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Ten Paces and Turn

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"A duel between titans. My Golden Gun against your Walther PPK. Each of us have a 50:50 chance."

"Look 'em in the eye, aim no higher
Summon all the courage you require
Then count!
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine–
Number– ten paces, fire!"
— "Ten Duel Commandments", Hamilton

In a Duel to the Death involving guns, two characters stand back to back, walk ten paces and then see who can draw the fastest.

Except it doesn't usually go like that. One of them will a) leg it, b) fall into a pond c) duck or d) prove their cowardice by turning early and trying to shoot their opponent In the Back. If it's a comedy, the person counting out the ten paces may just keep going, with the combatants ending up several miles apart.

Actually almost never used in real duels. Most started with combatants at the prescribed distance, with one or two lines in front of them that they were not allowed to cross. Depending on the agreed rules, you might be permitted to advance to your "barrier", but once you fired, you had to stand still until your opponent fired.

Though, under the Irish Code Duello of 1777, either version was allowed and did in fact take place, with the walk-to-your-mark-and-fire version done by the ones who really didn't want to kill the other — it gave both opponents a chance to think it over, and often resulted in the practice of "deloping" — firing to miss, in order to declare satisfaction and end the duel before you drew your opponent's blood. Bystanders and seconds often were the losers here.

Much less formal examples of stand, quick-draw, fire often show up under Showdown at High Noon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tohru and Elma do this in the fourth Blue Ray special of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. Being a Chaos Dragon, Tohru turns around after a single step and shoots Elma In the Back.
  • Non-lethal variant: In New Game!, when Umiko challenges Kou to an airsoft pistol duel, they take the expected ten paces, but neither allows themselves to actually get hit after shooting.
  • In the Loguetown arc of One Piece, there's an episode in the anime where Usopp gets into one with a bounty hunter named Daddy Masterson. note 
  • Sakigake!! Otokojuku: One of Akashi's opponents in the Seven Tusks arc is The Gunslinger who proposes to fight him after both turn to face each other trekking the ten steps in a show of fairness, to which Akashi agrees. They turn around... and The Gunslinger finds out the hard way that he should Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight.
  • One of the few times both combatants carried it through to the end was in the fourth episode of Trigun.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has Rudolf duel a stake with this trope involved. And then, in the sixth episode during the duels between Shannon and Kanon, later - Beatrice and Erika

    Comic Books 
  • Anybody stupid enough to challenge Deadshot to one of these will get shot in the back at around three.
  • The cover of this comic shows Lady Rawhide about to throw down with her hated enemy Scarlet Fever. (This didn't actually happen in the comic; Scarlet Fever tended to fight dirty.)
  • In the Lucky Luke album The Tenderfoot, immigrant British gentleman Waldo Badminton insists on taking the ten paces, much to the bewilderment of the bad guy, Jack Ready ("That ain't how it's done! We stand facing each other, and the first one to draw..."). Jack Ready manages to fire first without breaking the rules, but breaks down and humiliatingly surrenders when he sees Badminton unfazed, which means he missed and Badminton is now free to shoot him. He had actually managed to hit Badminton in the arm, disabling his shooting hand, but the latter kept up Stiff Upper Lip through it.
  • Mercilessly spoofed in The Muppet Show Comic Book #9 when Statler and Waldorf fight over the newest guest star; firstly, they're doing it with rotten tomatoes. Secondly, the woman doesn't want either of them, Pops' the happy winner. Thirdly, the guest star is older than she looks. A lot older.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Beetle Bailey strip seen here combines it with Pie in the Face, where Lt. Fuzz's choice of weapon is "custard pies at ten paces".
  • The Far Side
    • One cartoon mocks the trope, with the person counting off the steps saying, "Oh, the heck with it! Just turn around and shoot!"
    • Another showed a mortally-wounded duelist lying on the ground muttering "I could have sworn.. you said.. eleven steps.."
  • The Wizard of Id combines it with a Wizards Duel in this strip. Unfortunately for his opponent, he's bad at math.

    Films — Animation 
  • No guns needed, in Disney's The Sword in the Stone, Mad Madam Mim cheats by casting an invisibility spell on herself during the ten paces, so that when Merlin turns, he can't see where she is.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Against All Flags, Williams tells Hawke the story of how Spitfire killed another captain in a pistol duel for laying hands on her without consent, even though she could have just had him executed. She keeps his duelling pistols in her shop and uses them for target practice when she is upset.
  • Both types of duel feature in Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. There's also a twist in the "stand at your mark" version: the duelists take it in turns to fire, based on a coin toss. There's a memorable scene where one duelist, having missed his shot, throws up in terror realizing that his opponent now has carte blanche to shoot him in cold blood. This is actually how most duels of that period worked. Pistols were horribly inaccurate and many duelists deloped anyway; it was also considered very bad form to aim carefully. The point was more to test whether both parties cared enough about the issue to take the risk.
  • The ship's captain played by Gregory Peck and one of the braggarts who frequently calls him a coward end up in one of these near the climax of The Big Country. Guess which one honours the terms of the deal and which one cravenly tries to shoot early. Hint: it's not the one played by Gregory Peck.
  • The Duel between Camembert and Sir Rodney in Don't Lose Your Head. They later make it fifteen paces instead of ten. It was a ruse by Sir Rodney to trick Camembert into walking straight into the cesspit.
  • The fifth duel in The Duellists is taken with pistols ten paces apart during the middle of the French retreat from Moscow during the Napoleonic Wars. The two duellists get interrupted by Cossacks and end up expending their shots holding off the enemy. The film's final duel also uses pistols. This time, however, the two don't face off and instead hunt each other through the woods.
  • John Wick: Chapter 4: John challenges the Marquis de Gramont to a formal duel, but the Marquis orders his second, Caine to duel in his place. In the formal rules, they walk thirty paces, turn, and only fire when the Harbringer tells them to fire. If they survive, they walk ten paces closer and again fire when the Harbringer tells them to. After doing this three times, Caine only has superficial wounds while John is so wounded he can't stand. Wanting the glory of killing John, the Marquis swaps places with Caine and walks up to John to shoot him, only for it to be revealed John didn't fire the third time. He shoots the Marquis, killing him.
  • Woody Allen's Love and Death featured Woody in a duel. Ten paces, turn, and laugh.
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (pictured) features this between Bond and Scaramanga, with Nick Nack shouting out the twenty paces... only for it to turn out that Scaramanga bolted somewhere down the line, turning the thing into a hunt through his lair. Bond wastes a bullet (one out of six in his gun) shooting at nothing.
  • Played straight in Sergio Corbucci's Spaghetti Western Il Mercenario (aka "The Professional Gun"): the duellists stood in the opposite sides of the arena with their backs turned on each other — then, once (actually, thrice) the bell struck, they had to turn and shoot. To be sure, the duel was supervised by an armed badass, so nobody could cheat.
  • To save face in front of the Emperor in Message from Space, Garuda picks a fight with a nearby warrior, and Rockseia agrees they may duel. The Gavanas warrior panics, firing before he has taken the required 10 steps. Garuda nevertheless continues his ten paces, and turns. The warrior quakes in fear as Garuda aims at the defenseless warrior, but Garuda declines to shoot.
  • In One Foot in Hell, the final of the quick draw competition in Royce City has two gunslingers standing back to back and taking 10 paces before turning, drawing and firing. Stu wins, killing is opponent, and Mitch knows that he has found his man.
  • Subverted in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid where Billy gets in a duel and when they start counting, he simply turns, draws his gun and waits. When his opponent doesn't wait till ten before turning, Billy calmly shoots him.
  • Parodied in Ratataa! from 1956. The hero's sidekick tries to help him by strewing banana peels in front of his opponent's feet while he's walking the obligatory ten steps.
  • In Ridicule, the protagonist Gregoire Ponceludon kills one of King Louis XVI's officers in a pistol duel.
  • Parodied in 1959 Surreal Humor short The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film, in which one duellist has a banana—and they both shoot the judge.
  • In The Skulls, Luke challenges Caleb to a duel at the Skulls' private island. After Luke and Caleb take their ten paces and turn around, Luke drops his gun and tries to convince Caleb of the truth and that he is not responsible for Will's murder.
  • A version of this in Van Helsinki: Van and Fay walk twenty 'metric paces' but then turn and have a faceoff instead of drawing immediately.
  • In War and Peace (1966), Pierre fights a duel against Dolokhov after finding out about Dolokhov's affair with his wife.

