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Playing With / Single-Stroke Battle

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Basic Trope: Two opponents charge at eachother and swipe at each other while passing. After a beat, one of them falls.

  • Straight: Samurai Alice and Ninja Bob charge at eachother, and swipe eachother with their katanas. After a second, Bob falls down, clutching his bleeding chest.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • The single stroke battle only comes at the end of a larger combat, and only Alice charges.
    • Alice and Bob swipe each other with their katanas. After a beat, Alice falls to her knees clutching her bleeding chest, but then Bob falls defeated.
  • Justified: It's the embellished story of a combat that really was only over in one stroke.
  • Inverted: Flynning
  • Subverted:
    • Alice and Bob charge at each other from each end of the arena, pass each other… and keep running, having completely ignored their “foe.”
    • Alice and Bob charge at each other from each end of the arena, pass and swipe each other...but while they do receive damage from each other, it's not enough to finish either of them and they resort to standard swordplay to end it.
  • Double Subverted: Both separately find they were actually nicked by the other, when they spontaneously start bleeding later.
  • Parodied:
    • After the clash, a beat passes... and no-one dies. “…Crap! I missed!” “WHAT?! You too?”
    • The slashes kill Carol instead who wasn’t even part of the fight. Bob and Alice stare at her slowly-splitting body in utter confusion.
    • The white cuts on a black background turn out to be Alice hitting black paper instead of Bob, much to her frustration.
    • Alice and Bob are running at each-other from too far away, and are both exhausted by the time they reach eachother, leading them both to faint at the same time. They both collapse on the ground comatose before they can hit eachother.
    • After the clash, a beat passes... and Bob falls to the ground bleeding from his wounds AND a Nosebleed. Alice, meanwhile, suddenly finds her pants and panties around her ankles, and her butt covered in red handprints. Bob gives the thumbs up while Alice furiously covers up.
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  • Zig Zagged: There is a single-stroke battle at the start of a fight… But then Alice and Bob turn around dash past each other again and again, effectively repeating the trope over and over until one or both fall.
  • Averted: All combats in series are nasty, brutish and short, but there is no buildup into this trope.
  • Enforced: “ Dude, passing eachother in mid-air and exploding into giblets is what Samurai DO. It's right up there with the Katana and honor obsession. "
  • Lampshaded: “Our family feud will end with but a single strike!”
  • Invoked: This form of combat is part of an organized system of dueling, in order to ensure bouts are resolved quickly and with dignity.
  • Exploited: Ninja Bob needs only to get past Samurai Alice, not kill her and so charges head-on at her. Before the final blow is struck, Bob uses a Ninja Log and keeps running past Alice, who had now embedded her katana in 3 feet of wood.
  • Defied: Ninja Bob charges at Alice… who just whips out a pistol and shoots him while mocking his outdated tactics.
  • Discussed: “There’s something artful about how much technique goes into so few seconds, isn’t there? It's the culmination of the swordsman's art. "
  • Conversed: “Out of all the samurai movie scenes I have seen, this is my favorite.”
  • Implied: Alice insists to Bob they take it outside. We don't see the fight, but we do hear a woosh...and the bloody aftermath as Alice sheathes her sword.

Dash back to Single-Stroke Battle! But be quick about it, or else you-*KISH*

Example of: