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Self-Destructive Charge

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A scene where a character is so obsessed with their target, and/or likely to die anyway, that they keep trying to reach it even though their body is breaking down around them — usually because whatever side doesn't want them to reach the switch/button/Instant-Win Condition/Keystone begins unloading a massive payload of bullets. Robots are prone to walking their way through a wall of bullet fire; whether their charge fulfills this trope or not depends really on if their limbs blow up/fall off, or they sustain very heavy damage. If not... it's probably more like Made of Iron taken literally. If The Juggernaut and The Hero have a final showdown, this is likely how it will play out. Usually takes one of three common forms:

  1. If it's a villain, usually the villain will have their legs blown off somehow and end up crawling toward their target before being put out of their misery by the hero. In most cases, the villain does not reach the target unless it's a Self-Destruct Mechanism... in which case it's a Taking You with Me kind of thing.
  2. If it's a hero, the hero will begin their dash but be mowed down before reaching the target, dooming their teammates and on occasion, the whole world in the process. Usually this is done for a Downer Ending.
  3. Alternatively, the hero will make it to their target. The hero will then either quietly die while being unable to move or be found by their teammates at the brink of death and taken to the super doctor.

Related to Rasputinian Death, may be a form of Heroic Sacrifice, or not, depending on how it goes. Basically You Shall Not Pass! from the other guy's point of view. Contrast with Foe-Tossing Charge, where the charge isn't quite so self-destructive, and Death or Glory Attack, where the charge is only self-destructive if the attacker fails to bring down the target. Usually a Death Trope, and therefore frequently a Dying Moment of Awesome. Has the potential to overlap with The Dying Walk. See also Leeroy Jenkins.

Note that this trope only refers to "charge" as "to rush forward". Other definitions of the word "charge" may be simultaneously employed to the same result, but they fall under different tropes. These include but are not limited to: a quantity of explosives, accumulation of energy, imposition of a duty, or financial cost. This trope heavily overlaps with Ramming Always Works, if the charge is launched on a machine instead of body of troops.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Girls und Panzer: This is Chi-Ha-Tan Academy's only strategy, due to their school being a parody of the Imperial Japanese Army. This leads to Chi-Ha-Tan and Oarai losing the exhibition match at the beginning of Girls und Panzer der Film, but to her credit the team leader Nishi actually realizes that this is a problem and works to fix it. By the end of the film, she convinces her team to hold an advantageous position and manages to inflict considerable damage on the enemy team before being overwhelmed. And in Girls und Panzer das Finale she comes up with "alternate" charges such as "charge in place" (hold position) and "charge in reverse" (retreat) and improves substantially in performance.
  • Sailor Moon does this with Sailor Neptune. She runs through two waves of painful projectiles in order to get to her lover, which indirectly leads to her death.
  • Naruto:
    • Zabuza did this. Unlike most villains, he reached and killed his target. However, the target was a less badass villain so he may have counted as a hero for that action. Instead of bullets, he got swords, spears, and various other pointy things stabbed in his back.
    • Might Guy's final attack after opening all eight Gates was a sprint at his enemy that disregarded the fact that his body was so overheated it was blistering and turning to ash as he launched the attack, destroying most of the bones in his leg when the kick connected. And Madara's Healing Factor let him survive it despite losing an arm and having half of his chest pulped. Fortunately Guy survived thanks to Naruto, albeit wheelchair-bound for life afterwards.
  • In One Piece Luffy does this a lot once Ace is captured The Paramount War is most significant; Despite running on borrowed time due to using Vigor hormones to overcome his exhaustion, he launches a full scale Foe-Tossing Charge to get to the Execution platform. Mooks aside, he faces off against some of the most powerful characters in the series in the process.
  • In the anime adaptation of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Gaius Amidonia, having been outmanoeuvred, does one of these things in an attempt to take out the enemy general and survives explosives at close quarters which blasts half of his armour away before Elfrieden archers turn him into a pincushion. That finally kills him, but not before he throws his sword in a last ditch attempt to kill Souma.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The first series has this in spades, usually from Asuka Langley Soryu. The most prominent example is the fight with the angel Zeruel. Asuka first tries to More Dakka it down with just about every hand-held Eva weapon in the arsenal, to no effect. Then, in a pause after she empties her last pair of weapons at it, it slices her Eva's arms off. Blinded with both pain and rage, she makes a suicidal charge only to have the angel cut Unit 02's head off, ending the fight.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion:
    • In the battle with Zeruel, the final angel of the second movie Mari activates the Eva's Beast Mode, limiting her tactics to just charging forwards regardless of damage inflicted to her. This reaches its logical conclusion, when after both her hands are torn off and her torso is bleeding she charges at the angel in an attempt to bite off its AT Field. And it works. Kinda anyway.
