Follow TV Tropes


Quotes / Combat Pragmatist

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
Son Goku: That was dirty...!
Krillin: Dirty doesn't mean shit in a fight!

I saw an opening that screamed "attack"... so I did!
Goku, Dragon Ball Z

There's no such thing as fair or unfair in battle. There is only victory or, in your case, defeat.
Vegeta, Dragon Ball Z

Clearly a dirty move by Frieza, but effective, you have to give him that.

[Eis Shenron has just used Pan as a Human Shield against Goku]
Goku: Bringing my family into this is a dirty move, Eis!
Eis: Dirty moves work better than clean ones. And I'll do anything to win this.

All's fair in a fight to the death.
Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist

Imagination is a weapon. Those who lack it are the first to die.

"Honor doesn't matter when it comes to fighting! The winner is the boss, the loser is the pet."
Jun Kamata, GTO: The Early Years

Are you stupid? In a match to the death, there's no such thing as fair or foul!
Bankotsu, Inuyasha

Count Brocken: Damn you! How dare the righteous protagonist do something so dirty! You sure about this? The fans will cry, you know.
Kouji: Shut up! Take it like a man! Don't try to play innocent with me!

You know that above all I detest sentimental tripe like "Honor" or "Mercy." This is war! All that matters is victory!
Don "Foul Play" Krieg, One Piece

Do you think I'm a coward? There's nothing wrong with that. This is the strongest weapon of a seasoned warrior... it is called "cunning."
Tatsumi, Rurouni Kenshin

Kenshiro: You call throwing dynamite around a martial art?
Jackal: Hey, as long as it works.

"Getting caught up in style and throwing away victory is something for the lower ranks to do. Captains can't even think about doing such a carefree thing. Don't try to be a good guy... From the instant they enter into a war, both sides are evil."

"You think it's unfair, don't you? But you know... a traitor never concerns themselves with a fair fight."
Rio Kurotori, Muhyo and Roji

    Comic Books 
There is no such thing as a fair fight. There's only the fight and who's left standing.

You don't win fights by being a strong man or a clever boxer. You win by being more willing to permanently fuck up the other guy.

There is no fairness, no grace, no nobility in the Wolfriders' method of combat. They obey but one rule: survive by any means, no matter how cruel or bloody.

Huntress: Did I just see you cheating?
Batman: Winning.

When you're on your own, behind enemy lines, no artillery, no air strikes, no hope of an evac, you don't fight dirty. You do things that make dirty look good.

Can you run? You should run... Seriously, you want to run... Okay. What do you know? What do you have? No, lose the swords. Sai trump swords... Flock tactics. She attacks, you back off. Don't engage until someone can lock down the sai with a chain, then go en masse. (Beat, shocked expression) En masse means everyone at once... I know you're a ninja but... Just do it! (frustrated) Listen to me: you have a choice... strictly following the ancient code of ninjutsu and being a dead ninja or going in like I say and maybe being alive ninja.
Prodigy giving phone advice to a bunch of mooks, Young Avengers vol.2 #6

Narrator: But in spite of their gallantry, the Britons had some strange customs that were rather a drawback in battle...
They stopped at five o'clock every day to drink hot water...
Moreover, they stopped fighting two days out of every seven...
Accordingly Julius Caesar, a cunning strategist, decided to fight only at five o'clock on weekdays and all day on weekends.
Cassivellaunos: Oh I say, the cads!
Asterix and the Britons

Fighting isn't about glory. Fighting isn't about pride. This is the mistake that crazy scum like you always make. Fighting's about winning.
Captain America, Ultimate Nightmare

I'm sorry, but you seem confused. Just 'cuz I let you land a few easy blows — that doesn't mean we're having a fair fight!

Look — Here's the problem. You've done some bad things, but I'm really, really upset right now. So much so that, honestly, I don't trust myself. And if you attack me or I attack you... I will hurt you. I'll hurt you worse than you've ever been hurt in your whole life. I can carve you up as soon as look at you. I can break you, boil you, freeze you. I can do things you can't imagine. Things I can't imagine, until I have to. And then I'll improvise. Part of me is hoping you will attack. And part of me is praying — for your sake, and my own peace of mind — that you don't. It's up to you.