  • The second Clue mini-mystery novel, The Secret Secret Passage features a duel between Colonel Mustard and Mr. Green in the ballroom which they attempt to open this way with as large steps as possible-so naturally, they both crash into the walls.
  • In Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolay Stavrogin duels Gaganov over a family insult. During the duel, Stavrogin intentionally fires into the air, which infuriates Gaganov.
  • Edward D. Hoch's "An Early Morning Madness" features a pistol duel with the live ammo replaced by blanks.
  • One of the two legal forms of duels in Honor Harrington, where it's called the Dreyfus protocol and regarded as the more socially acceptable option. The duelists go to 30 paces and are only allowed a single shot before either can declare the duel over. The other option, the Ellington protocol, is basically a Showdown at High Noon.
    • One of the usual subversions appears in Field of Dishonor, in a duel between Honor Harrington and Pavel Young, Earl North Hollow — despite the fact that firing early violates the Code Duello, and is punished by immediate death. To be fair, Honor had previously won a duel against a professional duelist — the one Young hired — so it's not like he had a chance playing it fair. Her political enemies would make hay over the fact that she shot an unarmed man — while ignoring the circumstances as to why his gun was empty and the fact that the Marshal of the Field would have killed him moments later over them had she hesitated — for the rest of the series.
  • In Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman is forced into fighting a duel after a brief affair with a fellow officer's lover. Flashman gains a free shot after promising a large sum of money to the pistol loader to give his opponent blanks in his gun, but rather than attempt to kill his opponent, instead delopes and accidentally shoots the top off a bottle thirty yards away, an action that gives him instant fame and the respect of Duke of Wellington.
  • In the first (by order of events) Horatio Hornblower story, Horatio ends up in a duel with another midshipman. It's actually no paces and turn; since his opponent is a better shot, Hornblower creates the "even chance" by having one pistol loaded and the other empty, chosen blindly, and firing at point blank range.note  Neither is wounded. Later on, the captain tells Horatio that he had arranged for both pistols to be unloaded, not wanting to lose either. He then says that while proving you have the courage to fight a duel is good, having the sense to not get into any more is even better, and has Horatio transferred to another ship so that he doesn't butt heads with the other midshipman anymore.
  • In Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, the long-standing personal and philosophical differences between Naptha and Settembrini eventually result in a pistol duel; when Settembrini delopes by shooting into the air, Naphta calls him a coward and shoots himself.
  • Dusty Fog fights a traditional pistol duel (albeit using Colt revolvers rather than duelling pistols) in A Matter of Honour by J.T. Edson. His opponent cheats by having a fully loaded revolver (Dusty's has only one loaded chamber) and firing before the full ten count. Dusty still beats him.
  • Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood gets into an illegal duel in the novel Ratcatcher by James McGee. His opponent failed to release quite how deadly Hawkwood was with a pistol. After his opponent's bullet grazes his chest, Hawkwood spares his life by deliberately shooting to cripple his gun arm.
  • Six-Gun Snow White: When the dude finally catches up to Snow White, he plays cards with her. He draws highest, he shoots her on the spot. She draws highest, they duel it out like gentlemen. She palms an ace while the cutting of the deck and shoots him twice before he can even shoot once.
  • In The Song Rising, Warden is shown training a few members of the Mime Order in spirit combat. He instructs the two volunteers to turn their backs on each other, take three steps, and wait for the countdown before attacking.
  • The duel between Barban and McKisko in Tender Is the Night.
  • Ellery Queen's There Was an Old Woman had the bullets replaced with blanks, and then a killer re-replaced with live ammo.
  • Pierre and Dolokhov's duel in War and Peace goes swimmingly. Someone gets shot, everyone goes home more emotionally mature.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Australian historical comedy Bligh, Dirty Coward John McArthur is rehearsing for his upcoming duel with Governor Bligh, and does the turn early and shoot trick, then rapidly counts off the rest of the paces. The duel becomes moot when Bligh bans private ownership of firearms, leaving them to fight it out via the legal system. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Bridgerton: Because of a perceived slight to Daphne's honor, Simon and Anthony duel in the fourth episode. They are both shown walking away from each other with guns in hand. Simon attempts to delope, Anthony aims at him and is hesitant long enough for Daphne to interrupt the duel just in time. Then again, Anthony's hand is visibly shaking and Simon says later that he was always a terrible shot.
  • One occurs in the Castle episode "Punked".
    • Except that one of the duelists knew all about old muzzle-loading pistols and knew their horrible aim. The goal was to pretend to duel to the death and walk away satisfied. The real culprit used a modern weapon loaded with a musket ball.
  • The Crown (2016): In defence of her honour, William Euan Wallace is forced by a zealous group of Margaret's male friends into taking part in an ancient Duel to the Death after they discover he's been cheating on his fiancée. He's dragged out onto the field of honor, drunk and sobbing, and has a flintlock pistol shoved into his hand. Then he gets shot in the leg and has to explain the injury to Margaret when she goes round to his house to find out why he never turned up for the formal announcement of their engagement.