      • Then Rei has her turn by charging Zeruel while carrying a nuclear missile, aiming to detonate it against the Angel at point blank range. It fails to kill the angel, which then eats her.
    • And then, there's the lengths Shinji went in his attempt to save Rei. Basically, his EVA ran out of power, was skewered by the enemy, and we see Shinji spew up a fountain of High-Pressure Blood, indicating quite possibly fatal internal injuries... then he reactivates the EVA by sheer force of will, proclaims that he wants her back, and just keeps going, no matter if his plug depths go to levels that put both his life and humanity in mortal danger. His physical body must've burst into LCL at some point, but he didn't even notice. Towards the end, just as he is about to reach Rei, his skin burns off his hands and face, revealing blood and charred muscles beneath, and he keeps going until he had pulled her out of the core of the angel that swallowed her. It ends up costing him 14 years of his life. Sadly, the third movie reveals that it was All for Nothing...
  • The last episode of Ronin Warriors' OVA Legend of the Inferno Armor does this, where Nadia and White Blaze race onto the battle field where Ryo and Mukala are fighting against each other in their Inferno Armors. The impacting forces of the armored warriors is so great that it literally blows Nadia and White Blaze away, killing them both.
  • The Grand Finale of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has the titular galaxy-sized mecha charging at the Grand Zamboa, knocking out each other in a Cross Counter. Then the planetoid-sized Chouginga Gurren-Lagann breaks off and charges, only to get impaled by the Grand Zamboa's tentacles. Then the mecha's mouth opens and the city-sized Arc Gurren-Lagann continues the charge, only to get impaled by the tentacles erupting from the Anti-Spiral homeworld. Then, the Arc Gurren-Lagann's mouth opens and the building-sized Gurren-Lagann does the final charge, until the Anti-Spiral's tentacles impale it too. Viral's response? Tear off the Lagann and throw it at the Anti-Spiral. Even though the Lagann is disintegrating around him, Simon continues charging at the Big Bad, finishing it off with his trademark attack: "LAGANN... IMPACT!!!". Epic is too mild of a word to describe the sequence.
  • The ultimate warrior from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is ordered to fire on the advancing bugs; he does so even as his immature body is disintegrating around him. It eventually melts away completely.
  • Tenshinhan and Chaozu both try this on Nappa in Dragon Ball Z. Subverted in that it doesn't have much of an effect, but at least they tried.
  • Naturally Hellsing has a particularly nasty version of this when the elder Valentine brother attacks Alucard.
  • Guts tried this when he was confronted with his Arch-Nemesis Femto/Griffith two years after the Eclipse in Berserk. So blinded by his rage of seeing Femto again, that Guts - who sustained massive injuries after fighting the Count - charges toward Femto while forgetting that his brand, which bleeds and hurts when he's around lower Apostles, will explode with blood and pain when approaching one of the most powerful demons that the Berserkverse has ever seen. The pain can be so incredible that it can kill him. Lucky for Guts, it doesn't.
    • Speaking of the Eclipse Guts did this when he tried to reach Casca, who was being raped by the aforementioned Femto, after he chiseled off his own left arm with his broken sword in order to escape a demon that had its jaws around it. Unfortunately, Guts didn't make it, getting within inches of putting out Femto's eye with said broken sword before being telekinetically hurled back and then getting dog-piled by a bunch more demons, so this is much of scenario #2 from above.
  • In the Claymore manga backstory, Roxanne engineers Cassandra's death by letting Cassandra's close friend die horribly, telling the Organization that Cassandra was planning to rebel in order to gather many other Claymores in the area, and then goading her into trying to reach her through said Claymores. In exchange for all the damage she does to them along the way, she doesn't try to evade their own attacks, and she doesn't quite make it. Her last memory is a smirking Roxanne striking her down with the hilt of her sword.
    • Also happens when Clare confronts Priscilla for the first time since Teresa's death. Although she accumulated awesome skills and techniques in order to become stronger so that she could better defeat her, Clare pretty much forgets about everything in a pindrop, even how she wanted to stay alive in order to see Raki again, and gives into her fury and charges full-throttle toward Priscilla. Needless to say that Priscilla is insanely strong and even the most powerful abyssal one's falter to her, so it didn't go very well for Clare...
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn takes Kira's Freedom Gundam out this way. When Kira tries to go for a Non-Lethal K.O. by decapitating the Impulse, Shinn launched the damaged upper torso at the Freedom then shot it with his cockpit-fighter's machine gun before commandeering the backup torso. A while later, Shinn threw one of his swords at the Freedom's shield to take it out before charging straight into the Freedom's beam saber to impale it with his other sword.
    • Shinn actually uses this as his overall strategy in the fight: Since he knows that Kira refuses to kill, he intentionally puts himself into situations where Kira is unable to attack non-fatally, effectively using himself as a Human Shield.
