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Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny

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Samurai Jack: Your sword smells of blood...
Afro Samurai: does yours.

Ah, the Intercontinuity Crossover fight. Everyone wonders once in a while "If X and Y met, who would win in a fight?" And whether you come up with incredibly thorough theories of your own, argue it with others, write a fanfic, or just resort to name-calling, everyone has their own opinion.

Such bouts between characters from different works will often involve one or more of the fighters being pulled into a different continuity, the strangers fighting for no logical reason and handicaps or caveats being introduced to make the fights more interesting. Also usually ends with the most popular of the combatants winning frequently due to the opponent conveniently not using his powers or resources to the fullest. Far more often, however, no one will actually win at all in order to avoid ticking off the loser's fanbase; this is typically accomplished either by a common enemy appearing and thus allowing both characters to save face or, more humorously, a Memetic Badass of the ironic kind arriving to curb-stomp everyone involved.

Characters commonly subjected to this include those who are identical or at least the same kind of character when compared to someone else, and prominent characters in franchises or works with heavy amounts of Fandom Rivalry between them.

As for the location, fanfic writers often write it as taking place in either Tokyo, New York City, or the occasional rural town.

Overlaps with Massive Multiplayer Crossover when more than two works are involved. If the characters end up in a relationship instead of fighting, it's a Crossover Ship. Characters discussing other characters having one of these battles is a Hypothetical Fight Debate. Compare to Character Tiers and Guest Fighter. See also Cool Versus Awesome. Contrast with Story-Breaker Team-Up.

If you were looking for the song, go here.

ATTENTION: The examples list is for matchups actually portrayed in media. Matchups that you or the fandom would like to see? There's a forum for that!


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    Anime & Manga  
  • My-Otome: Put the Otome against the HiME, or, more specifically, their resurrected My-HiME counterparts.
  • Gundam Build Fighters features several models from different series, many of which are modified, fighting it out. So you have situations like the Build Strike vs. the GX Maoh. Heck, the initial episode where these two "fight" has the builders dressed up as Kira and Garrod respectively.
    • The Build Fighters Battlogue series has an even more blatant example in its first episode. The Gunpla Battle system has been upgraded with an AI component to act as support for newbies and can imitate famous characters from the Gundam franchise. Tatsuya Yuki and Alan Adams, both humongous Gundam Otaku, decide to test the system out by having AI copies of Char Aznable and Ribbons Almack fight each other. At the end of the short, they're excitedly talking about having Emma Sheen face off against Seabook Arno.
  • Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Here's a fight that the fans of Dragon Ball have been thinking about for a long time since Frieza's resurrection: Super Saiyan 4 vs. Super Saiyan Blue! In addition, the combatants of this fight are both Goku; one being the Goku that we know of in the present timeline using Super Saiyan Blue, and the other Goku hailing from another dimension and working for the Time Patrol who uses Super Saiyan 4.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: The entire premise of the series includes dimension-hopping between worlds that are all Alternate Universe counterparts of past Yu-Gi-Oh! series, and features several epic battles between opponents whose decks are based on the special summoning methods featured in each past series, along with several Freeze-Frame Bonus shots of minor characters from past series making minor appearances, along with two major characters from 5D's, one from Zexal, and two from GX returning in full. This gets much more complex than most viewers were expecting.

  • This image, called War of the Worlds (Война миров), painted by the Russian contemporary artist Nikolai Kopeikin depicts an epic but gruesome battle between cartoon characters of mostly Western Animation and Russian Animation. Not only this picture is an example of the trope but it also stresses the rivalry between domestic and foreign animation in Russia.

    Card Games 
  • Anachronism: A card game that lets you pit various historical (or somewhat historical, like Robin Hood) characters against each other. For more fun, trade the character's goodies around — give Achilles Beowulf's chain mail and Miyamoto's katana.
  • Superfight! is another card game in this vein, where each player plays a character card and two power/problem cards (one on their own character, another on an opponent's character), then debates over which creation would beat the character of that round's judge in a fight, resulting in match-ups like Mr. T with an assault rifle and riding a unicorn vs. 3 Stephen Hawkings with the Force.

    Comic Books 
  • The New Teen Titans/Uncanny X-Men crossover goes out of its way to avert this, as Professor X and Robin confer immediately, and the two teams join forces. The crossover instead focuses on how the personalities of the members of both teams would interact, both smoothly and with friction.
  • Batman Vampire put to rest an age-old debate: The Dark Knight or the Prince of Darkness? Dracula and Batman fight over Gotham City to find out who the true master of fear and deception is. They both lose. Dracula is killed and Batman becomes an irredeemable vampire.
  • Dracula vs. Superman: By hypnotizing Lois, Dracula actually gained the upper hand and succeeded in drinking Superman's blood. However, Superman is solar powered, and seconds after drinking his blood, well... imagine eating a grenade.
  • Superman vs. Muhammad Ali: When The Man of Steel is pitted against The Greatest in an intergalactic boxing match.
  • Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash is a comic run about a three-way battle between them.
  • Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1977): Though technically not a true inter-continuity crossover, being planted firmly in the main 616 continuity throughout, the Marvel Comics take on Godzilla nonetheless features the Big G throwing down with some of their most (as of the 1970s) famous faces. To whit:
    • The very first issue has the King of Monsters crossing swords with Marvel's premiere super-spy, Nick Fury Agent Of SHIELD. Once it's clear that the standard SHIELD armaments are not going to do much more than annoy Godzilla, he assigns his old friends Dum Dum Dugan and Gabe Jones to the case. The following series is essentially one long Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny pitting Godzilla against the entire Marvel Universe.
    • Issue 3 sees Godzilla visiting San Francisco, at the time under the aegis of the original Champions team: Angel and Iceman of the X-Men, Black Widow of... many things, and The Incredible Hercules. Other members Ghost Rider and Darkstar are not present- fortunately for them, because even combining their forces with SHIELD is not nearly enough to stop Godzilla's rampage.
    • Issue 20: Godzilla is wandering New York after being shrunken by Hank Pym two issues previous. His height returning in fits and spurts, soon he finds himself facing down the Fantastic Four at a "mere" 20 feet. Even when no bigger than your average T. Rex, Godzilla still gives them a run for their money, and they are forced to use Dr. Doom's time machine to send him back to the prehistoric past, leading to:
    • Issues 21 and 22 where the King faces the Devil, Devil Dinosaur that is. Despite the inevitable Let's You and Him Fight situation, the two prehistoric mutants eventually sense a kinship with one another and become Fire-Forged Friends. Unfortunately, Godzilla's radiation causes Doom's machine to malfunction, so he's pulled from his new ally and deposited in the middle of Times Square- now at his full size and very, very pissed off.
    • Issues 23 and 24: Well, even in the New York City of the Marvel Universe, a fire-breathing lizard the size of a building doesn't go unnoticed for long. In what probably ranks among the single greatest cases of Cool vs. Awesome in comic book history, Godzilla squares up against both the Fantastic Four (again) and Marvel's premiere super hero team- The Avengers. As the narrator says:
  • Superman/Batman: In issue #78, a fight between Superman and Batman happens, but suddenly you see a narration, or rather, two narrations arguing against each other. Eventually, it is shown that two kids, one a fan of Superman and the other a fan of Batman, are arguing who wins. After much Ass Pulls done with each argument, the two kids agree that the two are friends and would not fight each other. Towards the end, we see Superman and Batman observing the kids. Superman wonders who would win and asks Batman what he thinks, but Batman just flies away. Batman believes Superman will win.
  • JLA/Avengers, has the Justice League of America vs. The Avengers, the highlight one-on-one fight being Superman vs. Thor. Superman wins, but with great difficulty.
  • The October 2002 issue of Wizard Magazine included an "East vs. West" feature pitting American superheroes against Japanese manga and anime stars: the Bat Family vs. the G-Force, Phoenix vs. Tetsuo, Spider-Man vs. Vash the Stampede, Superman vs. Goku (which provides the page image), and Wolverine vs. Manji.
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl:
    • The first issue has a faked fanmail column consisting almost entirely of "Who would win in a fight, Squirrel Girl or [insert character here]?"
    • Galactus is heading toward Earth, cloaked in a stealth field ("...but he forgot to make it work on squirrels!",) so fans will finally see that match-up. Squirrel Girl wins by talking Galactus into changing his diet.
    • Pretty much the entire point of Squirrel Girl is that she is unbeatable, because she always manages to talk her opponents down. She does have to fight occasionally, but she still wins. A Running Gag consists of her defeating Doctor Doom, who has pretty much just accepted it at this point.
  • "Marvel What-The", as a parody mag, of course takes the trope to hell and back. "Fight", though, is interpreted very liberally. And who dies? The comic writer, from a heart attack.

    Eastern Animation 

    Fan Works 
  • The Alterverse War: Kristofer Straub, the author of Starslip Crisis, put together Fuseli vs. the Touch and Go the Fuseli won, but only due to some clever maneuvering.
  • The Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues often sets Batman or The Thing against various characters.
  • The Bridge: Bagan, resident Big Bad and a kaiju easily titled a deity; versus Harmony, living incarnation of the Tree of Harmony and source of Equestrian magic. Marginal victory to Bagan, Harmony couldn't stop Bagan and Bagan couldn't kill Harmony. Though Bagan did succeed in cutting her off from helping the heroes due to their battle's collateral damage, a secondary goal.
  • Civilization V: Peace Walker is more or less about Snake and his Militaires Sans Frontiers faction being dropped into a game of Civilization V, facing off against some of history's greatest conquerors. In other words, Big Boss vs Attila the Hun, Shaka Zulu, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoléon Bonaparte, Oda Nobunaga, Caesar Augustus, George Washington, Vlad the Impaler...
  • The Comic Book Universe Battles, which started in 1997 as a sub-section of a Xena: Warrior Princess fan's Callisto fansite and eventually grew into something all its own. Seen as a friendly rival by the above Grudge match, it later stopped proposing scenarios and let users submit, debate and vote on them. This user section has been shutdown and reopened several times over the decades but a small sample of the scores from match ups have been preserved and usually remain viewable in the database even when the site is "closed". It has a sister section called the "Fantasy Powers League" for user created characters. FLP players are less patient with the website's dormant periods than CBUB's, resulting in FPL having a few spiritual successors, the most relevant usually being linked in the forums.
  • The Series Finale of The Conversion Bureau: Worlds Where It Wouldn't Work, pits Fanon character Tyrantlestia, against Canon Celestia in Screw Attack's Death Battle style fight. A decently written character, beats a God-Mode Sue.
  • Coreline name-drops this Trope on its Opening Narration and delivers big-time: a post-apocalyptic world where superheroes that are fusions with other franchises and canonical supers beat the hell out of each other, Naruto-verse Ninja and One Piece Pirates try to kill each other in earnest on the high seas (with the occasional additional gunfire from Pirates of the Caribbean pirates and other types of ninja), Gundams face off against Battlemechs, MannCo. fights Torgue-Urdnot in a Corporate Warfare race to out-badass each other... and the more-than-occasional Badass Bystander that is sick of all the shit will try to bring the fight to a stop via gunfire (and maybe they will be packing something like a Mass Effect weapon or a Torgue gyro-jet rifle or a BFG designed by Brianna Diggers or being juiced out of their minds on Slaught... or all of the above).
  • Dead or Alive 4: The Devil Factor is a crossover between the Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive franchises. During the raid on DOATEC Paris, Dante ends up fighting none other than Ryu Hayabusa. The former is a half-demon mercenary while the latter is a super ninja with mystical elemental abilities and it is every bit as awesome as one would expect such a battle to be.
  • Dream Tournament, a popular series of vote-driven fanfics on the Usenet group from the mid-'90s, pitted Fighting Game characters from different games against each other. The Tournament gave rise to several spinoffs, as well as many Fanon personality traits for the characters.
  • Earth's Alien History: One of the glimpses of the Bad Future that Katie Marek comes from depicts her mother Vin (who has had Force training in addition to her canon Allomancy) going up against Darth Vader (who is augmenting his power with a Red Lantern Ring). It ultimately ends with a Mutual Kill, as Vin fatally electrocutes Vader, and he in turn uses the last of his strength to Neck Snap her.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness asks the question: "Who would win in a fight between Megas and Suika Ibuki?" The answer: Marisa Kirisame. The Extra Stage asks the same question with Yuuka Kazami taking Suika's place.
  • Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne organized a Round Robin tournament featuring characters from all over anime (and sometimes, beyond) called Magical Troubleshooting Crossover Fighting Federation ULTRA. The various writers used and abused pretty much the entire Professional Wrestling trope list, with backstage plots ranging from mere personal power grabs and Mind Control to Third Impact and wresting Godhood from Kasumi Tendō Herself. The golden rule staving off the inevitable Fan Boy flame wars was understood to read, "Anyone, under the right circumstances, can defeat anyone else in a fight." The only systemic exceptions to this idea were made to account for anime-style "weight restrictions." It's worth noting that the story of how Kasumi became God and several other plot points such as Dark Sakura originated from MTCFF Beta which was a single-elimination tournament decided by votes rather than by individual authors, with such oddities as Fusion character "Nario" resulting from Naru of Battle Arena Toshinden and Mario of Super Mario Bros. tying in votes.
  • Make Your Move applies this to Super Smash Bros. with movesets for everything from King K. Rool to Socrates.
  • This is the entire premise of My Little Pony vs....
  • The Outskirts Battledome exists for people to speculate who would win in a fight between two fictional characters or real-world people.
  • Rich's ComixBlog has a story that pits LaCroix against the Master. Another story pits the Daleks against some Xenomorphs.
  • The RPG Duelling League is a site dedicating to deciding which Video Game RPG characters would win in a fight. The site is organized into 6 week long elimination tournaments (refered to as seasons) with four different Character Tiers (Light, Middle, Heavy, and Godlike). The voters who decide who wins are also strongly encouraged NOT to vote according to popularity or plot powers, but rather comparative in-battle capabilities and performance.
  • Discussed and Exploited in This Bites!. Even in One Piece, "who would win in a fight" is Serious Business. In a bid to escape Mr. 13 trying to kill him, Cross lies to the gathered crowd by saying they were fighting over who is the strongest of the Four Emperors (and that Mr. 13 said Kaido). This gets the local pirates arguing and snowballs into a street brawl among the onlookers that ends up setting half of Mock Town on fire.
  • There was an old fanfiction Dream Tournament called the Ultimate Video Rumble, where some truly memorable fights happened both within and without the arena. Highlights include Haohmaru and Genjuro of Samurai Shodown fame clashing swords furiously, while everyone who attempts to break their battle gets tossed aside, and dysfunctional organizers and security staff who make Eddy Gordo of Tekken fame suffer after he got eliminated from the ring. The UVR was a deliberate spiritual successor to the first three Dream Tournaments, continuing many of the fanon events and characterizations from the DT.
  • "Valve World", showing Team Fortress 2 Then Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, Half-Life 2, Deathmatch Classic, Day Of Defeat, Alien Swarm, Portal and then ending on Half-Life.
  • Weiss Reacts has the Gurren Lagann against the Nirvash. The Gurren Lagann wins, barely, through Blake being a Determinator of the highest order.
    • Later, Weiss against Glynda. Weiss wins by using an antic, ironically.
    • Even later still, the Gurren Lagann, the Nirvash and the Shinkiro against the Voxes. Nobody wins: the Jersey Club and the Beacon gang team together to beat Tukson up for daring to intervene.
    • Hokuago Tea-Time vs Team RWBY. The former win by being better musicians and being adorable. Blake is not happy. And the convention chapter has Adam and Raven, which nobody wins, although both are forced to retreat due to outside circumstances.
  • Sites like Comic Book Resources and Hero Chat have their own (Comic Book Rumbles and It's Clobberin' Time!, respectively), among many, many other websites. They often don't like each other. Most infamous incident was a flame war and board raid between Rumbles and Star Destroyer, after Rumbles determined Borg Cubes can destroy the Death Star. Cue Fan Wank and board raid.
  • Deadliest Fiction Wiki: using the formula from Deadliest Warrior, but for warriors of any media and franchise, with the warriors chosen by logical debates from the members of the site. It's essentially a wiki for Ultimate Showdown Of Ultimate Destiny.
  • Factpile mostly runs on this trope. It has branched out to include other topics, but is still mostly battles between fictional characters. It has also determined the outcome of the page image Superman easily wins.
  • Ultimate Showdown tournaments are a common occurrence on GameFAQs' "Board 8", allowing users to debate to the most extremely geekish limits possible about who'd win. The arguing can lead to some, hmmmm, very curious victories (Apparently, The Mask can just barely beat Broly with cartoon physics, the most powerful Darkstalkers can win left and right merely based on their vague backstories alone, Voldemort can upset Nanoha's constant nuking of areas and people and the Doctor can defeat The Flash with, uhhh, timey wimey stuff. Or prep time. Or whatever).
  • Numerous websites dedicated solely to what faction from Star Wars and Star Trek would lay the ultimate smackdown upon all the others. is a particularly (in)famous one, and caters to all kinds of sci-fi matchups but is invariably dominated by Trek vs. Wars as well as the occasional just-for-fun curbstomp (the Orcs from The Lord of the Rings vs. modern machine guns, carpet bombing from B-52s, an orbiting Imperial Star Destroyer, and finally, the real kicker, doze udda Orkz). Both of these websites more or less grew out of the Usenet newsgroup alt.startrek.vs.starwars.
  • Tor Books' website holds yearly "cage matches" pitting various fantasy characters against each other in a single-elimination tournament, with the characters' creators invited to write how they think each of their characters' battles would go.
  • A now-gone discussion on the World of Warcraft forums about which of the capital cities in the game would be most defensible against attack. One side said the Undercity (the underground sewers and basements of the destroyed city Lordaeron, the Forsaken capital) would be the hardest to assault, and someone said they'd just put poison gas into the surface vents.
    "What kind of gas would work against the undead?"
    "...well played, sir."
  • "Hitler continued laughing, then finally said 'Goku! You came here expecting to find a madman, but instead, you found a GOD!' Hitler had become a Super Saiyan." How's that for a Crack Fic-style showdown? See it right here in all its Not Safe For Sanity glory. By the way, it also ships Goku x Anne Frank.
  • The What If Raditz Turned Good? series by MasakoX has an epic one for DBZ fans, with a battle between Vegeta's Super Sayian 4 and Raditz's Super Sayian Blue ending in a mutual KO. The level of destruction beforehand is a testament to the power the two have at their disposal.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • "Shark vs. Train": Parodied in the children's book which takes the more common sense approach, with hilarious results (it matters, for instance, whether the competition is under water, or involves trying to sell lemonade).
  • 1906: Arsène Lupin vs. Sherlock Holmes, by Lupin's author Maurice Leblanc, as an Affectionate Parody. Soon afterwards, Arthur Conan Doyle complained and, from the following edition onwards, the story became Arsène Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes (or, in some versions, "Holmlock Shears").
  • The battles in Escapist Dream fit this trope, since they're basically about fights between fandoms. There's literally a fight between an American geek with a lightsaber vs a Japanese otaku dressed as a ninja. And there's even a fight between two gamers using video game powers but one was a retro gamer while the other was a modern FPS player.
  • Animorphs: Huge fanboys Jake and Marco from like to argue about whether Batman could beat Spider-Man.
  • Older Than Dirt: The Iliad is this to a significant portion of Greek mythology, including the gods themselves. It also makes clear that Zeus would win with one arm behind the back if he decided to join the frame (so he claims, and the gods, speaking from experience, don't dare to contradict him)... And that's why he stays out of it.
  • David Weber's Out of the Dark and vampires versus aliens. And that's just the first part of the trilogy!
  • The climax of Ready Player One becomes this due to the major players all piloting simulations of Humongous Mecha from 1980s pop culture, culminating in a showdown between the protagonist's Ultraman and the Big Bad's Mechagodzilla.
  • "Bear v. Shark" by Chris Bachelder could be termed the discussed version of this trope.
  • The Circumstances Leading to a Certain Magical Heavy Zashiki Warashi’s Simple Killer Queen's Marriage crosses over a whole bunch of different series by Kazuma Kamachi. This results in (and this isn't an exhaustive list) espers vs Badass Normals vs Humongous Mecha vs Youkai vs Norse gods vs an Eldritch Abomination stronger than everyone else combined.
  • Discussed in The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963. Kenny sees his Big Brother Bully Byron meeting their cantankerous Grandma Sands for the first time in years as this, anticipating a massive fight between them (and even likening it to Godzilla versus King Kong). Needless to say, he's disappointed when Byron immediately submits to Grandma Sands and obeys her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse
    • In The Flash (2014), the first ever crossover with Arrow in 2014 is titled "The Flash vs. Arrow", where Oliver Queen has to take on a Brainwashed and Crazy Barry Allen.
    • In Legends of Tomorrow, the episode "The Justice Society of America", has the Legends take on said titular team, and losing spectacularly.
    • Once again in The Flash, the 2016 "Invasion!" crossover had Team Arrow (Spartan, Speedy), the Legends (White Canary, Atom, Firestorm, and Heat Wave), and Supergirl get mind controlled by the Dominators, forcing Green Arrow and the Flash to fight their friends. Oliver takes on the Badass Normals while Barry fights the ones with superpowers. Oliver manages to fight off most of the heroes before Wally West/Kid Flash comes in and assists. Barry takes out most of the heroes with lightning throws before he's left in a one on one fight against Supergirl. Barry wins by tricking Supergirl into destroying the mind control device.
    • Arrow's season 5 finale has this with heroes and villains pulled from throughout Arrow's history in one giant showdown. The contenders include Oliver Queen, Malcolm Merlyn, Nyssa Al-Ghul, and Slade Wilson, facing off against Adrian Chase, Talia Al-Ghul, Evelyn Sharp, and Captain Boomerang. The stakes being Oliver's legacy and the fate of his family. As a bonus, Dinah Drake and Black Siren pit their Canary Cries against each other.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe's Netflix shows.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Barney, Marshall and Lily go to the event "Wrestlers Vs. Robots" where Mexican-style wrestlers battle a variety of robots.
  • Deadliest Warrior: A Spike TV show which explores "history's greatest killing machines", looks at their historic backgrounds and the science behind their equipment and fighting styles, and pairs them off in a one-on-one computer simulated fight. Showdowns include "Gladiator vs. Apache", "Ninja vs. Spartan", "Taliban vs. IRA", "Yakuza vs. Mafia", and "William Wallace vs. Shaka Zulu".
  • Jurassic Fight Club: A History Channel show, similar to Deadliest Warrior in that it uses best available knowledge to establish the abilities, strengths, and weaknesses of the animals, then CGIs the actual fights. Match-ups include Allosaurus vs. Ceratosaurus; Mega-Lion vs. the Short-Faced Bear; and Megalodon vs. Brygmophyseter, the "biting sperm whale".
  • Animal Planet had a short lived series called Animal Face Off, which was basically Jurassic Fight Club done with living species that plausibly might confront one another in the wild.
  • Harry Hill's TV Burp: "Well, I like X, but then I also like Y. But which is better?" [Costumed/made-up/bewigged representations/impersonators of X and Y crash into studio from opposite directions and make a beeline for each other] "FIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • The original series episode "The Mind Robber" eventually, through convoluted means, features a sword fight that involves Cyrano de Bergerac, D'Artagnan, Blackbeard, and Sir Lancelot.
    • And "Doomsday" brings the fight people had been wanting for decades: Daleks vs. Cybermen.
    • The novel "All-Consuming Fire" had Sherlock Holmes and the seventh Doctor square off with the Cthulhu Mythos.
    • "Let's Kill Hitler" has the showdown we never knew we desperately wanted: Adolf Hitler v. The Eternal Legionary, Rory Williams. Rory takes down Hitler without breaking a sweat.
  • Saturday Night Live: Spoofed in a recurring sketch in which George Wendt leads a cadre of football fans who speculate on the scores of hypothetical games pitting the Chicago Bears against other teams, with the Bears facing increasingly unlikely handicaps, such as being shrunk to the size of midgets. (Hint: Da Bears win.)
    Wendt: Who would win, the Death Star or the Enterprise?
    Others: Ditka!
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: In the episode "The Savage Curtain", aliens set up a "good vs. evil" battle in an attempt to understand what "good" and "evil" are. On the "good" side are Kirk and Spock, along with alien-created simulations of Kirk's personal hero Abraham Lincoln and Spock's idol Surak, the Vulcan philosopher. On the "evil" side are simulacra of Genghis Khan, the greatest conqueror in Earth history; Colonel Green, a vicious and amoral militia leader who liked to strike at his enemies while negotiating with them; Kahless the Unforgettable, the founder of the Klingon Empire; and Zora of Tiburon, a Mad Scientist who liked to experiment on live, intelligent beings.
  • Super Sentai do this about once a year as a movie, usually by having the current Super Sentai meet up with the previous year's Super Sentai in a Let's You and Him Fight scene before teaming up to take on the Big Bad of the film.
  • Kamen Rider Decade: For the Kamen Rider series. Decade can take on the form and powers of the last nine hero Riders, allowing match-ups like Kuuga vs. Kiva, Kiva vs. Knight and so on.
  • Angel: In one episode, Angel and Spike argue vehemently over who would win if astronauts and cavemen got into a fight. Even better, they somehow manage to get all of the other main characters at the time to argue over this. Through the entire episode.
    Wesley: Ah. You've been yelling at each other for 40 minutes about this? the astronauts have weapons?
    Angel & Spike: [in unision] NO!
  • One episode of Game of Thrones opens with two Lannister soldiers discussing who's the best fighter in Westeros. They've narrowed it down to Ser Jaime "Kingslayer" Lannister, Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, and Ser Loras "The Knight of Flowers" Tyrell. Their discussion is cut short by the Stark army.
    Soldier #1: What about Loras Tyrell?
    Soldier #2: He's been stabbing Renly Baratheon for years, and Renly ain't dead!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has an episode called "Buffy vs. Dracula". The titular fight ends inconclusively, with Buffy killing the Count, but with him clearly able to come Back from the Dead at will.note  The show also had to break many of its own rules about how its vampires work in order to pit Buffy against a recognizable version of Dracula; the whole episode relied heavily on Rule of Cool.
  • Discussed in The Big Bang Theory when the guys argue over which fictional characters, mostly superheroes, would best who in a fight.
  • Jeopardy!: After Ken Jennings' 75 wins in 2004, the producers held the "Ultimate Tournament of Champions", which ran from February to May 2005, inviting 145 previous tournament winners and 5-time champions who competed against one another. The tournament was littered with upsets and dark horse victories in the early rounds. Of the "Nifty Nine" champions that were byed to the second round following their record setting and accomplished prior runs on the show, seven of them lost their opening game, with only Brad Rutter and Frank Spangenberg advancing to the quarterfinals. Of the thirteen previous Tournament of Champions winners who started in Round 1, only four made it to Round 2 (Ryan Holznagel, Michael Dupee, Dan Melia, Mark Dawson), with only Melia making it to Round 3.

  • The trope is named for the song and flash animation "The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny" by Lemon Demon, in which many famous fictional characters, pop culture icons and historical persons come together for the sole purpose of knocking the living crap out of each other. (The last one standing is Mister Rogers in a bloodstained sweater.)
    This is the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny
    Good guys, bad guys and explosions, as far as the eye can see
    And only one will survive, I wonder who it will be
    This is the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.
  • Defied in Ookla the Mok's "Stop Talking About Comic Books or I'll Kill You":
    I don't care if the Hulk could defeat the Man of Steel
    I'm gonna rearrange your face if you continue to debate
    Whether Logan's claws could pierce Steve Rogers' shield
  • "Dreadnought" by Sabaton is about the battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War I:
The North Sea has drawn them here
The fleets of the high seas approach
A contest of titans commence
These days will dictate their fate
The Grand Fleet prepares their guns
Unleashed as the dreanoughts clash at last!

  • The Galactic Watercooler podcast has a recurring feature called Fantasy Sci-Fi League in which participants choose teams based on specific roles (warrior, pilot, reconnaissance, etc) and place them in a scenario such as the rescue of one of the podcasters from a Klingon prison planet, and give them some basic equipment (such as Carl Sagan's Starship of the Imagination). The winner is chosen based on the most entertaining way of completing a mission.
  • The PAX Prime 2015 Acquisitions Incorporated game is called "Darkmagic vs. Do'Urden", Jim Darkmagic being the (self-proclaimed) greatest wizard of the Forgotten Realms.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The promotional war and invasion angles can end up like this trope, in theory. In practice, they tend to be disappointments. One owner often refuses to acknowledge another organization as worth comparing to their own, and as such they usually end up being fake crossovers. The most famous flop among fans in the USA was WCW invades the WWE, an invasion angle In Name Only. Vince's kids just aligned a bunch of WWF wrestlers, some of whom happened to have gained some prior fame elsewhere. Some of whom. The prior NWA invades WWF was a truer example of this trope. New Japan's invasion with Universal Wrestling Federation did actually involve both companies but was so one sided it actually contributed to the latter's death.
  • Among some other examples truer to the spirit of this trope were AJW vs LLPW, WWF vs SMW, Ring of Honor vs Dragon Gate, ROH vs IWA Puerto Rico, ROH vs CZW, CZW vs IWA Mid-South, New Japan Pro-Wrestling vs Pro Wrestling Noah, All Japan Pro Wrestling vs Pro Wrestling ZERO1, NJPW vs ROH, WSU vs Beyond.
  • Subverted with Perros Del Mal Producciones, a company based around CMLL's main rudo faction that was planned to be used for these purposes but broke away to make a deal with AAA. When PDM "invaded" AAA, the established rudo stables welcomed them into their Sociedad.
  • This is the purpose of the World Wrestling League's Dream Match Tours. It gets together wrestlers working in different promotions and countries who may otherwise never fight or team up, or at least may not do so anywhere where the target audience can see it.


  • Don Bradman and Babe Ruth, widely recognized as the greatest ever players in cricket and baseball, respectively, met each other in 1932. While they didn't play against each other, certainly not in any formal capacity, Bradman offered Ruth the chance to try his hand at cricket. Ruth started by trying to bat cricket-style, and struggling to lay bat on ball, before switching to his baseball stance and hitting the Australian bowlers around the park. Ruth also took Bradman to watch a Yankees game, where Bradman surprised his host by spotting a double-play.
  • Boxing had three of them, all of them featuring Muhammad Ali:
    • The Fight of the Century, the 1971 fight between WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and lineal champion Muhammad Ali. It was the first time two undefeated heavyweight champions had met in the ring. Frazier won by decision in 15 rounds.
    • The Rumble in the Jungle, the 1974 bout with heavyweight champion George Foreman. Ali, having come off his suspension from boxing for draft evasion, had successfully battled his way back to the top of the boxing world to take back the title from Foreman. Ali won the fight by knockout in eight rounds.
    • The Thrilla in Manila, the 1975 rematch between Ali and Frazier, in which Ali won by TKO in 14 rounds to become undisputed heavyweight champion and taking a 2-1 career lead over Frazier.note 
  • Then in 2017 the "showdown" many people had speculated on over the years between pro boxing and Mixed Martial Arts happened, when champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. met MMA champion Conor McGregor for a one-off fight using boxing rules. The referee stopped the fight after ten of a maximum twelve rounds when McGregor failed to defend himself, giving Mayweather victory. However, many observers who had expected the fight to be one-sided were surprised by how well McGregor performed under boxing constraints.
  • College football runs on this trope, though they call it The Game Of The Century. note  Historically, the best teams in college football often didn't get to play against each other. So when they did, it earned this title, and the accompanying hype. Now that the post-season is designed to create such matchups, the trope still applies in seasons where two elite teams exist, and everyone wants to see them both make it to the final game. In recent years, this has been Alabama versus Clemson.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Who Would Win?: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Two players each get a random character, and then an event. Argue why your character would win. Santa Claus vs. Genghis Khan in synchronized swimming? Babar vs. Einstein in ping pong?
  • Monsterpocalypse has basically two lines: one based on its own Fantasy Kitchen Sink setting, and one based on Voltron. Two compatible lines. Meaning you can end up with Drule Empire vs. Not Zilla Terra Khan or even Voltron vs. Cthugrosh.
  • Dragon #200 had a debate on who was Dungeons & Dragons' greatest wizard: Elminster (argued for by Ed Greenwood) or Raistlin (argued for by Tracy Hickman). At the end of the article, it's revealed that the battle was being set up by Mordenkainen.
    • Reputedly, the design teams at TSR used to argue about which setting's badass 2nd Edition D&D baddies would trounce the other: Dark Sun or Ravenloft. The usual conclusion was that the outcome would depend on whose turf the baddies fought on, and/or whether Vecna and Gwydion were allowed to participate.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • The now-defunct WWWF Grudge Match though the archives are still there, listing the more than 200 fights the site has run. The fights are formatted in that there is a proposed scenario and a very tongue-in-cheek debate, after which there will be a vote. When the loser has fallen, often hilarious comments on the result would be posted.
  • The Screamsheet has done weekly fights between a variety of characters since 2000. The fights have a loose continuity and several running jokes, such as Superman always losing and the Earth being destroyed multiple times.
  • r/WhoWouldWin on Reddit, r/RespectThreads and r/CharacterRant are additional subs created to accompany Who Would Win.
    • Most prominent in the Character Scramble, hosted on Who Would Win, which regularly crosses over dozens of franchises per season.
  • The Lonely Winds forum has three sub-forums dedicated to various USoUDs in eight different leagues of various power level and compositions.
  • History nerds are somewhat fond of debating Alexander the Great vs Genghis Khan. This battle actually happens in Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter's collaborative novel, Time's Eye.
  • was the HQ for a fun and easy game; simply match any two given personalities (or even inanimate objects) and answer the question, "Who's the bitch?" Basically pick which one would be the 'bottom' in a relationship between the two, and justify your answer with an explanation.
  • What If's Excellent Heavyweight Adventure uses the time machine from Bill & Ted and the World Cup soccer tournament format to create an Alt History Ultimate Showdown of heavyweight boxers from 1910 to 1988.
  • It's a frequent enough thread topic on certain imageboards that it's become the subject of parody, such as asking who would win in a fight between a trillion lions and the Sun, or insisting that a stick would be victorious in any matchup you can think of.

    Web Videos 
  • The Annoying Orange: In one episode, Liam the Leprechaun forces the orange to see if he was more annoying than Fred. It appears to end in a stalemate, only for Fred to get the last laugh.
  • Will It Blend?: Anything, at all, versus a Blend-Tec blender.
  • The Paul Powers Show: Similar to DEATH BATTLE!, Paul's Who Would Win videos are dedicated to determining who would win in a one-on-one fight between two characters from different franchises.
  • The Spoony Experiment has Deadliest Character, a direct take-off of the aforementioned Deadliest Warrior, featuring the Megazord vs. MechaGodzilla. Megazord wins by summoning The Sixth Ranger and tearing MechaGodzilla apart. The uncreated second episode promised a showdown between Dalek and Borg.
  • TGWTG Year One Brawl brought together dozens of gamers and reviewers from Channel Awesome for an epic throwndown. The winner: It's a huge draw as a truce is declared when they realize that they are all on the same team at the end of the day.
  • The entire premise of Epic Rap Battles of History is to pit (at least) 2 people, usually from different timelines or even universes, to do a Battle Rapping against each other.
  • batinthesun has Super Power Beat Down, which pits fictional characters against each other in live action with great special effects. Victories are decided by fan votes.
  • Minute Match Ups does this with superheroes on both sides of the DC/Marvel divide, using their recent media portrayal, although the first episode actually matched up Deadpool from the upcoming movie and Deadpool as Weapon XI from X-Men Origins: Wolverine (the former won). The other two episodes match up Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye (Green Arrow put two arrows into Hawkeyes head) and the Flash vs. Quicksilver (the Flash vaporized Quicksilver with "supersonic punch, baby, yeah!").
  • Rather than a fight, the video Superhero Soccer features characters from DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Star Wars, various video games, Harry Potter and more playing a round of soccer together.
  • This video pits various sci-fi ships against one another in a massive battle. Just to name a few: Farscape (Moya and Talyn), Star Trek (Federation, Klingon, Romulan/Reman, and Borg ships from various time periods and timelines), Andromeda (Andromeda Ascendant), Star Wars (a Republic-era star destroyer), Battlestar Galactica (Galactica and an old-style Cylon basestar), and Mass Effect (Systems Alliance ships with the Normandy SR-2 and a Reaper). The video got a few things wrong, like Moya being armed, the Andromeda having a tractor beam, with how slipstream looks, and with the Scimitar needing to decloak to fire, but overall it's an amazing video.
  • Parodied in "DARKIPLIER vs ANTISEPTICEYE". While it starts with a hostile confrontation between Darkiplier and Antisepticeye that looks like it will lead to one of these, the fight quickly gets derailed by the random appearances of the evil alter-egos of other popular YouTubers and the realization that Mark forgot to feed Chica before Darkiplier took over, leading to said dog killing and eating everyone there.

    Western Animation 
  • Bambi Meets Godzilla is very short and... well, let's just say the verdict isn't exactly surprising.
  • The Venture Bros.: 21 and 24 often get into arguments about hypothetical fights such as Champ vs. Nessie or Lizzie Borden vs. Anne Frank.
  • Adventure Time:
    • A college for worms has a "Theoretical fightonomics" class. According to the professor, the winner is always "Werewolf Queen".
    • An episode which is simply titled "Who Would Win" has Finn and Jake getting into a very long all-out fraternal punch-up. It ends in a technical victory for Finn, but really in an exhausted stalemate.
    • Invoked and Deconstructed in "Frost & Fire" where Finn tries to get Flame Princess to fight the Ice King in a Fire vs Ice themed battle. It ends catastrophically with the Ice Kingdom getting razed, The Ice King almost getting killed, and Flame Princess breaking up with Finn when she learns of the details, because he hurt her. You blew it, Finn.
  • The Family Guy episode "The Simpsons Guy" (crossover with The Simpsons) ends with a long, drawn-out battle between Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin reminiscent of the chicken fights from Family Guy (This is hinted to with Comic Book Guy appearing after the fight stating "Worst chicken fight ever!")
  • In Home Movies, Brendon, Jason, and Melissa attend a Renaissance fair and reenact a meeting between King Arthur and Robin Hood. When they first meet, they have a showdown in the woods before Arthur decrees that he and Robin Hood are "best friends forever." When Robin Hood crosses a few lines and keeps robbing his BFF, they prepare to fight to the death before they are interrupted by a dragon. They team up to defeat it, only to wonder if they will continue their duel or not. The play gets interrupted before they can finish.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Ultimate Showdown


Tracer vs. Scout

The young upstart brawler from Team Fortress 2 vs. the time-hopping agent of Overwatch.

How well does it match the trope?

4 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny

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