  • Played straight in the episode "Way to Go" of CSI... except one of the duelists thought it was a joke, and the one that had set the whole thing up was taking his hobby (American Civil War recreation) a little too seriously.
  • During a paintball game on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lin-Manuel Miranda challenges Larry David to a duel using paintball pistols. Nick Offerman oversees the duel and mentions that they'll be following the Irish version of Code Duello. Cue Hamilton references.
  • Dai Sentai Goggle Five: Anytime Kijima grabs a gun to play cowboy, he will initiate this to his opponent (either Tapir Mozoo or a Spotman dressed as a cowboy). This will always end up with both parties shooting their pants down.
  • In the Enemy at the Door episode "The Prussian Officer", Reinicke challenges the Prussian officer von Bulow to a duel after von Bulow humiliates him (and inadvertantly gets the woman he loved killed) and escapes official censure. Von Bulow accepts, despite Major Richter reminding them that duelling is illegal. The duel takes the form of pistols at dawn; the duellists are depicted pacing away from each other, then standing facing in opposite directions until the umpire calls "Fire!" Reinicke turns and fires first — and misses, leaving von Bulow the opportunity to return fire at his leisure. After letting Reinicke sweat a bit, von Bulow deliberately and obviously fires wide, makes a sneering comment about Reinicke's aim, and walks away.
  • Kiss and Georg von Lichtenberg face up in such a duel in Freud.
  • In an episode of F Troop Capt. Parminter gets in a duel with a visiting European who insists on formal dueling rules. They take ten paces, turn - and then realize that because they're dueling with swords it doesn't really work.
  • Ghosts (UK): In "The Thomas Thorne Affair" Thomas is shot in the back because his cousin (and second) Francis had lied about the pace count (telling him it was 20 paces rather than 10) so that his opponent can easily shoot him as he had already taken the correct amount of paces.
  • In The Goodies episode "Bunfight at the O.K. Tearooms", Graeme tricks Tim and Bill into one of these only for them to find that the eleven paces he has them take causes them to walk face first into a wall.
  • Zigzags in an episode of Horatio Hornblower. The first duel begins with the two men facing each other, taking aim for a count of three, then firing (cue Bullet Holes and Revelations). In the second, the original winner stands back to back with Our Hero, they each take five paces forward before turning, and then are counted down to firing. Uses the "villain shoots too early" variation, but it's Only a Flesh Wound and Hornblower is permitted to take his shot, but delopes. Then all that's left is for the shamed villain to earn himself a quick Karmic Death (at the hands of a spectator), and job's a good'un.
  • James May demonstrated the proper etiquette for dueling in an episode of James May's Man Lab.
  • One episode of Jessie sees Ravi challenge Luke to a duel after mistakenly assuming Luke made a move on the girl he had a crush on. It's Played for Laughs — Luke doesn't take it seriously (especially compared to Ravi, who shows up in full Revolutionary War-era costume) and the duel quickly devolves into the two using items from a hot dog stand as improvised weapons against each other. In the end, the misunderstanding is cleared and they make up.
  • Played for laughs in a skit on Laugh In. Dan Rowan and another man each take a pistol from a case being held by a woman (presumably she's the one they're dueling over). They each take three paces, turn and fire - at the woman, killing her. The two men then walk off-screen together, arm in arm.
  • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Stressed Western", Sara duels the Villain of the Week like this. He turns before they've taken the ten paces and shoots her cleanly through the head. But it turns out that's not enough to kill her any more.
  • John and Samuel have an old fashioned duel in the next to last episode of Making History (2017). They intentionally miss and hit Dan and Chris instead. Fortunately, they were using paint guns.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: In "Death at the Grand", Phryne's father gets in a duel with the man he thinks has murdered his girlfriend/accomplice. After Phryne convinces her father that the man is not the guilty party, her father contents himself with shooting his hat off.
  • North and South (U.S.): A southern aristocrat "demands satisfaction" from Charles, who can barely hold a sword— let along a dueling pistol. With Orry's help, Charles wins out in the end.
    • Forbes, acting under Ashton's orders, deliberately goads Billy into a duel with an unloaded pistol. Nice and legal.
  • In Sharpe, the titular character normally duels with swords but takes part in a pistol duel in Sharpe's Revenge. His opponent takes the first shot and misses and tries to talk Sharpe out of taking his own shot. Sharpes decides to shoot him in the rear.
    • This scene plays out differently in the book and the film. In the film Sharpe deliberately shoots the man in the butt to humiliate him, in the book, Sharpe intends to gut-shoot the man and leave him to die a painful and drawn-out death, but misses and only hits his ass.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2019): Presented with the option of repaying Jim the month's rent he skipped out on in San Diego, or duelling him, Laszlo opts for the latter. Trope option A (leg it) fulfilled when Laszlo's measured paces turn into a rapid walk and then...
    Laszlo: BAT! -poof-
    Nadja: He's not coming back, you know.
  • On the UK version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, one "Number of Words" game with a Western setting developed into a six-pace shootout.
    Ryan: One, two, three...
    Colin: Six! (turns and "shoots" Ryan in the back)
  • Yancy Derringer: In "Duel at the Oaks", Yancy agrees to "shoot" Charles LeBow in a fake duel in order to smoke out the man who's trying to kill LeBow for real. When, at the "funeral", the body of LeBow's partner is discovered in what should have been LeBow's empty coffin, the City Administrator doubts Yancy's tale and plans to lock him in prison as a material witness.


  • Subverted in Dr. Dre's and Eminem's "Bad Guys Always Die".
    Dre: He was shady; I could tell by the look on his face
    He said "Take ten paces"; shit, I took eight
  • Played with in a silly little ditty:
    One fine day in the middle of the night
    Two dead men got up to fight
    Back to back they faced each other
    Drew their swords and shot each other
    A deaf policeman heard the din
    Came and did the dead men in
    And if you don't believe my lie is true
    Ask the blind man, he saw it too

A variation is "drew their swords and shot themselves".

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of 205 Live, when Jack Gallagher challenged Ariya Daivari to a "Gentleman's Duel" allowing him to choose among different weapons ranging from steel pipes to umbrellas. Once the two were back-to-back to begin, Jack realizes they will have to settle for five paces because the ring is too short for ten. Also, Gallagher anticipated that Daivari wouldn't play fair and managed to dodge an attack from behind before the five paces had been completed.

  • A recurring theme in Hamilton. Three separate duels are fought (culminating in the infamous Burr-Hamilton duel that costs Alexander Hamilton his life), each to a distinct ten-count musical motif. "Ten Duel Commandments", which provides the page quote, even lays out the steps of the Code Duello for the audience, from issuing the challenge to picking seconds to "the moment of adrenaline". Ironically, one of the lyrics in "Ten Duel Commandments" states "Most disputes dies and no one shoots", and yet, in all three duels depicted, someone shoots.
  • In Jacobowsky and the Colonel, the title characters attempt to have a pistol duel but are interrupted by a Nazi patrol before reaching ten paces.

    Video Games 
  • On The Curse of Monkey Island, to get a pirate to join your crew you have to engage him in a pistol duel, although only Guybrush moves the ten paces. He'll win every time, so you have to challenge him to a banjo contest instead... and then he wins that one too, so to finally get him to join you you need to grab the duel pistol again and blow the banjo to pieces. The sheer dickishness of the move proves to him that you are a true pirate.
  • In the Neverwinter Nights 2 mod Dark Waters, you can do this if the NPC flirting with Heather pisses you off. You can also cheat.
  • During the Old West chapter of Live A Live, Sunset and his rival Mad Dog step out for a five-pace duel early on. They turn, take five steps, turn again... and both shoot hidden members of the Crazy Bunch gang. They then put their rivalry on hold for the much more pressing issue of an impending gang attack.
  • Perfect Dark has the bonus mission "The Duel," in which Joanna is pitted against simulated opponents of increasing difficulty in the Carrington Institute's training center. Each round Jo and her enemy will start back-to-back and take several scripted steps away from each other before turning to fight. The second opponent, Agent Jonathan, will actually cheat and duck behind a wall while your back is turned.
  • Averted in Red Dead Redemption: all duels take place with both parties stationary.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Old-Timey cartoon "Parsnips A-Plenty" from Homestar Runner, Strong Bad challenged The Homestar Runner to a five-pace duel. The Homestar Runner just stood there and said "What?" Somehow (we never find out due to a "missing scene") the duel ends with Strong Bad falling off a cliff.

    Web Original 
  • The Achievement Hunter team did this for one of their episodes of VS using Nerf guns. Unfortunately both were hilariously inaccurate and consistently failed to hit one another even after they cut the number of steps in half. Gavin finally won it with a headshot after multiple tries.
  • Dream SMP:
    • Dream and Tommy have a clearly Hamilton-inspired one of these over a bridge for L'Manburg's independence. The primary difference was that they used bows and arrows, not actual guns, since those don't exist in Minecraft. Ultimately, this ends with Dream canonically killing Tommy (leaving him down to one life), but L'Manburg still gains independence due to Tommy giving up his discs Cat and Mellohi to Dream, which the two had a conflict over prior to the L'Manburg War for Independence.
    • In the episode "The Wild West" of the spin-off series Tales From the SMP, this was how the problem of the bandits were dealt with in the end, as all three were killed in "ten-step standoffs" at high noon. The only fight that didn't occur honorably was the one between Crops and Jack Kanoff, where the former shot at 6, not 10.
  • Happens in the climax of Survival of the Fittest v1. Interestingly, both combatants cheat, but because of a slope Dodd failed to take into account, it's moot either way.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • The Backyardigans: Tasha, Uniqua, and Austin used this as a visual joke in "The Two Musketeers", when they are having, mind you, a politeness duel.
  • Parodied in Family Guy where Peter imagines what the American forefathers would have done without guns. Cut to a duel scene, where both participants take their ten paces, turn around and start slapping each other.
  • Played with in the Futurama movie Beast with a Billion Backs. Bender, having challenged Calculon to a duel, takes about three of the ten steps then turns and fires his raygun. Of course, since these are incredibly advanced weapons, the shot takes off Calculons arm, cuts a line through a lake, pierces through a skyscraper, and destroys the headquarters of the very club they were dueling over.
  • The eponymous battle in A Gentlemen's Duel starts like this. Then the duelists dash off into the woods and come back piloting Humongous Mecha.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Magnificently subverted twofold in "Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk". Bugs suggests to the giant a twenty-paces battle, thinking that with the giant's long strides, he'll be out of his hair...until he sees the giant coming at him from the other way having walked around the entire globe on those 20 steps and stopping right in front of him on pace number twenty.
      Giant: You think you're pretty C-A-T, smart, don'tcha?
    • Wild and Woolly Hare had Bugs challenging Yosemite Sam to a ten pace duel. Sam agrees, starts to take ten paces, but skips directly to "ten" after "five" and turns to fire. Bugs, anticipating the dirty play, took his steps backwards so Sam's guns were extended past where Bugs was when he fired, whereupon Bugs kisses Sam on the nose.
    • In Hare Trimmed, Bugs paces in place and delays the count ("...nine, nine and a half, nine and three-quarters, nine and three-sixteenths, eleven-sixteenths, twelve-sixteenths, ten...") just to make sure Sam was in the right spot at the right time to get run over by a bus ("Yep, he's right on time.").
      Sam: (dazed) Ooh, what a night...
    • In Mississippi Hare, the ten paces Bugs insists on causes his opponent to walk off the side of the riverboat.
    • How Foghorn Leghorn works Elvis and Pappy during the duel in The Dixie Fryer. He gets both their bullets in return that blow his beak off.
      Foggy: First, I say, first time somebody else shot my mouth off...
  • Popeye: In "Ancient Fistory", Popeye and Bluto face each other in one. Bluto cheats by running over to a cannon and blasting Popeye with it at nine, knocking him out.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle:
    • "The Weather Lady": During the $50 payment with the Weather Lady fortune telling machine, Bullwinkle slapped a fly on Boris' cheek causing the town judge to force the two to a ten pace duel. Since it was a beautiful day, the others went picnicking with the judge still counting while eating and all forget about the duel.
    • "Peabody's Improbable History" did this as well. William Shakespeare and Francis Bacon were fighting leading them both in a ten paces and turn duel. The fog was heavy and Peabody's plan was to erect a brick wall at the crossfire blocking both bullets. He managed to erect the wall in nine-tenths of a second.
  • One of the Silly Symphonies, "Little Hiawatha", has the title character hunting a rabbit. The rabbit is so frozen with fear that Hiawathan can't bring himself to just shoot it, so he gives the rabbit a bow and arrow, presses backs with him, and steps six paces, then turning and aiming again. The rabbit is still terrified and doesn't budge; Hiawatha ends up just shooing it away, to the delight of the forest creatures nearby. This saves him later.
  • The Simpsons: In "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", Homer takes to slapping people in the face with a glove and challenging them to duels to intimidate them into giving him whatever he wants. However, when he does it to a Southern Gentleman, the gentleman accepts his challenge. After spending most of the episode living on a farm to avoid the duel, Homer returns home and has to fight him. During the customary ten steps the Texan is distracted by a pie Marge cooked. Homer, in a move that was idiotic even for him, reminded the man that the duel was not over. The Texan apologized for his rudeness and promptly shot Homer in the shoulder.
  • One of the Chuck Jones Tom and Jerry shorts, "Duel Personality," had this taken to increasingly ludicrous levels. Starting with a pistol, then going to swords, it escalated until they were dueling with cannons.

    Real Life 
  • Ironically, in matter of historical fact gun duels have been more common among upper-class "gentlemen" who put great value on personal honor, rather than the lower-class characters who dominate Westerns. Perhaps the most famous example of such a duel is the 1804 duel in which American Vice President Aaron Burr killed Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. The difference here is that dueling pistols were not at all accurate nor meant to be accurate — the point of the duel was to prove you cared enough about the grievance to risk your life. That Aaron Burr actually hit and killed Hamilton was a freak occurrence.
    • According to the book Founding Brothers, the two witnesses they had brought along agreed in writing that Hamilton fired first and missed, then Burr fired two or three seconds later, fatally wounding Hamilton. Whether Hamilton missed deliberately or Burr intended to miss but hit by accident is a matter for speculation.
  • Showdowns were scheduled for high noon (yes, many really were) so that neither participant would have more of the sun in their eyes than the other, and it'd be a fair draw.
    • In an episode covering duelling, the documentary series "Tales of the Gun" indicated that high quality duelling pistols were in fact made to be extremely accurate (or at least as accurate as unrifled flintlocks and percussion cap pistols could be).
      • The important thing about dueling pistols was not that they were inaccurate on purpose, but that they were always from the same dueling set, and were never zeroed (meaning fired from before to determine where exactly bullets are going relative to the visible sight line). To zero a dueling pistol, as was said, would be murder. The pairs were provided by one of the nobles (these were generally very finely made and expensive), and loaded by a third party (dueling aides). Actual, pre-sighted military handguns (such as army Tula pistols in case of Russian officers) were used only in extreme circumstances.
    • The "honor" component changed the playing field somewhat from how western "quick draw" shootouts are usually depicted. Andrew Jackson once fought a duel in which he deliberately allowed his opponent to fire first, so that if he missed, he would be compelled by honor to remain still and allow Jackson (taking more time to aim properly) to return fire. Jackson was hit in the chest, but non-fatally, and his return shot killed his opponent. This was considered a dirty trick, though.
      • Generally, duelists could purposefully raise or lower the chances of hitting, depending on their intentions, the gravity of the insult, personal beliefs and other factors. "Rules of engagement" varied from long distance, about 20 yards (very low chance of injury); to fire-at-will while closing (a gamble between getting the first shot and missing, or waiting and shooting from the "barrier" at 10 yards); to the extreme, suicidal "handhold" duel with participants holding the same handkerchief with off-hands. Another rule said that a duelist must fire when the barrier is reached; that after mutual misses, additional shots should be taken; and also that an intentional miss is honorable only after weathering a miss (or even a hit) from the opponent. The choice of aiming point was also a matter of intentions: non-lethal wounds were common - although not guaranteed, because of the inherent inaccuracy of dueling sets. At certain points (before the duel, after mutual shots) the parties could, through their aides, reach a peaceful resolution - a duel's main goal was to resolve a conflict in an honorable manner.
  • Bartholomew Roberts included in his Articles a provision for the settling of disputes, which began by absolutely banning any quarreling aboard ship. The pirates involved were to go ashore with the Quartermaster as a witness, and the duel would begin by pacing off and firing one shot. It would end with both parties drawing their blades and charging each other.


Video Example(s):


Garrett vs. Cody

Since both are falling behind in the airsoft battle, Garrett offers Cody a 'Western-style shootout'... and promptly suckers him into a trap by turning early.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / TenPacesAndTurn

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