    • Shinn, being The Berserker, has a really bad habit of doing this in general. He gets away with it for most of the series, but when Kira and Athrun make their comeback, Shinn's brazen tactics turn into this trope. Kira in particular had learned from their last fight, and had adjusted his tactics accordingly; at one point he actually swiped Shinn's ever-mighty BFS out of his hands. Athrun, meanwhile, would simply deflect Shinn's charges then counterattack, sometimes taking a weapon away in the process.
  • In Fate/Zero, after having his Noble Phantasm destroyed and seeing just how overpowered Gilgamesh is, Iskander still decides to 'show his dream' to Waver by charging headlong at Gilgamesh, who is raining spears down on him. It takes being restrained by chains just an inch from Gilgamesh' face to stop him, and he is then impaled through the chest.
  • Den does this twice in Battle Angel Alita. It's undoubtably a Crowning Moment of Awesome, as his last charge permanently disables a power cable to Tiphares, and causes children to be taught the legend.
  • Starscream of Transformers: Cybertron pulls this one off - and is such a Determinator, he actually wins and survives . The reason it's this trope, rather than Foe-Tossing Charge, is that he eats a number of powerful attacks on the way, and is covered in visible damage by the end of it; he nearly dies (or at least nearly falls unconscious, which is a big deal in this series), and revives himself through sheer willpower, thus fulfilling the "while their body falls apart around them" criteria above.
  • Double Subverted with Mikasa from Attack on Titan when she thinks Eren was eaten by a titan. Everyone expects her to break down but she instead very calmly orders an attack charge against the Titans. The double subversion comes when it becomes very clear that she wishes to die fighting the titans.
    • In what is a massive, yet harrowing Crowning Moment of Awesome for the series, the Survey Corps' suicide charge led by Erwin Smith against the Beast Titan at the battle of Shiganshina is a brilliant example of this. Erwin, being The Leader he is, leads his troops in a full-speed cavalry charge into near-certain death, all the while having them constantly fire flares into the air and himself delivering an incredible Rousing Speech at the top of his lungs.
  • In the final episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Akio stabs Utena in their duel, but so determined is she to free Anthy that she staggers across the room and uses all her strength to wrench open the door to her coffin, even though she is bleeding and can barely walk.
  • Kikuchiyo from Samurai 7 charges a wall of guards as they're firing at him with machine guns. But he's a cyborg, so it doesn't kill him. Instead, he dies later on by standing heroically still in front of a charging city. Very manly, and possibly very useful, but one wishes he hadn't.

    Comic Books 
  • During the period the team was helmed by the Martian Manhunter, Professor Ivo send androids to take down the members of the Justice League. The second Commander Steel, Henry Heywood III, confronts an android capable of distintegrating his flesh and exposing the machinery underneath. Heywood eventually charges the android and it continues blasting him, eventually overloading itself and exploding. Although he did defeat the android, little more than a metal skeleton is left behind, screaming out "HELPMEHELPMEHELPME." Later, he is euthanized by his grandfather, the original Commander Steel.


  • War Horse: A somewhat accidental one; the British cavalry unit the titular horse is attached to charges a seemingly poorly defended enemy camp, only to be mowed down by gatling guns secured just inside the tree line at the edge of the clearing. The casualties are enormous, and it earns the British commander a What the Hell, Hero? speech from the Germans.
  • Terminator franchise:
    • The T-800 exoskeleton in The Terminator had the lower half of its body blown off when Kyle Reese planted explosives in its chest. It then followed Sarah Conner by dragging itself with its arms, and was trapped under a hydraulic press and squished.
    • Likewise, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day the T-1000 was caught in a flood of liquid nitrogen and frozen. It broke off its feet while walking and continued on the stumps, then was shattered into hundreds of pieces by a bullet from the T-800's gun. And it still kept going.
  • Tank Girl: the Ripper DeeTee charges forward in a hail of gunfire to destroy the power box and turn out the lights so the other Rippers can succeed in their mission. He ends up dying, sending the other Rippers on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Played for comedy with Monty Python and the Holy Grail's Black Knight "Come back you coward, I'll bite your legs off!".
  • Khan's activation of the Genesis device in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine's relentless advance towards Jean probably counts - his Healing Factor kept him regenerating in the face of the telekinetic assault, but still... Some suspect it was only his Magic Pants that kept his legs from getting the same treatment.
    • It's played straighter when Magneto sends his conscripts to charge the military guarding Alcatraz Island, while holding back his strongest lieutenants. "The pawns go first" indeed.
  • V for Vendetta. At the end of the film, V takes a few hundred bullets from Creedy's henchmen, but does not fall down. He instead says "My turn" and kills them all. Of course, he was wearing a plate mail breastplate, and he was still mortally wounded by the gunfire.
    • A lot different than the original; which had V die from a single bullet; which was all part of his plan.
