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Link answers Phantom Ganon's serve with a forehand smash.

"Pretty much all of [the boss fights] are won by slapping their projectiles back at them like a game of interstellar Pong."
Yahtzee reviewing Super Mario Galaxynote 

Alright, this is it. You're facing the boss, and it's a big one. He's charging up an energy attack, just getting ready to launch it at you. What do you do? Do you dodge out of the way? Block with your shield? Scream like a little girl?

Nope. Swing, batta batta, swing! That's right, smack that ball of destruction right back towards 'im! If you're lucky, he won't be ready, and it'll hit him, leaving him open for a few good whacks with your weapon. If you're not, he'll hit it back and the game is on. For the extra-challenging variety, the ball will speed up each time you do this, so that eventually, you're furiously mashing the button to attack again and again and hoping that the boss misses before you do.

Sometimes, the boss will let out a different energy attack that can't be deflected. If you hit that projectile, it'll probably explode and you'll be damaged.

Incidentally, it doesn't really count as Playing Tennis if the boss's light-based energy projectiles are simply reflecting off your Mirror Shield—rebounding the attack must require timing and reflexes.

It also should be noted that the first time you encounter this trope, you usually have no idea what to do. It's really one of those things that only makes sense in video games.

Why the boss feels the need to use the one attack that can damage itself at all is unknown.

Despite the name, this is not solely restricted to bosses. However, bosses are much more likely to fall into this behavior.

See also Hoist by His Own Petard, Puzzle Boss, Beam-O-War, Parrying Bullets.

For instances where you play a literal, friendly tennis match against the boss, see Go-Karting with Bowser.


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    Action Adventure 
  • The Legend of Zelda features this in many games. While it is traditionally done with Link's sword, there is almost always an absurd second option, normally an item never used in combat. Fans of the games often refer to this trope as "Ganonball," whereas The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass gives it an official name, "Dead Man's Volley":
    • It originally appeared during the fights against Agahnim in A Link to the Past, which lets you use either the Master Sword or the butterfly net to deflect his shots. In addition, he has a lightning attack and a cluster shot that breaks up into multiple projectiles when the player hits it or when it hits the wall.
    • Link's Awakening features a shadow version of Agahnim during the final showdown, complete with tennis-based battle strategy. This time, the Shovel also works. The shadow also has two attacks, one of which cannot be sent back or blocked, and must be dodged. Finally, the shadow doesn't hit the attack back at you, so the "tennis" aspect is downplayed.
    • Ocarina of Time first features this in the fight with Phantom Ganon in the Forest Temple, then repeats it for the main fight with Ganondorf. Following the rule of using silly weapons to defeat him, you can use empty bottles or the Megaton Hammer to hit his attacks back.
    • This also applies to the evil sorceress twins, Kotake and Koume, in Ocarina of Time and the Oracle series. In both games, the first half of their battle is a variation, where you have to reflect one witch's blast of magic towards the other (Koume attacks with fire, which the icy Kotake is weak to, and vice-versa), and before long, they merge to become Twinrova. Twinrova plays this trope straight in Ocarina of Time, where you have to absorb three blasts of the same element they fire at you, then turn it back against them, allowing you to strike with your sword. Make sure you avoid absorbing the opposite element, for it cancels out the current element you already absorbed and deals damage to you at the same time.
    • Oracle of Ages has one of these against an Agahnim clone — along with the first stage of the final boss in a linked game. Averted with the clone in Seasons.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker features this during the return to the Forsaken Fortress, as a fight against Phantom Ganon. As with Ocarina of Time, the use of the empty bottle for this purpose is still an option.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Phantom Ganon returns, and if playing multiplayer, his magic will change colour as it's struck and can only be hit by a certain player. Ganon himself also does this at the very end of the fight.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess forces you to fight Puppet Zelda during the final boss run in this manner. As with Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, you can use an empty bottle in place of the sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass has you fight the Cubus Sisters this way. They even make a game out of it, coining the aforementioned name. Just a bit later, the first half of the boss battle against the Twin Dragon Gleeok works this way, although with an unique twist, using the rope from the Grappling Hook like a big slingshot.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
      • You have to do this during the last time you fight Ghirahim. As well, the attack is a spinning disc, which forces you not only to hit it back, but to use the MotionPlus controls to hit it back the right way.
      • The tactic is necessary against the Bilocyte boss fight. For the first two rounds, throwing back the projectile once will stun it (giving you the chance to inflict damage with your sword); but in the third, it won't be stunned anymore so you'll need to deplete the rest of its HP by redirecting every upcoming projectile. Also, since Bilocyte may change position immediately after shooting, you have to make sure your sword is swung the way it takes the projectile directly to Bilocyte, or else it will be a misfire.
      • There's one more place where this strategy can be used in Skyward Sword, and to great effect: against Demise. You'd probably never do it without knowing about it first, though, because you can't reflect Demise's electric discs with the sword unless you charge up your sword first; you can also swing the bug catching net!
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: The final boss Yuga (now merged with Ganon) does this twice. The first time has the standard type of one ball; the second time, he uses two balls.
    • Referenced in Hyrule Warriors; Link's water-elemental 'weapon' class is the Great Fairy, and one of her combo finishers involves a quick game of Dead Man's Volley. Hyrule Warriors Legends also includes Phantom Ganon, who plays the trope straight; any playable warrior can attack his projectile and send it back to be volleyed. After he takes a volley, he stops playing.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, the Lady has this as one of her phases, again with colored attacks that can only be deflected by the right Link.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
      • Playing this differently than usual, Link can knock back any Frickin' Laser Beams, from Mooks and bosses alike, but he has to use his shield. It still qualifies for the trope for two reasons: if you don't time it right, said laser beam will destroy your shieldnote  (and possibly kill you when it detonates, depending on the surrounding environment); but if you do time it right, you can pull it off with a pot lid. Particularly noteworthy is that this is how Link killed a rogue Guardian in the backstory.
      • In a boss example, Fireblight Ganon sucks up air to charge an enormous fireball. The idea is, since it looks visually similar to the animation of the Rock Octoroks found about Death Mountain, to hint to you that you have to set down a bomb and let it get sucked up into his vortex, then detonate it to stun him. The fireball normally explodes when you whack it, however, with a Perfect Guard, you can reflect it back at him a few times and stun him like you would with the bomb.
    • In Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Guardian lasers can be deflected in the same manner as in Breath of the Wild by the few characters that carry shields. The Battle-Tested Guardian in the Pulse of the Ancients DLC makes a proper tennis match of it, reflecting its own beam back at you multiple times before giving in.
  • In the Zelda-based parody Legend of Princess, you have to fight one of the minibosses like this, but it degenerates to button mashing when it gets too fast.
  • This can also happen with regular enemies, such as in Ōkami, where an evil tree launches fruit at you and you send it back with Power Slash (though the game does have boss battles that feature this trope as well).
  • Ganbare Goemon:
    • The Ghost Woman of Horo Temple, the first boss of Legend of the Mystical Ninja, requires you to bat her Deadly Discs back at her. Your normal weapons will have no effect, since she doesn't have a physical body.
      • The game's final boss requires that this be done with his arrows during his first phase.
    • In Ganbare Goemon 4, a Japanese-only sequel to the game, the final boss consists of a minigame where you have to throw a ball back to the sports-obsessed villain until he is crushed by it. It's painfully difficult. And in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for the Nintendo 64, the boss of the Festival Temple Castle, Tsurami, flings spinning plates at the heroes, who must slap them back at her to win.
  • The video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had many battles like this in the form of magical duels, because the AI is rather trigger-happy on the Expelliarmus spell. A Flipendo Knockback Jinx is volleyed between the player and their opponent with Expelliarmus, and the spell continuously becomes more powerful and harder to repel the longer the tennis match continues. (Can be averted with precise timing, exploiting the fact that spells can only be cast while standing still and your opponent will aggressively move in front of you to attack you; you can launch a fast weak spell, wait for them to block it, then quickly move to one side and fire again, letting them step into your attack before they have a chance to shield. For bonus points, exploit their momentary disorientation to move to the side and repeat the process.)
  • The PC and GBA versions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone have this during the Mirror of Erised Battle with Quirrel. You're stuck in the outer ring of the circular room, surrounded by pillars. You have to hide behind the pillars so that Quirrelmort would cast a spell at it to destroy it. When all the pillars are gone, you then use Flipendo to make the Mirror of Erised spin in place and face a different direction. Then carefully position it and yourself so that you'll use the mirror to reflect Quirrelmort's spell back at him.
  • Disney's Villains' Revenge has a Boss Rush variety for the final battle as you use the storybook to deflect Captain Hook's cannonballs, The Ringmaster's pies, The Queen of Hearts' croquet balls, and the Evil Queen's energy balls.
  • Dark Grotto boss in An Untitled Story. He charges up a fireball and you have to reflect it with iceshot, and he will reflect it. How many times he will do it in a turn increases with amount of hit points left and with difficulty level.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse has the battle against the Ammo Baron. Since his tank is too tough for Shantae's Prehensile Hair to crack, Shantae will need hair-whip his bouncing red cannonballs back at him to deal damage.

    Action Game 
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Even if it's not essential to defeat him and is very risky to do, in the first Devil May Cry, you can swat back the fireballs that the first Recurring Boss, Phantom, spits at you, and this is also the solution to one of the game's (few) puzzles. Doing this to the Final Boss in his second form gets you a Green Orb.
    • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening:
      • The Gigapede in Mission 4 throws electric balls of energy at you that you can send right back.
      • You can do this to the pillars Beowulf throws at you. It's Difficult, but Awesome to do, yet it's not required while fighting him.
      • You can reflect the Doppleganger's anti-light energy blasts.
    • In Devil May Cry 4, Nero can use his Devil Bringer to deflect the attacks of one of the bosses, as well as throwing a sword-shaped enemy at whatever's nearest. Additionally, some of the Alto Angelos can summon Bianco Angelos to stand next to them and fire a huge beam of energy at the playable character. The player can promptly deflect it with any attack - including a single thrown rose from Dante - to destroy the entire group and get an instant SSS rank.
    • DmC: Devil May Cry:
      • Dante can parry Mundus' meteors and Vergil's Summoned Swords. Just time your attack (works in both versions of the game), or make sure that Prop/Shredder's atack frames are active (which unfortunately no longer works on the Definitive Edition).
      • In an inverted case, the player can throw their ax head at enemies, and some late game enemies will hit it back if their defenses are up. If the player manages to time it right, they can then stun the enemy by hitting it back, turning this into one of the shortest applications of this trope.
  • The final phase of the last boss of Alter Echo is fought using this mechanic. Notably, there is nothing like it in the rest of the game.
  • Monster Party starred a baseball bat wielding kid who could bat enemy's projectiles back at them. This didn't have quite the Guide Dang It! aspect that this trope sometimes fosters, since this technique worked on practically everything that used projectiles, and you could generally defeat bosses by just pummeling them with the bat instead.
  • In Kendo Rage, the boss Rose N. Ball is literally playing tennis with little star shaped monsters.
  • In Goof Troop, any enemy that throws barrels and bombs, since you can catch them and throw them back. Most notably, cannons.
  • In Intrusion 2, the boss Maku will surround herself in a blob of energy and fire large grenades at you; the only way to damage her in this form is to shoot the grenades back at her. The missiles fired by Rifle mechs can also be deflected in this manner.

    Adventure Game 
  • In Epic Mickey, Mickey must do this with Petetronic's TRON discs in order to stun him long enough to hit him for real. While Petetronic does not attempt to hit back, he will put up deflector shields later on that automatically send the discs back at Mickey, requiring Mickey to break a hole in the shields to get to Petetronic.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • During the fights in the optional stages in Bonesaw: The Game, your opponent will spiral balls of green and yellow energy at you. The only way to defeat the boss is to hit the spiraling orbs with the titular weapon, which you need to charge from scratch as the boss uses YOUR Bonesaw energy to summon his own at the start of the fight.
  • Advance Guardian Heroes actually has this as a major fighting tactic. The best way to deal with any given attack is to parry it at the last second. In the case of projectile attacks, this sends it right back at whoever shot it. At the very end of the game, you have to knock back a Planet-killing blast, which requires perfect timing: Any parry that hits before the absolute last possible moment (the game is merciful enough to give you a timer) will be sent back at you, forcing you to do it all over again.
  • The Xbox Live Arcade version of Castle Crashers literally makes you play a game of volleyball with the boss of the Desert Sandcastle.
  • Bayonetta:
    • The flashback encounter with Fortitudo in Chapter 1 can become this once you get the Moon of Mahaa-Kaala accessory (which allows you to deflect attacks). If you send all of his fireballs back at him instead of just shooting him with your guns, the fight can be won in a few seconds, and with high combo points. Doing so will guarantee a Pure Platinum medal for that Verse.
    • The last fight with Jeanne makes you play hot potato with a missile in this fashion. Jeanne can catch it and send it right back at you just as easily; it can take several successful throws before she fails to keep up and take damage.
    • Father Balder throws a skyscraper at you during his boss fight, but this can be easily countered. He also makes you play hot potato with a satellite that he forces to fall from space.
  • In Dragon's Crown, one of the Ancient Dragon's attacks consists of flying into the background and firing magic missiles at stone pillars that are necessary for defending against one of its flaming breath attacks. The missiles can be attacked and sent flying back at the Dragon to damage it.
  • Splatter Master have the second boss, a Burger Fool robot who hurls exploding burgers on you. Your only way of hurting him is by deflecting his flung burger projectiles back at him.

    Driving Game 
  • In Snowboard Kids 2, any projectile can be deflected back at the racer who shot it by doing a quick board grab. The idea is that the projectile hits the smooth, reflective surface of the snowboard. Deflected projectiles, however, can be deflected again, sending the projectile back at its target. This can be kept up until someone times it wrong or cannot do a board grab.

    Fighting Game 
  • Possible during the Super Smash Bros. series:
    • Mario has a move which flings his cape (of Super Mario World fame) in front of him, doing one of two things: Turning an immediate opponent in the other direction or redirecting projectiles in the other direction. It's with this second possibility that the 'tennis' idea comes into play.
    • Other characters also have similar moves, and the Franklin Badge does this automatically for everyone. In Melee, it was also possible to reflect with the normal shield if you had frame-precise timing. But playing this with that technique is another matter entirely.
    • Ness can reflect even energy-based projectiles like Samus's blasts with his baseball bat. Of course, this can be a brilliant in-game move as most players expect Ness to absorb the blast to heal damage, since his absorbtion move is much faster and easier to react with. Ness's bat (and Mario's cape, and the other reflectors) can knock back any projectile — this can get excellent against items that are "owned" by the thrower, meaning they can't get damaged by them, like banana peels, Poké Balls, and ROB's odd top weapon. If they don't notice you reflected them before they fell, they'll think they're immune to them, and assume they're still not a threat. Hilarity ensues.
    • Fox and Falco's reflectors are capable of the same thing, and is required to perform an infamous glitch in Melee.
    • It can't go forever though; reflected items get stronger each time. Eventually a tennis match will end when the reflected attack becomes so powerful, it destroys the reflector. Better watch out if that was a Red Shell you were reflecting...
    • Characters with both a strong projectile and a reflector like Mewtwo can Invert this trope by throwing their projectile at the opponent, tricking them into Exploiting this trope by reflecting it, then reflecting their own projectile once again. Unless the opponent reacts just at the right time, they will take MASSIVE damage and knockback, dying at very low percentages.
    • Zelda's Nayru's Loves, Fox, Falco and Wolf's Reflectors, Dr. Mario's Super Sheet and Mario's Cape, Rob's spinning arms, Mewtwo's Psychic, Ness and Lucas' bats and Pit's Spinning sacred blades and Palutena's Mirror can all reflect projectiles. The latter most is notoriously broken about it, defending behind him when the shield is in front of him.
  • In The King of Fighters, you can "serve" a fireball, then they'd ping-pong it back and forth with reflectors until one of the players messes up their timing.
  • Both the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi games feature generic Ki Blasts as attacks. With the right timing, you can either deflect them away or back at your opponent. A few of them even feature mini games where the objective is to keep this going for a specific amount of volleys.
  • In Killer Instinct, the final boss Eyedol can smack your projectiles back at you. Use a cheat to play as Eyedol, and you can play tennis til the cows come home.
  • Lethal League has this as a core concept, although it's more baseball-themed than tennis. Your attacks cannot hurt your opponent, but there is a ball that you can hit to send it flying. If the ball hits your opponent, they lose a life. If your opponent hits the ball back, you must try to hit it back yourself, and so on.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Doomł: Resurrection of Evil: The first boss is one of these. For that matter, you can kill virtually every other (non-boss) enemy in the game with one hit in this manner.
  • In Half-Life 2, the gravity gun can be sometimes used to catch enemy attacks and throw them back; anti-matter orbs and objects stuck with hunter flechettes, for example. Also, grabbing a manhack (a flying sawblade robot) creates a chainsaw-like effect if held in the gravity gun, aside from the use of launching it at an enemy.
  • Games based on Star Wars:
    • You can get into a semi-amusing game of this in the game Jedi Academy, playing Force-push tennis with a launched rocket and Dark Jedi. Of course, the fact that they have more Force power than you makes this usually end with Jaden Korr splattered. Except for the Korriban valley level. There's a dark Jedi standing on the top of some pillars in the middle who seems to have been placed there specifically for this purpose, as he's difficult to reach and rarely leaves his perch. Rocket tennis can be played with him indefinitely from several locations on the map, as he's far enough that the force regenerates before the missile comes flying back.
    • The same level has fights between light and dark force users in several places. You can fire a rocket at them and get them to play tennis against each other.
    • In Star Wars itself, one of the first tricks Luke learns is the ability to deflect blaster fire; in later movies we see Luke and other Jedi taking out Mooks by reflecting their own shots back at them (the main enemies, of course, use lightsabers of their own). In the movies, this is more about attunement to the Force than reflexes; in some video game adaptations (Lego Star Wars comes to mind) it comes back to player reflexes.
    • This tactic can be played straight with AT-STs and is one of the better ways to combat them.
    • An unintentional example could be pulled in the SNES game adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back during the final battle with Vader. By switching to a blaster, firing a shot, then switching back to the lightsaber, you could play a very pointless game of pong with Vader. He has perfect deflection reflexes, and won't move until the shot clears the screen (either by hitting you or being jumped by you).
    • LEGO Star Wars has some fun with this. It is possible to intercept blaster shots that have been deflected at a friend, and when you deflect them perfectly, they will go back to the first deflector, which will start a tennis match with no end unless you get yourself shot.
  • While very difficult, it is actually possible to reflect incoming fire such as rockets using Unreal Tournament impact hammer.
    • In Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, you can reflect any weapons fire with your melee weapon, assuming you get the timing right. Rockets are fairly easy, unless you're too close, but sniper rounds are...difficult. If you get a kill by reflected shot, the announcer will say "Rejected", to make sure you know how badass you are. It also says that when you get killed by one too, to make sure you know how badly you got owned. Also, sniper reflections tend to hit you in the head more often than not, which is especially aggravating since the AI can pull them off with ease.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The game had an update which allows the Pyro class to use the alt fire on their flamethrower to deflect explosives. The newly released Flare Gun (a Pyro-only weapon) fires a deflectable projectile. As a result its possible for to Pyros to keep trying to deflect a flare at each other.
    • The Scout used to be able to deflect a Demoman's sticky bombs with his bat. This never happened with any other projectile, and was never implied in any game information provided by Valve, so it was likely a glitch (The bombs can bounce off character models; it was likely a combination of that and the ability to send the bombs flying after they land using a melee weapon).
    • The Scout weapons update also introduced the Sandman bat, which comes with a baseball projectile that Scouts can bat back and forth. Scouts can quickly "reload" a baseball by picking up one that they (or another Scout) left on the ground.
    • There's a custom game mode called "Dodgeball" that is less like dodgeball and more like tennis with player homing rockets and nukes and everyone forced to go Pyro to project rockets back with the compression blast.
    • The Pyro's air blast can affect Pyro flares, Demoman pipe bombs, Demoman sticky bombs, Soldier rockets, Scout baseballs, and Sniper arrows. Of those, flares, baseballs, and arrows can be reflected back and forth between two Pyros.
    • The absolute best thing about the reflection ability is being able to get headshots on enemy Snipers with their own arrows. The previous best thing about the reflection that there used to be a bug that stunning a Scout with his own reflected baseball and killing him resulted in him getting a kill assist point for assisting in his own death. This has unfortunately been fixed.
  • This is part of how you beat the last boss in Painkiller.
  • Metroid Prime Trilogy:
    • Dark Samus, the Final Boss in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Instead of bouncing back the attack, you absorb some of it by using your charge beam until you have enough and then throw it back at the boss. Easier than it sounds, especially due to the time limit you're under.
    • Happens with a couple of bosses in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, including the very first one. As Samus lacks a melee weapon to swing, in this case you have to shoot the opponent's projectile several times before it abruptly reverses course.
  • In Halo games from Halo 3 onward, the physics engine allows for some crazy examples of this, as well-timed explosions or gravity hammer swings can send rockets and grenades ricocheting back at the enemy.
  • Postal 2: You can kick grenades right back at whoever's tossing them. They explode on contact.
  • The boss fight against Ramon in Syndicate consists of Breaching his missiles (while he Breaches them back) to try and turn them around midair to hit him.
  • The main method of fighting Peach Wilkins in BioShock, since your weapons have been confiscated, is to throw his Molotovs back at him with the Telekinesis plasmid.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Persephone will sometimes refuse to use the one attack which can be reflected in this manner, often for far longer than would be statistically probable if her attack pattern was truly random. Sometimes she'll alternate use of her other two attacks for up to ten minutes at a time, before finally getting frustrated enough to use her reflectable attack. Sometimes, when playing on God Mode, the difference in timing (and player excitement that she's finally using the one attack you've been waiting for) will be enough to throw you off and let her win. ( it's probably just a bug with a missing AI trigger.)
  • The battle with Lakhesis in God of War II. This is, in fact, the primary way of dealing damage until that boss is weakened enough for you to grapple.
  • No More Heroes:
    • While not required to win the fight, Travis can do this (with a beam katana, no less) during the Rank 2 battle. The disturbing part? The projectiles in question are guys in gimp outfits. And every now and then, the boss will return your return with the same weapon she used to launch them with. A baseball bat to the back of the head. To their credit, they seem to like it.
    • There are a couple of regular enemies (and bonus fights) that toss baseballs at Travis that he can also swat back.
    • Hardest to do, but most gratifying, in the Destroyman fight. His Destroy Cannon can be reflected, or used when he is flying to hit the switch knocking him back down to earth.
    • Subverted with the Rank 9 battle cutscene. Travis tries to do this to Dr. Peace's bullet. Turns out the bullet explodes.
  • In the God of War-like Heavenly Sword for the PlayStation 3, you can deflect the daggers of the crazy mercenary and in the final battle the fire and lightning balls of the mad king.
  • In the spinoff Soul Calibur Legends, the Final Boss has attacks that you can swing your sword at and, if you swing the correct way, will hit them back into the boss, stunning him for a bit so you can whale on him. It's not required, but is much easier than trying to jump over or dodge them.
  • In the SNES reformulation of Prince of Persia, the first phase of the battle with the Vizier has you deflect his One-Hit Kill magic bolts with your sword.

  • World of Warcraft has a few boss fights with variations on this.
    • In the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, there's a Volleyball Boss. Basically, big glowing bombs slowly drop into the room, and the only way to keep them from touching the ground, blowing up, and killing everyone is to shoot them with ranged attacks.
    • An even closer example was added in the Cataclysm expansion: Warlord Zon'ozz, more colloquially known as "the pong boss." He creates a glowing ball of energy and sends it roaming around the room. When it hits a player, it does moderate damage to all players nearby and starts moving in the opposite direction. When it hits the boss, the boss gets a Status Buff that eventually leads to an Area of Effect attack on the whole raid, but that attack also resets the ball. The problem is, if the ball ever hits the wall of the room, it's a Total Party Kill. So, basically, one or a small group of players spends the fight bouncing the ball between them and the boss but keep it from ever hitting the wall. And it does increased damage with each bounce.
  • The Keaghan battle in Vindictus includes some segments in which Keaghan throws a blast of darkness your way. You can either avoid the blast, or smack it back at him with whatever weapon you're using.

    Party Game 
  • Rayman:
    • In Rayman Raving Rabbids and its sequel, nearly all bosses in the shooter levels were shielded and could only be defeated by hitting missiles they shot at you. No matter what angle you shoot the missile at, it somehow finds its way back to the enemy.
    • In the original platform game, Mr. Sax is defeated by punching his "sharp notes" back at him.
  • Wizzrobes in Nintendo Land's Zelda attraction launch a beachball-like projectile that can be hit back, in a nod to the Zelda series' tendency to include this. If you're playing as the archer though, they'll send Keese at you instead.

    Platform Game 
  • The first boss of Castle in the Darkness can be defeated by deflecting its attacks back at it. You even get a clue about it from an NPC before you encounter it.
  • In Densetsu no Stafy, Ogura's second form is fought this way, where he’ll spit out cannonballs that Starfy has to spin into to deflect. When they land back in Ogura's mouth, they'll explode and he'll take damage.
  • In general, after starting with Zelda, Nintendo loved using this trope everywhere. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat features several mini-bosses that, in a variation, shoot Homing Projectiles which return to you after you knock them away on their own. You must hit them back enough hard enough to hit the boss until they eventually break on the boss.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: In a variation, Birdo spits eggs that you have to jump on and throw back. A variant of Birdo also spits fireballs (which cannot be touched), while another only spits fireballs (and thus can only be defeating by throwing a Mushroom Block).
    • Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 have this in a fight against King Kaliente, a giant, coconut-and-fireball-spitting octopus in a lava pit. In addition to that, occasionally you will also find other vaguely octopus-like monsters that shoot coconuts. Galaxy 2 also has Prince Pikante, who shoots both kinds of projectiles at the same time and, after receiving the first hit, will shoot a massive chain of projectiles skyward for a rain of fireballs and coconuts.
    • Mario Party: Island Tour: Dry Bowser, the fifth boss of Bowser's Tower, can only be defeated by throwing back his bone projectiles at him with a hammer. The catch is that, for each swing, a sequence of buttons has to be pressed so the player's character can succesfully redirect the incoming projectile; right before Dry Boswer throws a bone, the player has three seconds to memorize the sequence of button presses, and after the bone's throw the buttons will be hidden. At first, each sequence consists of only three buttons; but when Dry Bowser's HP falls under half, the sequences will increase to four buttons each, and when the HP is next to zero Dry Bowser will throw a huge bone that requires a sequence of five buttons to be shot back.
  • A common occurrence in the Crash Bandicoot series — most notably the first game's final boss: The green blasts can be deflected back , but the red ones will harm you, and the blue ones will zig-zag back and forth across the screen also harming you.
  • In Wario World, there's Captain Skull, the second-to-last Boss. At first he's a pushover; all Wario has to do is punch him until he's stunned and then use a Piledriver or Power Throw. However, once Captain Skull loses half his health, he blocks all of Wario's punches with his cannon-arm, so this doesn't work anymore. To stun him from that point on, Wario has to pick up one of the cannonballs the villain shoots at him and Power Throw it at him. (Even then, that only stuns him; Wario then has to reach him and use one of his moves to reduce his health bar before he recovers. And he has to do that three more times.)
  • La-Mulana's final battle. But wait! Only one of your many weapons can reflect the projectiles! Which one, you ask? Find out yourself, says the game! It's the knife, if you're not interested in playing along.
  • Kirby's Dream Land 2: Upon collecting all seven Rainbow Drops and defeating King Dedede, Kirby obtains the Rainbow Sword and flies into space to confront Dark Matter. Kirby is able to hit him directly with the sword, but this is risky and barely scratches him. A safer and more effective strategy is to keep one's distance and strike his orb attacks with the Rainbow Sword, splitting them into fragments that can damage him.
  • Pac-Man World: The first boss of the first game, HMS Windbag, is a flying ship who can fire cannons at you. The stage you're on have buttons that, after being pressed, will activate pedals which can deflect cannonballs. Naturally the entire fight have you tricking Windbag into firing his cannons on you and deflecting his attacks back on him.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic Blast, the boss of Silver Castle Zone fires lasers at Sonic or Knuckles from above. Sonic or Knuckles can deflect these lasers back at it using a mirror above them they can move by running on a wheel.
    • The final boss of Sonic Pocket Adventure can only be damaged by dashing into the missiles it fires, sending them flying back at the enemy.
    • The True Final Boss of Sonic Advance 2 is also defeated this way.
    • The sixth boss of Sonic Advance 3 is the Egg Pinball. You must hit its projectiles and hope they bounce back into Eggman (he speeds up his shots with every hit he takes).
    • The True Final Boss of Sonic Rush, at least in Super Sonic's phase, fires lasers and other projectiles at Super Sonic. Super Sonic has to dash into them to push them into him and damage him.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), this is Silver's primary means of taking out everything. Since he has no way to attack enemies directly (aside from a psychoshock attack that can do a tiny bit of damage and allow Silver to grab them while stunned) Silver's primary means of attacking is to use telekinesis to grab any nearby debris or, if nothing else is around, the enemy's projectiles and throw them back at the target.
    • The True Final Boss of Sonic and the Secret Rings can be damaged and stunned by deflecting its giant energy ball back at it. Since there's no other way to avoid this attack, this is a wise course of action.
    • The True Final Boss of Sonic Rush Adventure shoots meteors and various other projectiles that can be reflected back at him—and probably should be, if you don't want the fight to drag on forever. It should be noted that, however, just like the prequel, this only applies if you're controlling Super Sonic.
    • The first phase of Metal Carrier from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II can be damaged by deflecting the cannonball it shoots at it.
    • In Sonic Forces, the only way for Classic Sonic to damage the Egg Dragoon and the Phantom Ruby-powered Death Egg Robot is to reflect large boulders that Eggman throws at him.
  • The Resonance Reflector in the indie platformer Iji can reflect any weapon that isn't hitscan, letting you play tennis with everyone from mooks on up. Certain enemies have reflectors of their own, however, meaning that you can be on the receiving end as well. In particular, using the reflector on the final boss of the game is usually the easiest way to defeat himnote , as slowly chipping away at his health with your other weapons turns him into a marathon boss.
  • At the end of the 3rd level of Flintstones - Surprise at the Dinosaur Peak, there's a yeti boss which makes rocks fall from a sky which can be swung back at him with a club. Often though, yeti swings that rock back again, often resulting rock going back and forth 5-6 times.
  • Zero can do this to almost any enemy shot in Mega Man X7. The Gaea Shield/Gokumonken from Soldier Stonekong can "bounce" Sigma's energy orbs back at him, the only thing to send Sigma into "hit stun." Strangely, this is also one of the very few games with a boss that has no hit stun from a weakness.
  • The second boss of Lyle in Cube Sector must be fought like a game of Breakout.
  • In NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams the Reala battles are more or less a game of dodgeball with your evil twin.
  • This is required to beat the final stage of the final boss in Vexx: Revenge Is Unleashed.
  • The final boss fight in The Legendary Starfy ends with Mashtooth launching a whole moon at you. What do you do? Grab it and launch it right back at him...then he grabs it and launches it back at you again, and you have to launch it back again to finish him off, all with an obscene amount of Button Mashing.
  • The final boss of the 2009 A Boy and His Blob has you smacking back energy spheres at the boss with your Humongous Mecha to weaken him for a physical attack.
  • Using the Mirror power to send back projectiles is the only way you can defeat Dr. Wily at the end of Mega Man: Dr Wily's Revenge.
  • A literal example in Bug!!. The boss is an octopus who throws fish at you, so you take a tennis racket and swat them back at his head.
  • In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, an Optional Boss in the Spooky Swamp tosses bombs and the way to defeat him is to hit them back at him.
  • Viewtiful Joe:
    • Eternal rival and recurring boss Alastor likes to unleash swords that float around independently and home in on you when you get close. Unfortunately for him, they switch their target to their creator upon a properly placed hit by Joe. There are also a lot of tank-riding mini-bosses who fire shells at you that you can punch back with your Slow power.
    • In Red Hot Rumble, one of the showdown mini-games that can pop up in the middle of a fight involves hitting a Bianky mook back and forth at increasing speed until one side gets smacked with it.
  • Drill Dozer has a boss that's based on catching the projectile the right way and timing it so it explodes at the right time, so its more like hot potato with the boss. Like one Zelda example, the boss will refuse to keep playing after its lost enough rounds, forcing a more direct approach.
  • Mega Man:
    • In Mega Man X6, Gate is completely immune to your attacks. The only way to hit him is to attack the colored spheres he throws at you; they then split into pieces, which damage Gate if they hit him. And this battle happens in a room with a bunch of tiny platforms above a Bottomless Pit. Good thing your characters can climb the walls.
    • The first form of the Wily Machine No. 9 in Mega Man 9 spits out explosive dinosaur eggs (!). The eggs have to be shot back so they bounce into the boss's mouth.
  • Shovel Knight features several bosses with projectiles that can be reflected with a well-timed shovel swing. The Black Knight can do the same with his own shovel, resulting in an optional yet satisfying opportunity to engage in fireball tennis.
  • In Ori and the Blind Forest, the second Ginso Tree boss is an energy sphere that can only be damaged by Bashing its fireballs back. In the Final Dungeon, it is demoted to a recurring mook that dies in one hit.
  • In Rocket Knight Adventures, when Sparkster first faces Captain Fleagle on the Big Barone, he tosses explosives at him. Since Fleagle is behind a barrier, Sparkster can't reach him with his normal attacks, so he has to hit the bombs back at Fleagle to damage him.
  • The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout: Taz, the Final Boss, is this. He throws footballs at you that you have to deflect back at him with your hammer to defeat him.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Played With in both Portal-games. Both games require you to hit the bosses with their own projectiles (rockets from GLaDOS in Portal and bombs from Wheatley in Portal 2), but you don't actually hit them back. Instead, you redirect them using portals.
  • The N64 game Mischief Makers had a level where you play dodgeball with a boss. It's in the middle of an Olympics-style event, against a cat with the same creepy haniwa face as nearly everything else in the game, while a Pretty Flower and green slime are also present on the court. And while you can cross the center line to directly beat the snot out of the cat, the crowd will gasp, and the cat will call you a cheater, and not give you hints for the next fight. This is a boss fight where the cat that you are riding on is being chased by a giant motorcycle that looks like a dog, is armed to the teeth, and is ridden by an anthropomorphic wolf. You can also ride on the missiles it fires (while still riding the cat, of course). Observe.

    Rhythm Games 
  • In HarmoKnight, boss fights are done through "Simon Says" Mini-Games in which Tempo has to either move in a direction, jump, or strike with his staff. Almost every "section" of a boss fight ends with the boss firing a particularly large projectile that gets sent flying back into the boss when hit.
    • The final boss of BEAT is as straight of an example as you can get, essentially being a regular game of Pong. The only difference is that every five points you score, the boss's paddle divides itself into multiple smaller paddles.
    • FLUX also uses the Pong formula for its first and last bosses, but with a twist each time:
      • The boss of Epiphany is a combination of Pong and Breakout, with both the boss and the player having walls of breakable bricks behind their paddles and two large "goal" bricks at either edge of the screen. In a way, it becomes more of a Hockey Boss than a Tennis Boss.
      • The boss of Catharsis is a straight game of Pong, only the boss's paddle takes up the entire left edge of the screen. Fortunately, the boss's paddle becomes weaker and weaker with every successful volley, eventually fading away into nothing.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Optional Boss Ice Titan in Kingdom Hearts requires you to hit his icicles back at him, as anything else you can hit him does absolutely nothing until you stun him with the aforementioned icicles. In fact, you can do this in all sorts of places. Most projectile attacks in the game can be reflected back at an opponent, often giving a nice XP bonus and stunning the enemy. This even includes the Lingering Will's BFG - it may fire an enormous ball of energy, but Sora's Block or Reflect will bounce it back same as everything else.
    • The last part of the final battle of Kingdom Hearts II requires this; great deal of button mashing, since it's not one powerful attack - it is a goddamn torrent of energy blasts. Really, it's Press X and Triangle simultaneously not to die.
  • Several Final Fantasy bosses, usually at least once per game since the Reflect spell was introduced, will cast Reflect on themselves and/or the party, and bounce damaging spell off itself onto you and curative spells off you onto it. The solution is of course to follow suit, since spells can't be reflected more than once. Specific examples include:
    • Bahamut and Dark Bahamut in Final Fantasy IV. Bahamut spends five turns charging up Mega Flare, the only real way to survive is to Reflect it back at him. His cousin Dark Bahamut casts Reflect on himself and bounces normal Flares off himself, and if you summon say, Bahamut to pierce Reflect, he counters with Mega Flare, which you need to Reflect to survive.
    • Another FF4 example that more or less requires Reflect would be Asura, who occasionally heals herself by a ridiculously high amount, which would require you use Reflect on her in order to maintain lasting damage.
    • Exdeath in Dissidia Final Fantasy, is technically just another playable character instead of a boss, but just take a look at this match. Watch the vacuum wave projectiles fly from shield to shield to shield to shield to shield...
  • In Odin Sphere, deflecting their flying sword spell back at them is the only way to harm the Three Wise Men. Unfortunately, they also teleport away if struck by anything else, know a large variety of other spells that inflict Status Effects on you (meaning said flying swords come out very seldom, and only following barrages of other spells), and is enough of a Mook Maker to keep you busy, which makes them That One Boss even by Odin Sphere standards. Also, during Odin's Boss battles he can occasionally charge up his Epic Flail Balor and toss the sphere at you as it bounces across the screen, and it is possible to hit it hard enough to reverse it and cause it to damage Odin, though it's optional and is much safer to avoid the ball alltogether.
  • In Fallen Legion Revenants, the Chapter 4 Boss Drakina must be fought 3 different ways. Her final battle recommends you to parry-reflect her 'Twilight Salvation' sword waves for easy staggers and avoiding their massive partywide damage. While the first chapter boss, the giant whale, also has a mega attack you get special rewards for reflecting, Drakina is the only enemy in the game that can reflect your reflection for a volley.
  • Ys:
    • The final boss of Ys: The Oath in Felghana will not only employ this strategy in the last part of the fight, he makes it as nasty as possible. He sucks away all your energy to do it, and launches other attacks after launching the reflectable energy ball, meaning you have to play Pong with him and dodge his attacks at the same time!
    • Orjugan in Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim requires you to deflect its bombs back with the Wind Sword, while also dodging its instant-kill Death Ray and Giant Hands of Doom.
  • In Steven Universe: Save The Light, the battle against Squaridot goes like this, as she's up in air in her mini-ship she will occasionally fire spheres that will have to deflected with countering until she gets struck and lands on the ground, allowing an opening for attack.
  • The Earth Trolls in Fable will rip up chunks of the ground and hurl them at you with alarming regularity. They cannot be blocked, but it is possible to dodge them or knock them back at the troll. Of course, the latter requires twitch-reflex timing and more than a little luck (or the time-slowing spell).
  • Several Avatar battles in .hack//G.U. are exactly like this. They even have a label that says "Shoot" or "Slash". Most of the time, they even show you hints like "Slash x to (do) y!"
  • In Dragon Quest Swords, swatting a bodkin archer's arrow back at it is that only way that it can be killed, as they never get close enough for you to hit them. Likewise, you fight a scythe-wielding boss named Harvest Loon in Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime with him over a pit, out of range. The only way to damage him is to avoid his large scythe and smack the smaller Castlevania-esque scythe projectiles into him.
  • Avalon Code (NDS) features a variation(?) of this called "Judgement Link," although it's less like tennis and more like "how long can you keep the ball from hitting the ground" — you smack the enemies into the air repeatedly, getting points and bonuses for long combos. In fact, there are two ways to do it: attack with one hand and send the enemies higher each time (which quickly gets insanely difficult); or alternate hands and keep them lower, but have to hit them faster (more challenging with heavier enemies). You can also play Judgement Link against other NPCs, making it much closer to the trope.
  • In Dark Chronicle, Max is able to deflect certain enemy projectiles with his wrench.
  • In Terranigma, during the second form of Dark Morph boss, you have to deflect its attacks back to cause damage. The first form of the Final Boss applies too.
  • The hammers in the Mario & Luigi series give you the ability to smack projectile attacks back at most bosses (and some enemies).
    • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga hangs a lampshade on it by having Larry Koopa pull out a tennis racket when he spits a fireball. You have to smack the fireball back and forth a few times until one of you miss.
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time has a double boss fight with Bowser and Baby Bowser. One attack has Bowser hiding in his shell and spinning at you while Baby Bowser pulls out his own hammer. You end up hitting Bowser back and forth like a hockey puck until someone misses.
    • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has the Giant Bosses Mt. Pajamaja and Zeekeeper. Giant Luigi must hammer back fireballs and eggs, respectively, at them.
    • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam:
      • The Koopalings use this tactic usually as a final Desperation Attack, and when their partner goes down. Wendy, Larry and Ludwig use magical Energy Balls, while Roy uses regular boulders.
      • A variant with one of Optional Boss Dry Bowser's attacks from the same game. He tries to suck in the heroes while spiked balls are rolling toward them (like e Sandmaarghs from the desert area, except all Bros are targeted at once), and the heroes can hammer the spikes offscreen to hit Dry Bowser from behind as a Wrap Around.
  • A non-damaging variant occurs in Pokémon with the ability Magic Bounce. If the boss ever tries to inflict a status move on the Pokemon with the said ability, it is reflected back.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Ikaruga allows you to absorb like-colored enemy fire and return it in the form of homing lasers. While this isn't technically reflecting fire, the game's second to last boss volleys homing lasers at the player at an ever increasing rate which are optimally returned the moment they are absorbed.
  • The Final Boss battle of Sin and Punishment features Ruffian Saki fighting a gigantic evil Earth firing lasers and asteroids at regular Earth in this manner, deflecting its attacks back at it using your own swords and lasers. You have to do it again for the final battle in Sin and Punishment: Star Successor.
  • In Triggerheart Exelica, the final boss tosses all sorts of debris from the space station at you. The most optimal way to beat it is to use the Anchor System to grab that debris and toss it back.
  • In the original Reflection, Cancer uses a reflector shield very similar to yours. He continuously fires with it up, causing you both to deflect shots and lasers back at each other.
  • Every boss (and mook) in Arc Angle is this, since your character's only form of offense was to convert enemy attacks into homing bullets that attacked the shooter.
  • Enigmata 2 has the True Final Boss, the Entity. It has a ludicrous amount of health and will fire out a huge green energy ball that deals massive damage to your ship and can potentially destroy you in one hit. The optimal way to beat him is to use the Reflection Barrier skill to reflect said ball back at him to deal substantial damage to his health.
  • Enter the Gungeon has an unintentional and intentional example.
    • In the unintentional example, the Bullet King can be killed instantly by knocking his Chancellor back at him with Casey. The thing is, the Chancellor is passive during the fight and thus you essentially have to hit him to set it up.
    • The intentional example, however, comes in the form of Agunim- the only way to do damage to him is to knock his projectiles at him with Blasphemy.

    Simulation Game 
  • Strong Bad Zone. The Wii version lets you permanently raise your shield, though.

    Survival Horror 
  • Dead Space:
    • The second part of the battle against Leviathan is this. After you destroy its tentacles, it will start spitting huge festering balls of... something... at Isaac, who must use his kinesis to push them back at it. It always shoots five at a time, so the key is rebounding only the odd-numbered ones: the first and third ones will collide with the second and fourth ones, leaving the fifth ball to be shot back into its mouth.
    • Brutes in both games are Bullfight Bosses until you disable a limb, at which point they start spitting exploding balls of gunk at you. Grabbing them and flinging them back with Kinesis is an easy kill.
  • Spooky's House of Jump Scares' one and only boss requires you to do this to make it vulnerable, after which you must Attack Its Weak Point.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • In BloodRayne 2, one of the earlier bosses is a giant who will throw mooks with explosives strapped to their chests at you. The only way to beat her is to harpoon them out of the air and throw them back when her belly is exposed.
  • DJ Octavio in the Splatoon games can only be taken down in this fashion, as his Octobot King mech is shielded from direct ink assault. He always finds a way to mix things up each time, however.
    • The first game is this trope with his fists and ladder-shaded missile, but what is noteworthy is that he won't hold back with any of his other armaments while either of these is in the air, so you might wanna learn how to dance.
    • While the second game has him slow up with the other weapons, his fist can only be launched back when it's flying straight; he occasionally spins it rapidly, which repels any ink you fire at it and thus it must be dodged.
    • The third game limits him to just the fist, but adds in an Ink Vac as a defensive option to stop you from repelling said fist as well. Unlike the previous instances, he doesn't have the Great Zapfish and is the first boss of the game as a result.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • While not bosses per se, Ghasts and Blazes in Minecraft spit or throw fireballs at you, respectively. Time it right, and you can knock them back at them with your sword.
  • During the first part of the fight with the Twilight Lich from The Twilight Forest, it is protected from damage by a rotating ring of shields that are broken by deflecting it's projectiles back to towards it.
  • Spider-Man (PS4) has a variant. Flashbangs and, with an upgrade, rockets can be webbed and hurled at the shooter or another enemy. You can also disarm enemies and throw their weapons at them, but unlike most games enemies that aren't currently carrying a weapon will run over to one that happens to be sitting on the ground and try using it against you, leading to a potential chain of Spider-Man disarming a thug, hitting him with his own gun, then doing it all over again after the thug picks it back up. Webbing enemy projectiles and hurling them back is also necessary in some boss fights, the Vulture's being the most prominent.

