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Web Animation / 1 Minute Melee

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2 fighters
60 seconds
1 victor

1 Minute Melee (formerly One Minute Melee) was a Spin-Off series to DEATH BATTLE! on ScrewAttack, done by DB animators (mostly Mali De'lisser). Exactly as the name suggests, every fight is over within a minute, and unlike Death Battle doesn't have outcomes determined by research (in this case meaning the winner is decided purely through Author Appeal), and the fights don't necessarily have to end in death.

In 2016, One Minute Melee split away from ScrewAttack and has dissociated itself from Death Battle. It is now run by a studio known as Hyper Gauge, featuring the same animators working in collaboration.

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    Season 1 
  1. Jin Saotome vs. Gambit. Result 
  2. Terry Bogard vs. Burai Yamamoto. Result 
  3. Akuma vs. Kenpachi Zaraki. Result 
  4. Captain Falcon vs. Captain Commando. Result 
  5. Batman vs. Albert Wesker. Result 
  6. Kim Kaphwan vs. Juri Han. