The odds are down, the enemy's tied the heroic group to a chair and have a nuclear missile pointed straight at them. All's lost, right? Wait! There's a Million-to-One Chance that they can get out of this situation victorious, but it will take split second timing. Of course, before attempting to do this split second timing, the heroes point it out to each other that the chances are minimal through the phrase:
"We only have one chance!"
Which, of course, means they'll invariably succeed. May be used in situations where It Only Works Once.
- In Code Geass, Suzaku used his "Live on!" Geass to perfectly time his attack, which allowed him to exploit the One Chance he had to deactivate FLEIJA.
- Sunshine had a fairly well justified version of this: the ship only had one bomb, so if something went wrong, there was no other option.
- In fact it's what sets off the plot; when they receive a Distress Call from the first spaceship sent on their mission and debate whether to risk their mission to respond, it's pointed out that spaceship has a second bomb, so at least they'll have two chances of success.
- Avengers: Endgame:
- The entire movie is the 1 in 14,000,605 chance to stop Thanos.
- On a more immediate scale, every Time Heist team has precisely one chance to grab the Stones from their time periods, as the time-travel method requires using up some of their highly limited supply of Pym Particles, and with the Pym family (who are the only people who know how to make them) gone in the Snap, they can't get more. However, when one team fails to grab the Tesseract, Tony and Steve use their return charge to travel to a time when Hank Pym was alive and producing Pym Particles for S.H.I.E.L.D. so they can steal some more.
- Used in the finale of Ghost Trick, but in an unusual way. When a character is about to die because saving one character's life didn't avert the disaster, Sissel, the main character, says they only have one chance to do it. The other cast members remind him that they don't, and that they instead have infinite tries because of how their ability as ghosts work. Sissel then says he knows that and reveals the real reason: anyone who dies keeps their memory of dying, and the person about to die is a young child that's already in a traumatic situation, meaning she'll need years of therapy in the best case scenario and her mind will shatter in the worst case.
- Yugi says this in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Movie. Ironically, it doesn't work.
- Superfriends was the embodiment of this trope. Every episode, one or all of the heroes would get into a deathtrap situation where their only means of escape involved extremely unlikely scenarios, shady impossible physics, developing a new super power spontaneously, or often all three. Of course, they'd never fail to say "I only have one chance" before executing their bold strategy.
- In The Incredibles, Elastigirl mentions that they'll only have one shot at defeating the Omnidroid by blasting its claw through its core. To improve the chances, she makes Mr Incredible wait until the last possible moment to take the shot, so the Omnidroid is closer.
- The Real Ghostbusters is MADE of this trope. Expect Egon to say it at least once an episode.
- In The Fox and the Hound, Tod and Vixie are trapped in their burrow, with Copper blocking the front exit and Amos having set a fire to block the rear exit. Realizing they were dead if they tried to go out the front, Tod urges Vixie that their only chance is to risk rushing through the fire. They make it out unharmed, much to Amos' shock.
- The Beatles are on a chartered jet for a concert in Johannesburg, South Africa, but their stewardesses are three persistent fangirls.
Paul: There's only one escape.
George: Do we dare?
John: Do we dare not?
Ringo: Let's go! (The boys parachute out of the plane)