  • The Captain (Laurence Fishburne) from Event Horizon. In the climax he gets his ass kicked from here to the dark side of the moon by Sam Neill's nutty scientist, but then saves the rest of the crew by blowing up the portal to the Cthulhu dimension thingy.
  • Happens twice in the Robocop series.
    • In the first movie, an OCP executive gets his knees shot up by a hired killer, who then proceeds to leave a hand grenade (with a clearly visible display...) on his desk. He desperately tries to crawl to it in time to throw it away or stop it, but he's barely touching it when it goes off.
    • In the third movie, the main baddie gets his legs cooked by the hot exhaust from Robocop's jetpack, and is left in an empty room with a time bomb. The scene repeats itself, with the exact same results.
  • Batman Returns: Max Shreck shoots Catwoman no less than five times (though somewhat inaccurately) as she approaches him with a taser and his back to the main generator of Gotham Zoo.
  • In The Last Samurai, Katsumoto's son, Nobutada, is mortally wounded from a rifle shot during a rescue of his father. Knowing his hours are numbered, he convinces his father to flee, and fires off a handful of arrows into the Japanese guard before drawing his blades and charging. He's gunned down at the bridge in a Heroic Sacrifice moment.
    • If there is to be only one example of this trope from The Last Samurai, it should be the climax. Which is a cavalry charge by the weary, outnumbered, defeated remnants of the samurai army into first a line of gunners and then frickin' GATLING GUNS. The samurai are, of course, killed to the very last man.
  • In the movie Glory (based on the story of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry during the American Civil War), Colonel Shaw is killed in a rather dramatic charge up the earthworks of Battery Wagner (referred to as Fort Wagner in the movie). It takes a sum total of five gunshot wounds (any one of which would have been mortal) to finally stop him. After which his regiment launches itself over the wall in a Moment of Awesome. And then proceeds to get utterly destroyed by reinforcements coming out of the bombproof shelter inside the battery.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • The Olympic Runner Orc from The Two Towers, who braves the arrows raining on him to set off a bomb.
    • In The Return of the King Theoden orders his massive cavalry army to charge Haradrim Mûmakil head-on. They'd shrugged off their casualties from the orc army's arrows to curb-stomp them, but they take massive losses when forced to charge forty-foot tall war elephants with spiked tusks and howdahs full of archers, dying by the hundreds in their attempts to bring the beasts down via Death of a Thousand Cuts.note 
  • One of Lawrence's warriors charges a Turkish column all by his lonesome about three quarters of the way through Lawrence of Arabia and gets gunned down before he reaches them with his scimitar, prompting Lawrence to snap and order his army to kill every single Turk in the column. Including wounded.
  • The charge of centaur general Oreius and the rhinoceros in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a Heroic Sacrifice on both parts to buy time for Peter to get away from the White Witch's advance. Oreius also takes out the Witch's right-hand minotaur along the way.
  • One of the most memorable scenes of the classic movie The Birth of a Nation is when the protagonist charges a battery of guns, armed only with a flag, to the tune of Dixie. He survives, and goes on to found the Ku Klux Klan in the final act.
  • In the Star Wars saga:
    • In Return of the Jedi: The A-wing pilot ramming his disintegrating fighter into the bridge of the Executor during the climactic space battle.
      • Vader killing Palpatine counts too. The Emperor's Force Lightning short circuited his life support system and left him mortally wounded.
    • In Revenge of the Sith (episode III), Anakin evokes this at the end of his fight with Obi-Wan, including having his legs cut off. Anakin metaphorically dies, too.
    • This is what differentiates Holdo's devastating Heroic Sacrifice against the First Order fleet, and Finn's attempted kamikaze against the battering ram cannon on Crait, in The Last Jedi. In the former case, Holdo was in little danger herself, but didn't have any other options to save her friends and the Resistance from being annihilated by the First Order; she sacrificed herself to save them. In Finn's case, he was consumed by anger and despair; he refused his friends' desperate pleas and insisted on launching himself at the enemy more to strike a blow than to protect anyone. Given the high probability of inflicting little to no damage, if he hadn't been saved at the last second, he would have only succeeded in depriving the Resistance of one valuable member.
  • The climactic charge into a canyon lined by Apache marksmen in Fort Apache.
  • The ending of the Live-Action Adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato has Kodai applying this trope with the Yamato itself. Justified in that the Wave-Motion Gun had its muzzle jammed earlier so firing the weapon would destroy the Yamato as well - not that he had any other options, the ship already being heavily damaged and all. He merely wanted to make sure when he pulls the trigger, his target will be within the blast radius. Result: sad but spectacular success.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, District Five's rebellion includes this; a wall of hundreds of people, rushing into gunfire so that a few could get a bomb in and blow up the dam, resulting in temporary power loss throughout the Capital. Whoever survived the hail of bullets would be swept away by the ensuing flood.