...if on this mission you are forced into close quarters combat, understand you are most likely completely outmatched. Fight dirty. Gouge eyes. Destroy...crotches. Use ze explosives you like so much.
Batroc the Leaper, offering combat advice to Gwenpool, The Unbelievable Gwenpool #4

Lieutenant, if I ever see you behaving honorably or fairly up there, I'll shoot you down myself. I've never met a Hun who was prepared to give me a sporting chance, and I can assure you I don't indulge in the practice either. You see him before he sees you, you creep up behind him, you shoot him in the back — you run away. You survive, do you understand me?"
Major Roxburgh-Jones, War Is Hell: First Flight of the Phantom Eagle, Issue #3

You young guys never learn. Equipment doesn't matter. Only thing that matters is a willingness to do what the other guy won't.
The Punisher, Punisher: War Machine

In Skywatch training exercises, we focus more on the "martial" than the "art". "Art" suggests perfection of form, potential for exhibition at tournaments, and usually some spiritual element. We don't bother with that nonsense.
We train to do as much damage as possible in the shortest amount of time. We fight dirty.
Spike Witwicky, The Transformers (IDW)

A supervillain always has a hidden wound or a weak point.
Until you find it: go for the balls!
Instructor at a Superhero School, Captain Biceps

    Fan Works 
I don't believe in fair fights, Ms. Lewis. I believe in winning.

Honor is all well and good for regulating your personal behavior, but trying to apply honor to warfare is the domain of the dead and the stupid.

Kara drew on her every erg of reserve power to keep fighting. But, increasingly, she found herself on the defensive. She fought to keep Satan Girl's fingers from her eyes, her jaws from her carotid artery, her knees from her crotch.

The Horned King: Contrary to what you may read about in your fairy tales and even some misguided history books, there is no such thing as a knife 'fight'. It will not be a duel, it will not be a joust you see civilized people doing or you may read about in stories. It will be combat, and chances are it will only last a few seconds. One uses a weapon against another not to fight, but to win, and if your opponent knows you have a knife, he will do everything in his power to prevent you from doing so. Your opponent will not be looking for a fight. He will be attempting to assassinate. As such, regardless of how quick you are, the odds are you will not have time to draw your weapon before you realize he has one. Therefore the absolute last thing you should do is try and fight him. Nor should you let him know you have a weapon. Keep it concealed at all times, if possible.
Avalina: But, sir. If I'm too slow to even defend myself, why did you give me this?
The Horned King: Because this weapon is not to fight with. Its purpose is to wound or kill if need be. Simply wounding someone and remaining to fight will only worsen your situation. If the predicament is dire enough to draw your weapon, then killing, more often than not, is the only way out. Particularly with a knife, there is no middle ground. However, if the slightest opportunity to flee arises, take it. Do not linger to do damage. Another myth many foolishly believe is that you will have time to aim for a certain area of the body. I have personally seen soldiers do this and they invariably lost, as their opponent simply did not care where they struck, so long as they overwhelmed and killed them. If you are ever forced to draw your weapon, aim for what is closest, regardless of what it is. The pain has a possibility of causing your opponent to withdraw slightly and allowing you to escape. [moves closer to the anxious Avalina to pacify her] Are you alright?
Avalina: I don't want to kill. I don't want to hurt people...
The Horned King: Nor do I wish you to. However, I would prefer you to do so and live rather than other possibilities.

I knew what I had to do. She was making the same mistake the ABB thugs made in the alley. They treated me like another person when I had been fighting, as if I was concerned with protecting my body first and foremost, as if I wasn't willing to do anything it took to win. This wasn't some fucking prize fight. This was combat.
Emma, Quicken

Lord Shen: Who have you been practising with? It wasn't that pheasant fool, was it?
Lady Lianne: It was Rhino.
Lord Shen: No wonder you're too formal. He has instilled too much honour in you. You fight as if you're participating in a fair and honourable duel. I taught you how to fight for your life, to survive.
Lady Lianne: But as I've just discovered, you have no honour.