Non-video game examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Angel Beats!! Otonashi and Noda do this... in a baseball game. With the latter using his signature halberd. And they're teammates.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, during the final moments of the battle with Kid Buu. When Goku first hurls the Earth-fueled Spirit Bomb at Buu, Goku is nearly depleted of his energy, while allows for Buu to catch it and throw it right back at him. With the timely intervention of Porunga bringing his power-level back to full, just as Buu re-hurls it, Goku stops it and redirects it back at Buu, finally killing him.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, Guile Hideout can reflect a Pokémon's attack back at its user using his sword.
  • Pokémon: In the episode "Pokémon S2E1 "Pallet Party Panic"" when Team Rocket attacks Ash's homecoming party on the ground, captures Pikachu, and then rains bombs down on everyone from their hot air balloon as they leave, Charizard, royally pissed after one destroys the table of food he craves, takes off towards their balloon and uses its wings to smack their bombs back at them, blasting them off and freeing Pikachu.
  • In a season one Sailor Moon episode, the Monster of the Week is a camera-themed youma, Cameran, that's capable of trapping people in photographs with the beam it shoots from the eye in her palm. Left to fight Cameran by herself (Cameran captures Sailor Mercury and Mars, and for some reason Tuxedo Mask doesn’t show up to help) Sailor Moon realizes that in order to weaken her, she needs to Cameran to take a picture of herself. The beam bounces off a mirror and hits Cameran, badly weakening her enough for Sailor Moon to destroy her and free the captive people in the pictures.
  • When YuYu Hakusho's Kuwabara develops his signature spirit sword, he at one point does it to a fireball thrown by an opponent. He is then curbstomped by said opponent (by way of a shrinking spell), who turns out to be the story arc's Big Bad.
    • It's later subverted with the second of the four legendary monsters. The beast shoots a ball of sound (don't ask) at Kuwabara. He's about to try to bat it back when the others tell him to dodge. He jumps to another pillar ... and the ball of sound obliterates the one he was standing on.

    Fan Works 
  • Maris Stella: When fighting Avalon, Maris Stella's Lucky Charm gives her a hand mirror, so she decides to try hitting Avalon's energy attacks back at her. Avalon then casts a reflect spell on her spell book to hit the attacks straight back.

    Films — Animated 
  • This trope, combined with Taking the Bullet, is the reason why The Fairy Godmother ended up defeated in Shrek 2. Basically, after Fiona's father King Harold revealed that he deliberately gave her regular tea instead of the one laced with a love potion, she tries to kill Shrek by firing a null-happily ever after spell at Shrek, Harold intercepts the attack and gets hit with it instead, and since he was wearing armor at the time, it rebounded and hit the Fairy Godmother, which apparently disintegrated her into bubbles.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po defeats Shen's battle fleet by catching and throwing back the cannonballs launched at him.
  • The final showdown of the first Bionicle movie is a particularly mean-spirited one-on-one kohlii match (basically fantasy lacrosse) between Takanuva and Makuta, calling back to early in the film where Takanuva (as Takua) played in the kohlii tournament. The match consists of the two participants using their weapons to throw balls of energised protodermis back and forth trying to hit each other. Takanuva eventually wins by catching Makuta’s shot midair and reversing its momentum with a flip-technique that he attempted but failed back in the tournament. The audacity of the situation is lampshaded by Makuta referring to it as "a simple game of kohlii", making it clear that he's just toying with Takanuva.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie You Don't Mess with the Zohan features Playing Tennis With The Boss" literally through the use of tennis rackets and a grenade.
  • A scene in the Chinese movie Hero (2002) has two people using their swords to "play tennis" with a waterdrop.
  • In The Lost Empire (also known as The Monkey King), the protagonist uses his sword to reflect a villain's energy blasts, comparing it to a game of racquetball.
  • In Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster, Godzilla and Ebirah play a round or two of this with a boulder. Neither of them manage to actually damage each other doing this, so after a while Godzilla basically says "screw it" and just shoots Ebirah with his atomic breath.
  • Godzilla and Rodan do this with a boulder in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. Rodan eventually wins, but the volleying lasted a long time.
  • Done with a thrown knife rather than energy at the conclusion of Big Trouble in Little China.
  • In Spaceballs when Dark Helmet shoots Lone Starr with a Schwartz beam, Starr manages to cover the target area with a mirror and reflect the beam at Dark Helmet's groin. Elsewhere, a set of curved pipes is used to bounce some Spaceballs' blaster attacks back at them.
  • Eli tries to attack Joshua in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest by hurling fireballs at him, but Joshua is currently holding Eli's evil bible in his hands so they just bounce back at him.
  • The final fight with Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) is like this, with the Turtles deflecting the knives back at Shredder while trying to make the tower stay up.
  • Mary Poppins: When Admiral Boom starts shooting off fireworks towards the dancing chimney sweeps thinking they're Hottentots, Bert uses his sweep like a bat and hits one coming in his direction back towards Admiral Boom. Admiral Boom even says it's a well hit, before realizing it's coming his way and ducks.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Power Rangers RPM has an three-against-one instance of this in the episode "Not So Simple".
  • Inverted in Ultraseven several times:
    • First seen when Seven fights Alien Iyros.
    • Seven briefly engages in this with Gyeron.
    • In the series finale while fighting Reconstructed Pandon, Seven hurls his Eye Slugger at him only for Pandon to catch it. With the timely intervention of the Ultra Garrison, just as Pandon re-hurls it, Seven redirects it and decapitate Pandon.



    Web Original 
  • In Kickassia, Yanki J does this with one of Baugh's cannonballs.
  • In XIN, Andre and Finrak do this with a baseball, hitting it back and forth with bats.
  • Happens literally in DEATH BATTLE!: Bowser vs Ganon; Bowser uses a tennis racket to deflect Ganondorf's magic back at him.
  • Dreamscape: In "Confronting the Dark", Keedran defeats a dragon Melissa summoned by grabbing its skull projectile, making it bigger (and golden), and throwing it right back at it.

    Western Animation 
  • One of the abilities built into Kim Possible's battle suit is to catch and toss back attacks such as Shego's energy blasts.
  • In one episode of Steven Universe, a robot shooty thing attacks Steven and Connie using balls of ice, fire and electricity. Steven and Connie defeat it by using a sword and Connie's tennis skills to feet the robot it's own attack.

    Real Life 


Alternative Title(s): Playing Tennis With The Boss, Dead Mans Volley


Tower of Yikk

The Tower of Yikk and Bowser deflect a bomb at each other until one of them fails.

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Example of:

Main / TennisBoss

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