  • In Alien: Resurrection, Larry is due to die by chestburster within the next minute, and there happens to be a convenient outlet for his rage in the form of a nearby hostage taker. Cue him wading through a barrage of gunfire on pure willpower, beating the crap out of the guy, then using his chestburster to give the guy an impromptu lobotomy.
  • The end of Transformers has Megatron, shot up by Optimus and airstrikes from the US Air Force, madly crawling after the Allspark, even as he takes more punishment from the planes. Justified in that if he had gotten his hands on the Allspark (which he was still fully capable of) he could have easily fully repaired himself.

  • In the Redwall book Salamandstron, Urthstripe the Strong goes berserk at the end, ignoring his wounds and went out to fight the Big Bad. He succeeds, hurling himself off the mountain with said big bad.
  • One of the Idirians in Consider Phlebas is left for dead. A bad idea when you are up against a species that is essentially biologically immortal (as a result of evolving on a Death World where Everything Is Trying to Kill You). He spends about an hour dragging his own near-corpse to the train controls, finally succumbing just as he starts it on a collision course with the protagonists, eventually killing most of them
  • The bearded mercenary in The Bartimaeus Trilogy chases Nathaniel into a room full of Deadly Gas. Nathaniel manages to reach the Amulet of Samarkand in the center of the room and put it on to protect himself. The mercenary keeps chasing him, even as his flesh melts away and he collapses as a pile of bones at Nathaniel's feet.
  • Alexander Tagere and the Wolf Cubs' last charge in book five of the Arcia Chronicles was so vicious, its survivors (on the enemy side) have nightmares about it for the rest of the series. Notably, it is a faithful reproduction of historical Richard III's last moments, at least up to the point where Alexander is knocked out from behind by his best friend (where Richard was unhorsed and hacked to death).
  • The Honor Before Reason charge of Kenny, the first self-aware Bolo, which routed the enemy but left him too damaged to salvage.
  • Subverted during the Last Battle in A Memory of Light, where Lan sets out to do so, only for Tam's Two Rivers men to clear his path to Demandred and Mat's amulet allowing him to kill him and live.
  • This is a fairly common occurrence in the Honor Harrington universe. The Royal Manticorian Navy's Military Academy is named for Edward Saganami, a commodore who charged six ships with his one to give the convoy he was escorting time to flee. Before being sent on their middie cruise, cadets are shown an unedited recording of his last transmission reminding them what may be necessary.
    "We're done, James. Tell the Queen. Tell her what my people did. And tell her I'm sor—"
  • In Pact, Callan Walker, dying from a Slashed Throat at the hands of a Bane in the Hillsglade House saferoom, charges a Clockwork Creature that is holding the doors to the sanctuary to let in an army of monsters to attack his cousins and younger brother. He makes it, but is unable to budge the creature-he is, however, able to stop it from moving to adjust its footing, allowing those inside to force it back.
  • When Arthur impales Mordred on his spear in Le Morte d'Arthur, Mordred draws himself up the spear to land one last fatal blow on Arthur. Reversed in Excalibur.
  • At the end of Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Honour Guard, one soldier carries a relic of Saint Sabbath through the battlefield towards its receptacle, paying no attention to the massive battle around. On the way, they are wounded in the exact same ways and locations Saint Sabbath was during her martyr, culminating in the ninth, fatal wound to the head just as they put the relic back.

    Live Action TV 
  • Jekyll sees Hyde walking towards the Big Bad at the end of the last episode, getting gunned to pieces. His advance only stops because the bullet wounds eventually cut his muscles up so that he can't physically walk any more.
  • Ultraman Taro has an interesting case of this trope with Taro's most powerful technique: "The Ultra Dynamite". An ability that causes Taro's body to engulf in flames and then tackle his opponent, creating an enormous explosion, only for Taro to reform back to normal. However this technique is used VERY rarely, and in its second usage ever in Ultraman Mebius, it's revealed that performing said technique causes a major recoil on Taro health and energy.


  • Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Half-Life 2's headcrab zombies can be cut in half by razorblades launched by the gravity gun; sometimes they'll die on the spot, sometimes the crab will jump off and attempt to attack on its own, and sometimes the legless torso will keep coming after you.
  • Unreal's Krall warriors occasionally lose their legs as well; they'll often keep coming after you crawling on their bellies, shooting their staffs as they go.
  • Alien vs. Predator (1&2): at a distance, humorous as the xenomorphs drag themselves toward you... and in the poorly lit claustrophobic corridors where you're often firing wildly, it's terrifying.
  • The Jedi Knight games - where occasionally, limbs fall off.
  • Not intentional, but still counts: Soldier of Fortune was one of the first games to allow enemies to be dismembered part by part. Only, it and its sequel had a bug that sometimes made those enemies keep fighting anyway, so that eventually you'd be facing a shapeless blob of meat that still somehow was able to move and shoot.
  • Cielo's death in Digital Devil Saga 2.
  • A truly epic example from the end of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, with Snake stumbling then crawling his way to GW through a hallway literally cooking him with microwaves. If you take too long, Snake will literally use his fingers to move himself inch by desperate inch towards the end of the hall.
  • In Dead Space, all enemies will keep coming after you until they are thoroughly dismembered. Some will even keep coming after that.
  • In the Resident Evil Series, specifically Resident Evil 2, it is at times possible to "exterminate" a zombie by destroying its torso with a shotgun blast that also destroys the head, the catch is that the legs, in perfect working order, can continue their plodding charge. The kicker is that as the game keeps track of what enemies are defeated this pair of legs will remain in the room forever walking directly into a wall.
  • The Climax Boss battle against Luca Blight in Suikoden II is a perfect example of the 1st variety. Notable in that it continues for a lot longer than normal and he actually does reach his target, but he's been weakened enough that he can't best him in battle.
  • A fairly common event in League of Legends is heroes who can't escape a turret, won't escape incoming enemies, are only alive because of some ability, or are going to be resurrected if they die, chasing enemies into danger to try and finish them off. Of course in the last case, the self-destructive aspect can be averted. Zilean's ultimate in particular encourages this kind of behavior because if you don't die while it's on you the spell does nothing. Kog'Maw has this built in - when he's killed he can still move for a while, then explodes for considerable damage to nearby enemies.
  • In Command & Conquer, many cyborgs can have their lower bodies blown off, and they'll just keep coming. Even the Cyborg Commando can do this, and it won't cost you the mission if that happens!
  • In Tech Romancer a small-scale version of this exists as a Game-Breaker. The Steel Dash lets you charge your opponent without flinching, but taking full damage. You close distance very quickly, and if you hit them then they will be stunned.
  • In Team Fortress 2's "Meet The Medic", in the climax, the BLU Soldiers are doing this, even when the RED Medic ubers the RED Heavy, who mows them all down.
  • A potential tactic in Halo in co-op mode, where as long as one player is alive the other will respawn. So one charges forward to remove a strong defense or locate snipers while the other hangs back.
  • The recoil attacks in Pokémon are very powerful, but damage the user as well as the target. However, Pokémon with the the Rock Head ability can avoid the side effect and thus avert this.
  • Varian Wrynn dies in World of Warcraft this way, charging into a mass of demons to give the rest of the heroes time to escape in their flying gunship.
    • Somewhat more epic than that sounds. As the Alliance army tries to escape by climbing rope ladders, a massive 100-foot tall demonic battlemech has grabbed the ship and is tipping it over. Wrynn gives Graymane a letter for his son, draws his sword and jumps off the rope ladder, stabbing the mech in the head and taking it down. He rides it to the ground and is surrounded by demons, and takes out quite a few before finally being speared by several of them simultaneously. See it here
  • In Samurai Warriors, this is Sanada Yukimura's ending: he launches a last charge against Tokugawa Ieyasu, getting to within striking distance before succumbing to his wounds, just like he did in real life.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night, you bear witness to Berserker doing this in his battle against Gilgamesh. Shirou observes that it's a simple battle—if Berserker can push through the hail of swords Gilgamesh is sending at him long enough to reach Gilgamesh, he wins. Not only is that hopeless, but Shirou turns out to be dead wrong—even if Berserker did reach Gilgamesh, Gil could use the same chain he used against the Bull of Heaven to render Berserker harmless in an instant.
    • In the Normal End of Heaven's Feel, Shirou performs a slow-speed version of this. With each step he forces his body to take toward the Grail a part of his brain is destroyed, a part of his mind lost. His body dies reaching the Grail and his soul is destroyed Tracing Excalibur. At the end, it's noted that his body is nothing more than a machine programmed to swing the sword.
    • Shirou himself can pull this at several points, though it almost always results in his death. A notable exception is when he tries something similar against Gilgamesh only to have Gilgamesh leave him on the brink of death.
  • In the Safe Ending of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Snake is provoked into charging when Ace taunts him about killing his sister. He is quickly shot down, but manages to get to his feet and keep advancing though five more bullets, finally allowing everyone else to escape while immobilizing Ace, ensuring that they both burn to death in the incinerator.

  • Tower of God: Paracule's Spear Bearer's Revolution plan required everybody but the spear bearers to dog pile Quant so they could pierce him from a safe distance. It was completely rejected.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Damien tried to kill Grace by engaging in this. He flew at Grace while overclocking his Wreathed in Flames ability hoping to take her out by turning himself into an Action Bomb.
  • Solomon David does this in Kill Six Billion Demons during Breaker of Infinities, activating a Dangerous Forbidden Technique that destroys their own body in order to convert it to raw power and charging down Jagganoth, punching the God-Eater through three universes and into a soul-migrating black hole intended to kill gods. Since Jagganoth is conceptually incapable of being harmed, it is unlikely to have stopped him permanently, but Solomon himself hardly cared by then, feeling this was his last chance to redeem himself after failing to protect his closest people again.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama episode "I Dated a Robot." When Fry's Liu-bot walks through the the popcorn seed-bullet fire to turn the projector on the other Liu-bots is pretty much a perfect example.
  • In a post-1986-movie episode of Transformers, Optimus Prime finds himself rebuilt — by whom, he doesn't know — and must make a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the episode's big menace. He flies his space ship right down the bad guys' gullet, and we can see him falling apart on the way in before he impacts and blows 'em up real good.

  • Baj does this in the Season 7 finale of Mindcrack Ultra Hardcore, charging straight at Nebris while being shot at and attacked by his dogs. Ultimately, he falls just short and dies, but his wolf avenges him.
  • In Negation, Matua casts a super-powerful spell that kills a Lawbringer standing between him and his goal by launching a swarm of magical energy swords at her - but because they were in an enclosed space, the swords rebounded off the walls and cut into Matua as well, killing him, making this his Dying Momentof Awesome.

    Real Life 
  • Ramming attacks on galleys easily became Self-Destructive Charge s or Taking You with Me. Galleys tended to be of subtle and fragile construction to enable speed, and unless the ramming was executed on gentle seas and on a pre-planned course against a more or less stationary target, the forces involved could easily tear also the attacker into matchsticks. The ram (rostrum) was an extension of keel and keelson, and a sudden crash with torsion and twist involved could well also demolish the attacker herself. The ram was replaced during the Middle Ages with a slender corsia, a spur-like puncher above the waterline which could be used on dis-oaring the enemy vessel and as a boarding bridge for marine combat.
  • Tactically, any attack conducted against strong tactical defenses without sufficient artillery (or air) preparation and support is a Self-Destructive Charge regardless of how motivated, experienced, or well-armed the attacking force is. Even if the defender's artillery (or airpower) isn't strong enough or doesn't have the ammo to annihilate the attacking force, then it will still ensure that the course of combat and balance of losses favour the defender.
  • Operationally, Alexander Svechin noted that all offensives have the potential to become one of these: "The most skillful strategic offensive leads to a catastrophe if available means are inadequate to achieve fortuitously the ultimate aim, which guarantees us peace. Because of this offensive property, the attacker must select his ultimate military aim no farther than that line, beyond which, if we were to cross it, our successes would begin to go downhill."
  • Real Life example: In 1943, Pvt. Rodger Young and his platoon were pinned down by enemy fire from a Japanese machine gun nest. Pvt. Young was wounded in the initial blast, and as the platoon started to withdraw, Young called out that he could see the machine gun nest and began crawling toward it. Wounded again, he continued his advance, drawing enemy fire and answering with his own. When he got close enough to the nest, he began throwing hand grenades, and was killed shortly thereafter. Pvt. Young received a posthumous Medal of Honor citation for his actions, which are commemorated in ''The Ballad Of Rodger Young."
    • Commemorated by Robert A. Heinlein in Starship Troopers.
  • Quite a few charges throughout the history ended up this way, whether or not the charge failed or actually achieved its objectives. Notable examples include:
    • On horseback:
    • On foot:
      • The French at Agincourt during The Hundred Years War.
      • The Swedish Caroleans attack on fortified Russian positions at Poltava during The Great Northern War.
      • The final charge of Napoleon's Guard at Waterloo.
      • The Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg, Antietam and Cold Harbor, Pickett's charge at Gettysburg during The American Civil War.
      • Several pre-1916 World War I campaigns and battles, due to the extremely steep 'learning curve' in modern artillery techniques. The entire year of 1915 on the Western Front (half a million French dead, 50k Commonwealth dead) worked out this way, with neither the French nor the British being able to improve their artillery ammunition production or artillerymen's skills enough for their tactical attacks to result in anything but near-total losses. Attacking riflemen were repeatedly mulched by enemy artillery fire, with Entente artillery failing to hit the enemy's artillery and barely hitting the enemy trenches.
      • Several post-1916 World War I campaigns and battles where artillery techniques were imperfectly applied. Infamously Crown Prince Frederic's Third Army at Verdun in February-November 1916, after he abandoned Falkenhayn's 'casualty-light' strategic intention for the offensive (by making heavy use of artillery) and tried to capture Verdun 'at any cost' (using infantry attacks with light or non-existent artillery support). Frederic's insubordination made Verdun backfire so badly for the German Army (with a quarter-million dead and a million wounded) that it was virtually forced to focus on defeating Russia again in 1917 (after failing to do so in 1915). Continued imperfect application of artillery techniques meant that the first day on the Somme campaign resulted in the death of a sixth of the attacking force in the sectors covered by British artillery and the hospitalisation of another third (for a total of 20k dead and 40k wounded, losses in the French-covered sector being pretty light).
      • The Banzai charges of the Japanese army during World War II, which were standard operating procedure against Chinese Warlord troops (who weren't paid enough to deal with that shit, if they actually got paid at all) and when they either were about to be defeated or a position had ran out of ammo with no prospect for resupply. The preference to die charging the enemy with a melee weapon rather than surrender helped keep the number of Japanese POWs low, not least because it further disinclined those on the receiving end of said charges to actually accept surrenders.
  • Possibly the single most epic example, would be the The Battle off Samar. The powerful American Third Fleet was lured away from Samar with a decoy, leaving only the destroyers and escorts of Taffy 3 between Japan's massive Center Force and American troops taking Samar. On paper, this was a huge mismatch, with Center Force's flagship, the Yamato, by itself and not counting the 3 other smaller battleships with it, outmassing the entirety of Taffy 3. Once the two forces meet, Taffy 3 proceeded to cover their 6 escort carriers with a smokescreen. At this point, the USS Johnston, a single destroyer, was ordered by Lt. Cdr Ernest Evans to charge straight at Center Force, changing course towards the splashes of missed shells, and closing to torpedo range, many times shorter than the range of Center Force's massive guns, taking down two heavy cruisers before hits from the Battleship Yamato crippled her. Her captain, badly wounded, limped out of the butchered bridge to the aft steering section and ordered Johnston to continue the attack, while the other ships followed Johnston's example. Some of them even moved so close that the larger Japanese ships couldn't fire on them, with the USS Roberts doing so for an entire hour before being finished off by the Kongo. The American forces kept aircraft strafing and bombing Japanese forces with weapons never meant for and not capable of penetrating their armor, and even just making dives after running out of ammo to cover for those who still had rounds left. In the end, despite much of Taffy 3 being destroyed, Center Force lost its nerve and retreated.
  • Earlier that same day, Admiral Nishimura's force of 2 battleships, a heavy cruiser and 4 destroyers were sent as a decoy to distract the US ships while Kurita's much larger force pounced on the landing craft and transports. Their opponents were 6 battleships, 4 heavy and 4 light cruisers, 28 destroyers and 39 PT boats. Only one Japanese ship, destroyer Shigure survived, but they distracted the US long enough for the only thing guarding the landing craft and transports from Kurita's force were the escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer-escorts mentioned above. The Japanese flagship, battleship Yamashiro in particular stands out, being struck by 2-3 torpedoes before getting engaged by every ship larger than a destroyer for 20 minutes, absorbing a few hundred shell hits from 5" all the way to 16" before being sunk after being struck by 2 more torpedoes, while the other battleship Fuso was smashed amidships by one or two torpedoes (likely from Destroyer Melvin) and sank after a spectacular fire (it was claimed that she had split in half after a magazine detonation, but the wreckage was found to be in mostly one piece in 2017, though the pagoda mast did snap off). The American battleships that had radar (West Virginia, California and Tennessee) essentially obliterated the enemy force while the Japanese ships with inferior fire control could not return fire. The remaining US battleships also had trouble due to worse gunnery radar. Maryland succeeded in ranging the splashes from West Virginia, California and Tennessee and fired 48 16-inch shells (WV fired 93 in total, hitting Yamashiro with the first salvo, while CA and TN fired 63 and 69 14-inch shells). Pennsylvania was unable to find a target and her guns remained silent. Mississippi only fired once during the battle line action, a full salvo of 12 14-inch shells at the very end of the battle. This was also the last salvo ever fired by a battleship against another.
  • Yamato herself would fall victim to one in Operation Ten-Go, where the Japanese attempted to beach her on Okinawa so that she could fire as much as possible before being destroyed. It failed spectacularly, with the 10-ship Japanese force losing the battleship, a light cruiser, four out of eight destroyers, and 4,137 personnel while on the way. One of the four surviving destroyers was heavily damaged (Suzutsuki, which had to go in reverse the entire way to Sasebo Harbor after losing her bow) in the fighting. In turn, the Japanese forces, relying on kamikaze attacks conducted as distraction during the battle, cost the Americans 97 killed, 10 aircraft and severely damaging a carrier, battleship and destroyer, at the cost of 100 Japanese aircraft (some of the 10 US aircraft lost were shot down by AA during the attack on the task force). Later on two of the surviving destroyers went out of action, Fuyutsuki was damaged when it hit a mine and Hatsushimo hit another air dropped mine and became the 129th and last Japanese destroyer sunk in World War 2. Neither Suzutsuki or Fuyutsuki were repaired, while Yukikaze finished her good luck by ending the war without nary a scratch and taking a typhoon damaging her irreparably in 1969 while under Taiwanese service to be scrapped in 1970, with some parts going to the Japanese Naval Academy as a gesture of goodwill.