"It's not fair!" he snapped.
"Of course it isn't," said Luthor, grabbing him by the hair and presenting his palm-blaster to send a Kryptonite blast into his face. "And that's the way I like it."

Felix: A human shield? Have you no shame?
Byleth: There's no place for shame in a battle. Use every advantage you can get. Bring a meteor to a fist fight if you can spare the resources. Only a fool, or a dead man, thinks of chivalry in combat.

Cyborg:Just so you know, that's reason number two why Robin hates that guy.
Wonder Girl: Because he fights like an asshole?
Cyborg: Because he fights like an asshole.
Less Than Zero talking about Null

Cyril continued his advance out of the city, avoiding men and monsters alike. The Hunter had also learned some stealth during his time in Yharnam. Some fights you just didn't want to get into and landing the first blow on an unaware enemy was often key to winning hard fights. Sure backstabbing and underhanded tactics made you look like a complete and utter bastard to more honorable folk but really who the hell was complaining?

The First Hunter of the Workshop also had quite the distaste for fair combat. No one, not beast or man, wanted to be stuck in a fair fight. A Hunter must be cunning, focused, swift and cruel. It was a lesson that he imparted on his young student constantly when he returned to the Dream.

    Film — Animated 
The Joker: What are you doing?!
Terry McGinnis: Fighting dirty.
The Joker: The real Batman wouldn'tOOF!
Terry McGinnis: Told ya you didn't know me.

    Film — Live-Action 
You want to kill a man like me, you better stab me In the Back. That's the catch. See, honorable men, they die hard. But they still die. It's men like me that survive and conquer.
Nicola the Woodcutter, Bunraku

Inmate: Now, you're gonna want to poke the guy's eyes out so he can't see the fight...
Mentor: Dude, the kid is in high school.
Inmate: Oh. Then you're gonna have to fight dirty.

The point of warfare is not to die for your country, but make the other bastard die for his!
General George Patton, Patton

Will Turner: You cheated!
Captain Jack Sparrow: Pirate.

Will Turner: You didn't beat me. You ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight, I'd kill you.
Captain Jack Sparrow: That's not much incentive for me to fight fair, then, is it?

So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.
Dark Helmet after cheating two times in a row in a fight against Lone Star, Spaceballs

Harry: Now wait a minute, this ain't a fair fight.
Archie: There's six of you; only two of us.
Harry: And you've got knives, and we've got nothing.
Gang leader: But that's how we win.
Archie: You know when we lived in this neighborhood, there were rules to streetfighting.
Gang leader: Rules? What kind of rules?
Archie: Well for one thing, you couldn't do this! (Groin Attack) Or this! (Eye Scream) Or this! (right cross with a fistful of quarters) Now does everyone understand the rules? (Other gangbangers flee) Those guys don't know shit about streetfighting.

You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?
Jim Malone, The Untouchables

Marshall Strickland: If you can't read the sign, Tannen, I presume you can read this. (points to rifle)
Buford Tannen: Pretty tough hombre when you're pointin' a scattergun at a man's back.
Strickland: Just like you, Tannen, I take every advantage I can get. Now are you gonna check your iron?
Buford: I was joking with your deputy. Of course I'm going to check my iron. We all were, weren't we boys?
Gang Members: Yeah...

No more chivalry. Now we fight like wolves.
Robert the Bruce, Outlaw King

Ape: George, remember everything I thought you about Queensberry Rules and fighting fair?
George: Uh huh.
Ape: Well, now's a good time to forget it.

Sweep the leg, time to get dirty
Poke the eyes 'til they go blurry
Chop the throat and stomp the toes
Ears smacked from the back, then punch the nose!
Wham, bam, time to get fuck-slammed
Puttin' in work going hand-to-hand
Kick 'em in the knees so hard it buckles
Quick uppercut, left-right with knuckles
Hot brass, smash a bottle
Whoopin' that ass goin' mano-a-mano
You better call the dentist, I'm feelin' ruthless
Hard to talk shit when your mouth is toothless
Nuts for luck, get the party started
Knock you out like Colossus farted
Lingerie does nothing for me
But smackin' bad guys makes me horny
Deadpool Rap (X-Force Remix), Deadpool 2

"I always bring a gun to a knife fight."
Jackknife, The Man with the Iron Fists trailer

Dr. Raymond Cocteau: John Spartan, this display of barbaric behavior was unacceptable even in your time!
John Spartan: Yeah. But it worked. When a man like Phoenix has a gun to your head, ten seconds is nine and a half seconds longer than you live.

"No warning shots. Warning shots are bullshit. You shoot to kill, or you don't shoot at all."
Jody, Phantasm

Hector Cyr: You're supposed to say 'go' in karate. You face each other, you bow, and you say go!
Sheriff Hank Keough: Yeah, as in go fuck yourself!

I'm not a devious man by nature, but when you're unarmed, your tactics might gotta be downright Archimedian.
Buster Scruggs, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

"Fuck this gentleman shite!"
Shepherd before throwing a grenade at the Duke of Oxford, The King's Man

British Major Fairbairn, who had been chief of police in Shanghai before the Japanese capture of the city, taught the Fairbairn method of assault and murder. His course was not restricted to Camp X, but later given at OSS camps in the United States. All of us who were taught by Major Fairbairn soon realized that he had an honest dislike for anything that smacked of decency in fighting.
Behind Japanese Lines

Foolish boy, do you not understand what is at stake when you cross blades with another? You may win a hundred fights, a thousand, ten thousand, but you can only lose once!
Zaknafein Do'Urden, Exile

The Assassins’ Guild was easy to outwit. They had strict rules, which they followed quite honourably, and this was fine by Vimes, who, in certain practical areas, had no rules whatsoever.

Fair fights are too easy to lose.
Harry Dresden, The Dresden Files

It was just him and me. He fought with honor. If it weren't for his honor, he and the others would have beaten me together. They might have killed me, then. His sense of honor saved my life. I didn't fight with honor... I fought to win.
Ender, Ender's Game

Here's the thing: We don't give a shit about fairness here. We're soldiers. Soldiers do not give the other guy a sporting chance. Soldiers shoot in the back, lay traps and ambushes, lie to the enemy, and outnumber the other bastard every chance they get.
Bean, Ender's Shadow

The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war.

Few indeed are the maiming tricks of foul combat unknown to even the rank and file of the highly efficient Secret Service of the Triplanetary League; and Costigan, a Sector Chief of that unknown organization, knew them all. Not for pleasure, sportsmanship, nor million-dollar purses do these secret agents use Nature's weapons. They come to grips only when it cannot possibly be avoided, but when they are forced to fight in that fashion, they go into it with but one grim purpose — to kill, and to kill in the shortest possible space of time.

Timothy, "fair" means I bring all my people home alive. Fuck the others.
John Clark, Rainbow Six

Verily, thou art not paid for thy methods, but for thy results, by which meaneth thou shalt kill thine enemy before he killeth you by any means available. Thou shalt, in thy Warrior's Mind and Soul, always remember My Ultimate and Final Commandment: There Are No Rules - Thou Shalt Win At All Cost.
— The Ten Commandments of SpecWar, Red Cell

I fight with the weapons I have. It's the only sensible way.
Aiken Drum, Saga of the Exiles

No such thing as fighting dirty, really, Jimmy. There's just fighting to win. Use whatever you like, you can forget about rules; you’ve got to kick, scratch, bite, punch, claw with your nails... What you've got to do, see, is hurt your enemy as bad as you can as quick as you can, before he hurts you. Go for the soft bits, the eyes, nostrils, armpits, belly, and, of course... well, you know where a bloke hurts worst.
"Red" Kelly, SilverFin

Baron Vengeous: Only a heathen would bring a gun to a swordfight.
Skulduggery Pleasant: And only a moron would bring a sword to a gunfight.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire

In kendo, you can get a good solid hit on your opponent and still not get credit for it, because the judges feel you didn't possess the right amount of zanshin. Hiro doesn't have any zanshin at all. He just wants this over with.

Understand something. Your enemy is not helpless just because you've drawn blood. Your enemy is not helpless until he stops breathing. If you find yourself in a fight, that is your goal: not to frighten, not to wound. But to kill.
Khara, Endling

I didn't bother to say, "Don't fight fair." In the world we share, that's the air we breathe.

I have the honour to inform you, and at the same time to warn you, that no death in war is murder. The objective of warfare is the annihilation of the enemy by any means necessary.
Member of Richthofen's Circus, The Burning Shore

"Those prancing little pants-wetters come here to learn the colorful and gentlemanly art of fencing, with its many sporting limitations and its proscriptions against dishonorable engagements. You, on the other hand, you are going to learn how to kill men with a sword."
Don Maranzalla, The Lies of Locke Lamora

I have been in only a handful of fights with other vampires over the entire span of my existence, and they all ended in an instant. There weren't any long, protracted sequences of trading punches back and forth, interspersed with with chatty exchanges by both parties. No wrestling around and crashing through skylights or walls. No running across the room at each other before leaping into the air for a dazzling aerial duel replete with judo throws. No tackle moves where the floor got peeled up because the force of the collision was so intense. No elaborate swordplay that contained elements of fencing. And never was there any slow motion. No, my fights ended immediately — because I punched a silver spike concealed between the fingers of my gloved hand through the heart of my opponent as we were getting ready to begin. He never knew what hit him. If a fight can't be avoided, I don't wait for a formal start to the proceedings; it's over before it begins.
The New Vampire's Handbook

If you can't win in a fair fight, then don't pick one.
A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 3, on fighting Accelerator

Windstance was familiar to Adolin. It had served him well throughout his career.
But it didn't feel right today.
We're at war, Adolin thought as Salinor edged forward, looking to test him. And every lighteyes in this army is a raw recruit.
It wasn't time for a show.
It was time for a beating.

There was no trace in her of the beribboned show fighter: she fought like she wanted to kill you and she hoped it would hurt.

There's no such thing as fighting dirty. There's fighting like you want to live, and fighting like you want to die. If you've got anything to live for — anything at all — I suggest you try the first way. The people you love will thank you for it.

Playing fair is for people who don't mind playing to lose.
Kevin Price, InCryptid

Marcone: You know what I think?
Harry: You think we should shoot Nicodemus In the Back at the first opportunity and let Michael dismember him.
Marcone: Yes.
Harry: [draws his gun] Okay.

    Live-Action TV 
Gomez: He's right, Morticia: the family honor! You'll have to challenge Palmeroy to a duel!
Uncle Fester: No, I'd rather shoot him In the Back.
Morticia: Uncle Fester, that is not the honorable way!
Uncle Fester: I know, but it's the safe way.
Gomez: Uncle Fester, I'm ashamed of you! An Addams doesn't know the meaning of the word "fear!"
Uncle Fester: I do! I'll shoot him in the back!
Morticia: Uncle Fester, remember the Addams name!
Gomez: It'll have to be a duel!
Uncle Fester: With swords?
Gomez: With victory going to the swiftest, the cunningest, the deadliest!
Uncle Fester: I'll shoot him in the back!
Gomez: Wait, how about pistols?
Uncle Fester: Well, that's different. I- [Beat] Does he get one, too?
Gomez: Naturally!
Uncle Fester: Loaded?
Morticia: You get one bullet apiece.
Uncle Fester: In the back!

This isn't dueling pistols at dawn, this is war. You never wanna fight fair. You wanna sneak up behind your enemy, and club 'em over the head. You see, Scar understands that. And so do I. So, that's why I'm gonna kill him.
Starbuck, Battlestar Galactica

One of the things a covert operative has to give up is the idea of a fair fight. Spies are not trained to fight fair. Spies are trained to win.
Michael Westen, Burn Notice

Warrick Brown: (holds up bullet pulled from wall) Hey, Gris, who brings a gun to a knife fight?
Gil Grissom: The winner?

I'd kill a man in a fair fight... or if I thought he was gonna start a fair fight...
Jayne Cobb, Firefly

Lysa Arryn: You do not fight with honor!
Bronn: No. (looks to the Moon Door he just tossed his opponent out of) He did.

Jamie Lannister: Brave man you are, attacking a man when his guard is down.
Bronn: Best time to attack a man.

Lister: You mean you could happily kill him if he was asleep?
Rimmer: I could happily kill him if he was on the job. Gloop him.
Red Dwarf, "Justice"

O'Brien: There are rules, Garak, even in a war!
Garak: Correction. Humans have rules in war. Rules that make victory a little harder to achieve, in my opinion.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Rocks and Shoals"

Odo: You'd shoot a man in the back?
Garak: Well, it's the safest way, isn't it?
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Call to Arms"

Bashir: Doesn't sound very honorable to me.
Worf: In war, there is nothing more honorable than victory.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "The Way of the Warrior"

"If you are willing to use deadly force on another human being, use a fucking gun. The moral and legal consequences are almost the same, and at least you won't hurt your hands and be sore every week from practicing at the dojo."
Penn Jillette, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, "Martial Arts"

    Tabletop Games 
I say victory is better than honour.

I concede it was a cheap shot, but it was the only one I could afford.
Gerrard of the Weatherlight, Magic: The Gathering, "Stun"

Cowardice is a term invented by those with no cunning.

Victory needs no explanation. Defeat allows none.

The first rule of unarmed combat is: don't be unarmed.
Tau academy instructor, Warhammer 40,000

Whether the challenge is accepted or not, Llewendor always attacks immediately. Since he wears magical armor, poisons his blade and fights with sorcery, some opponents find him unchivalrous. Most of these are dead, although he once left a ranger alive with three withered limbs and no food.
GURPS Wizards

"Because the Wolves kill cleanly, and we do not. They also kill quickly, and we have never done that, either. They fight, they win, and they stalk back to their ships with their tails held high. If they were ever ordered to destroy another Legion, they would do it by hurling warrior against warrior, seeking to grind their enemies down with the admirable delusions of the 'noble savage'. If we were ever ordered to assault another Legion, we would virus bomb their recruitment worlds; slaughter their serfs and slaves; poison their gene-seed repositories and spend the next dozen decades watching them die slow, humiliating deaths. Night after night, raid after raid, we'd overwhelm stragglers from their fleets and bleach their skulls to hang from our armour, until none remained. But that isn't the quick execution the Emperor needs, is it? The Wolves go for the throat. We go for the eyes. Then the tongue. Then the hands. Then the feet. Then we skin the crippled remains, and offer it up as an example to any still bearing witness. The Wolves were warriors before they became soldiers. We were murderers first, last, and always!"
Jago Sevatarion, First Captain of the Night Lords Space Marine Legion, Warhammer 40,000

"Lissen, kid... Ere ain' no fair an' ere ain' no square. It's winnah take all. An' it's easier tuh lick a guy by sluggin' 'im fum behin' 'en it is by sockin' it out wid 'im toe tuh toe. Cause if yuhr lickin' 'im, en he pulls a knife on yuh, see? En wheah are yuh?"
Martin, Dead End

    Video Games 
We fight dirty. If an enemy is facing us, we might consider our options, and even slip away if his sword looks too big. If his back is to us, however, I personally favor knocking him down, and then jumping on his neck where the bones snap with a gratifying crunch. Of course, it is up to you and your personal style.

I'm warning you. I fight dirty!

If you don't draw first, you don't get to draw at all.
Booker DeWitt, Bioshock Infinite

Solid Snake: Stealth is just as important in victory as courage.
Dante: What's that supposed to mean?
Solid Snake: Well, picture this: You're surrounded in a room, and the enemy knows you're there, but doesn't know your exact location. Good luck charging at them to win. Now, let's apply some tactics: If you sneak around and take them out one at a time, eventually you'll defeat enough of them that you safely make your escape, all while keeping them looking for you.
Dante: Whatever man. You're still a coward.
Solid Snake: Call me what you will. In the end I'll be the one who survives.
Final Fantasy Tactics, Journey of the Five Game Mod

I don't pick fights I can't win.

I don't care how it's done... All that matters is that you're dead!

FUCK OFF! I don't need no martial arts. I... just gotta win! As long as I can do that... doesn't matter how the hell I do it!

My friend Jack says “A fair fight means you didn’t prepare right.”
Calamity, Fortnite

Victory goes not to the loudest, but to the most effective.
Master of Whispers, Guild Wars: Nightfall

You want to try again; I didn't give you enough warning; you'd be fine if you were ready. Excuses like that have no value. Unfairness and deceit are superior. The difference between life and death.
Ky Kiskenote , Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-

Pit: I don't know, attacking enemies from behind when they're not looking seems kind of cowardly.
Palutena: Every warrior knows that cowardice is the foundation upon which victory is built.
Pit: You just totally made that up, didn't you?

A beautiful loss is still a loss, and an ugly win is still a win!

Kazuo Akuji: [after beating the Boss in a sword duel] Did you really think you could match my skill?!
The Boss: Nah. [BANG] I'm gonna cheat.

Cheaters Always Prosper.
Tyrian, with God Mode turned on

huh. always wondered why people never use their strongest attack first.
Sans the Skeleton after subjecting the player to a particularly brutal gauntlet of attacks on their first turn, Undertale

Player: The god of war prefers to fight infants?
Balthazar: The god of war prefers to win.

Putting an arm around the girl's shoulders, you tell her about the Impish Vigilant – one of the School's more outspoken practitioners. The Vigilant protects suffrage campaigners – be they clay, criminal, or female – against the attentions of the Special Constables. She advocates concealed weapons, steel-toed boots, and a cheerful absence of mercy. Her enemies think carefully before getting back up.

Top approach, double-strike to eye ridge, slide down between blinded target's rising arms, precision nerve strike to throat, secondary nerve strike to counter blood rage, quad-kick to bend target, grip each side of skull, running leaping spinning neck-snap.
Alternate: Bomb.
Shadow Broker Dossier: Thane Krios: Prefferred Assassination Methods, Mass Effect 2

The first rule of fighting is? That's cute... you have rules.
Alt Text for Swarmlord Zugin, Swarm Simulator: Evolution

Where's the fun in playing fair?
Olivia "Sombra" Colomar, Overwatch

As a rule, assassins are weaklings... They can't win if they fight fair, so they use trickery.
Legault, Fire Emblem Heroes

"A shinobi would know the difference between honor and victory."
Genichiro Ashina, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

"As amusing as your savage dances are, once again I have proven the superiority of setting your nose to the grindstone and not mucking about."
The OutlanderFull Name  after shooting a martial artist dead, Jade Empire

"Mario Circuit: At the stationary points, a warning will indicate when there are karts approaching. Try to throw someone onto the track when karts arrive!"

     Visual Novels 
You can wash away disgrace with results.
Archer, Fate/stay night

     Web Comics 
I've noticed that smart characters are usually not very honorable, and honorable characters are usually not very smart.
David Anez, Bob and George

Only cheaters prosper.

Tatsumaki: If my brain hadn't been damaged... you'd only take me 5 seconds.
Garou: Is that so? Well, I'm sorry you're so exhausted! Perhaps I can help put you to rest.

I've found that only two things really matter. Power, in as great a quantity as you can muster, and style... and in a pinch, style can slide.

Import'nt t'draw that fine line between fightin' dirty an' fightin' stupid.
Commander Badass, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things

Glasya-Labolas: Dishonorable!! Uncouth!! Have you wenches no sense of a warrior's code?!?!
Kimmy: God, no.

    Web Original 
Wild dogs - also called fucking wolves - are inquisitive, intelligent predators that travel in packs. Which means there are several of them and they all think "fair fight" means "we outnumber the hell out of you."

If you think I won't shoot you in the back, you're mistaken. (BLAM)

Jan Valentine: (facing a room full of armed men) ...Well, that's not fair at all...
Integra: Aww, I am sorry. We don't give a fuck. (everybody opens fire)

Zordon: That was not the honorable way!
Nostalgia Critic: But it was the effective way, can't argue with results.

Red Soldier: Ah, you fucking camping bitch!
Blue Soldier: It's a legitimate strategy!

Latias: So who wishes to fight me?
(Fido kicks Latias in the face the instant his/her sentence is finished. Hard enough to send a normal man through the wall.)
Fido: ...If Eve doesn't mind, I guess I'd like to.
Latias: Always a Dark Type's tactics.
Fido: Hey, that's racist.
Latias: Not when you literally used a Dark Type move.
Fido: No, I didn't. It's called "strategy". This would be a "Dark" type move.
(Fido tries to bite into Latias's wing. Hard. In other words, "Fido used Crunch!")

It's called cheating. Deal with it!

The turning point came when I was invaded, but the attacker bowed upon seeing me, a gesture of recognition to mark a duel between equals... So while he was bowing, I ran up and stuck my halberd up his ass.
Yahtzee describing his experience with Dark Souls, Zero Punctuation

"My former master always said that, in a fight, if given the opportunity, I should run the other guy over with my car."
Redditor kuroiryu146

    Web Video 
It's wrestling logic, I know. But if a guy beat me almost unto death with a bat covered in nails, I'd fuckin' kill him. I wouldn't grab a folding chair from a random passerby. I'd pretty much load up a shotgun filled with white phosphorous rounds and shove up it his ass. But that's just me.
Noah Antwiler on TNA iMPACT 9.23.10

Pat: (on a debate on forums over who of the crew would win in a fist fight) Arguments are split between myself and Woolie. Woolie for obvious reasons as he is a giant man compared to us, and is currently taking boxing classes.
Liam: I don't see how you're even in the contest.
Pat: Because I will show up with a gun.

"Guys, if you're bothered by cheating, either loosen your moral code, or stop hinging the fate of the world ON DEATH MATCHES!"
Future Trunks, DragonBall Z Abridged

Imperfect Cell: KA...ME...
Imperfect Cell: Wait, LET ME FINISH!
DragonBall Z Abridged, "Episode 60: Epilogue"

    Western Animation 
Zuko: Uncle, you were unconscious. Azula did this to you... it was a surprise attack.
Iroh: Somehow, that's not so surprising.

Scrooge McDuck: Still a cheater, eh, Glomgold?
Flintheart Glomgold: I look at it this way: Why not?! Hehe-ahahaha!

Po: Hundun, do you really want to say you only beat me because I'm hurt and exhausted?
Hundun: I'm good with that.

Splinter: You strike a wounded warrior! You have no honor!
Shredder: I fight to win.

Leonardo: Their leader was crazy good. By which I mean he was good and seemed a little crazy. Besides he had all these guys with him, it wasn't a fair fight.
Splinter: What do you mean, "fair fight"?
Leonardo: A fair fight, you know, where either side could win?
Splinter: So a fair fight is a fight you could lose.
Leonardo: Well, yes, but... well, what I... what I mean is...
Splinter: You don't want to assure your victory.
Leonardo: No, I do, but... (Splinter sweeps his legs with his staff then pins him) Ow! Hey!
Splinter: Was that fair?
Leonardo: No!
Splinter: Did I win?
Leonardo: ...I see your point.
Splinter: Seek victory, not fairness.

Shredder: In any conflict, the winner is the one ready to do what the loser is not. Now, the Kuro Kabuto!
Leonardo: How do I know you won't attack me as soon as I give you the helmet?
Shredder: Of course I am going to attack you! Did you think you'd get out of this without a fight?

    Real Life 
Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable...the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.
Thomas Hobbes

I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgiving by the hand, lead him to a quiet place and kill him.

I don't know what Queensberry Rules are, but the Oscar Wilde Rule is to shoot on sight.

If it's worth fighting for, it's worth fighting dirty for.
— Murphy's Laws of Military Operations

The first rule of American combat doctrine appears to be to disregard all other rules of American combat doctrine if it is advantageous to do so.
— Unknown Soviet general

When lives are on the line, there is no such thing as a fair fight.
— Anon

Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.
— Old joke

If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!
— T-shirt quote

Don't you ever dare disrespect her or anyone else like that again. If you do, I will not fight you, I will shoot you. I don't care how tough you are, you won't get back up from a bullet to the head.
Jim Cornette to Brock Lesnar after Lesnar attacked Cornette's girlfriend for real and injured her