off a Persian counterattack. Popular legend has it that Pheidippides collapsed and died on arrival.
  • After the Battle of Shiloh, one of the largest and most important ever fought in the American Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant chose not to pursue the defeated rebels after they had been driven off the battlefield. He explained that his inexperienced troops had begun doing this en masse after two days of fighting and suffering in the rain and so he couldn't press them any further.
    • This trope came into play once again after the Battle of Gettysburg. After three days of hard fighting which ended in over 50,000 dead or wounded and heavy depletion of the officer corps on both sides, Meade's exhausted army was in no condition to launch a counter-assault on Lee's army. This also was a major factor in Meade's delayed and half-hearted pursuit of Lee during the latter's retreat back into Virginia.
  • Kayla Montgomery, a runner with multiple sclerosis, collapses after every race because her legs literally stop working; her coach has to stand at the finish line to catch her and carry her off the track. She wins often, in part due to the fact that her legs go numb long before they stop working, so she doesn't feel the fatigue that affects other runners and is able to continue at full speed when others' bodies are screaming for them to stop.
  • This is usually the result (to a lesser extent) when the average sprinter tries to run distances measured in miles/km, as they're not trained for the endurance required for such a task.
  • During the "Thrilla in Manila", often considered the best and most absolutely brutal heavyweight boxing match in the history of the sport, Muhammad Ali fought his arch-enemy "Smokin'" Joe Frazier for the third and final time. After 14 grueling rounds that left both men absolutely battered and near-death, Ali (who described the event as "the closest to dying I've ever been") told his corner he would be quitting, but his trainer refused to pull him out. Meanwhile, the exact opposite happened in Frazier's corner, with Frazier's trainer pulling out Frazier off the fight despite Frazier's vehement protests. So Frazier quit in his corner (against his will) and Ali was declared the winner by TKO. Shortly thereafter, Ali briefly celebrated his victory walking around the ring but right afterward collapsed on his stool and had to be rushed to a hospital suffering from serious dehydration.
  • Formula One driver Ayrton Senna was leading the whole pack during the 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix when suddenly his gearbox was failing in the last laps of the Grand Prix and the rain at the closing laps doesn't help him either. By the time when there's just a couple of laps left, he was left with sixth gear. Despite all odds, Senna gained his first-ever home race win with a gap of 2.9 seconds from second place. Senna was so exhausted that he stopped the car in the middle of the track and was lifted from his McLaren to be driven to the podium with a medical car and could barely lift the trophy.
  • Michael Jordan led all players in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals with 38 points despite suffering from food poisoning the night before. As the last seconds ticked away in the Chicago Bulls' 90-88 victory that gave the Bulls a 3-2 series lead Jordan collapsed into the arms of teammate Scottie Pippen.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Victory Thud, Post Dramatic Stress Disorder


Care Bears vs Coldheart

The Care Bears use their stare to free the kids from Professor Coldheart's spell.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / CareBearStare

Media sources: