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Settle It Without Weapons

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Two badasses who have already been established as extremely proficient with their weapons agree to dump them and instead to settle their scores in straight-up hand-to-hand combat. This may be done either out of unwillingness to kill their opponent or because beating the snot out of each other with bare hands is just more satisfying. Or just because both sides run out of ammo. If one of them runs out of ammo or his weapon breaks, the other may similarly discard his to make the fight fair again (which goes to the Medieval chivalry tradition at The Tourneys).

In video games, it may result in a Fisticuffs Boss. May overlap with Combat Breakdown. Not to be confused with Throw-Away Guns, which is a form of Unorthodox Reload.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • At the end of Revy and Roberta's first confrontation in Black Lagoon, they throw away their weapons and settle it with hand-to-hand combat, completely ignoring the on-lookers and the two men trying to pry them apart.
  • In Crying Freeman, Yoh faces a Russian sambo wrestling master, who requests they drop their guns and fight bare-handed, which he agrees to.
  • In Endride, following an escalating verbal battle, Shun and Emilio summon their Warp Relics, only to throw them aside in silent consensus and begin an inelegant fistfight as all they really want to do is punch each other's faces.
  • Happens briefly in Naruto. Naruto and Gaara are exhausted after battling it out in the Chuunin Exams, and each of them only has the strength for one last punch, but they go for it, anyway. Only Naruto manages to still have the stamina to move afterwards.
  • Porco and Donald Curtis in Porco Rosso have an Old School Dogfight, but both have problems with their guns and resort to this.

    Comic Books 
  • In ElfQuest Hidden Years issue "9.5", Cutter and Rayek agree to a fight with only fists, no Elfin "magic" to be used during the fight (only after, to heal both combatants).
  • In Justice League International, the jerkass Green Lantern Guy Gardner takes off his ring to go mano a mano with Batman, who knocks Guy out with one punch. Guy is out cold on the floor for the next several issues.

    Fan Works 
  • Justified in Temporal Anomaly, where due to their sisters not trusting the two to not kill each other with their weapons, Zero and One resort to using their fists in order to settle the beef between them.

  • Attack of the Clones: Inverted. Yoda and Count Dooku start off dueling with The Force as their only weapon, but find themselves evenly matched. They switch to fighting with lightsabers, both agreeing that it's the only way to break the stalemate.
  • In Back to the Future Part III, when Marty is duelling Beauford Tannen, he drops his gun and asks if they can settle it like men. Beauford just shoots him, which Marty was counting on - he'd improvised a bulletproof vest out of an oven door.
  • A "make the fight fair" version is subverted in Blazing Saddles. Sheriff Bart has tracked down the Big Bad Hedley Lamaar at the movie theater and is ready for the final gunfight.
    Sheriff Bart: Freeze it! Okay, Lamarr, go for your gun.
    Lamarr: Wait, wait, I'm unarmed!
    Sheriff Bart: All right, we'll settle it like men. With our fists. [Tosses away his gun]
    Lamarr: [pulls out a Derringer] Sorry, I just remembered. I am armed.
    Sheriff Bart: [Does a diving roll to grab his gun and shoot Lamaar]
  • Subverted in Captain Marvel (2019) when Yon-Rogg challenges Carol to fight him hand to hand, without using her powers. Given he makes the challenge only after every other method he was using to try to control her has failed him ( including deception, hostage-taking, a power-dampening control chip, a mind-infiltrating supercomputer, his whole team trying to kill her with weapons, and orbital bombardment) she rejects the notion she owes him a fair fight and just blasts him.
    Carol: I have nothing to prove to you.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Subverted. Koba initially throws away his gun to battle Caesar bare-handed, but soon picks up a metal pole to use as a melee weapon, before simply taking another gun from a trapped ape and attempting to gun Caesar down.
  • The first Predator movie ends with the title creature discarding its high-tech weaponry and challenging Dutch to hand-to-hand combat after it deems him a Worthy Opponent.
  • In Jack Reacher, Reacher sneaks up on The Dragon, disarms him and then decides to have a fist fight with him because he can.
  • The Matrix has the "both run out of bullets" version when Neo and Agent Smith are in the subway station. They charge at each other shooting and use up all of the rounds in their pistols, ending up with empty weapons pointed at each other's head. Smith throws away his gun and Neo follows suit. They then engage in a knockdown drag out fight. Of course, given that this is the Matrix, hand-to-hand combat is just as deadly as guns.
  • In Robot Jox, the American and Soviet pilot both get out of their battered machines after a long mechfight and continue their duel on foot amidst the rubble until Achilles convinces Alexander that the match doesn't have to end with a Jockey's death.
  • Subverted twice in Rush Hour, where Chris Tucker's character challenges The Dragon to one of these, only to have a gun pulled on him after throwing his away. In the finale they both pull out guns on one another. Tucker's character is faster.
    Fezzik: We face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone.
    Man in Black: You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?
  • West Side Story (1961), the Sharks & Jets agree to a rumble without weapons, but Riff brings a switchblade anyway.

  • The Belgariad: Belgarath and his Evil Former Friend Zedar are two of the most powerful sorcerers of all time, but in their final confrontation, they're both too emotionally overwrought to focus on a Wizard Duel so they resort to an all-out fistfight.
  • Towards the end of The Outsiders the Greasers and Socs have a rumble where they agree beforehand on no weaponry. One of the Greaser leaders beats up one of his own guys when the leader discovers that the guy brought a chain to use as a weapon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Deadwood, Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen do this after Al insults Seth's lover. Al, of course, cheats later and pulls a knife. Note that at the beginning the two divest themselves not only of weapons, but Bullock also removes his sheriff's badge.
  • Subverted in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. After disarming Treacheron, Magna Defender plants his own sword in the ground and declares that they don't need weapons to finish this. Treacheron grabs both swords at the first opportunity - and then gives back the Defender's, as those who've lived by the sword should end things the same way. Then the Rangers show up and Treacheron retreats with a We Will Meet Again.
  • On Star Trek: Picard, whenever a Qowat Milat nun and a Tal Shiar agent meet, they sheathe their weapons and fight hand-to-hand.

    Video Games 
  • The Final Battle in Assassin's Creed II consists of a part where Ezio and Rodrigo Borgia fight using their considerable arsenals (which include Pieces of Eden), and a part where they just go at each other with bare hands.
  • This is a common occurrence in the Metal Gear series. The first game has a fight against the Ninja where he'll throw away his weapon if you attack without yours; otherwise, you'll lose. Later, there's a fist fight between brothers on the top of a giant mech, and that fight is echoed in the close of Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • This is a very common occurrence in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Among the Nords, unarmed, magic-less fistfights are "social combat" meant to tell who is badass and who isn't. So your character will enter hand to hand duels multiple times.

  • Played for Laughs in The Last Days of Foxhound, when Liquid is fighting Big Boss in Liquid's mindscape. Since they can generate any weapon in the mindscape, Big Boss pulls a gun on Liquid in the middle of a fistfight. Liquid responds by summoning his favorite weapon: a HIND helicopter. Big Boss concedes and they proceed with the fistfight.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in a "Goodfeathers" segment of Animaniacs parodying West Side Story. The two sides agree to "no weapons," then immediately after the Goodfeathers leave: "Get the weapons."
  • In Family Guy, Stewie and his equally cunning and megalomaniac half-brother (a result of Peter Griffin donating sperm) dispense with high-tech weaponry after shooting them out of their hands and they fight with martial art and the fight ends when they curl up for a nap after putting each other in a sleeper hold.
  • The final fight of the Mega Man (Ruby-Spears) episode "Terror of the Seven Seas" has Mega Man challenging Proto Man this way. In this instance, Mega Man was doing this deliberately in order to get Proto Man to spare his ammo, as he needed to absorb as much plasma energy from his Proto Buster as possible to overload Dr. Wily's battleship. Inevitably, Proto Man cheats, but gets beaten by Mega Man anyway.

    Real Life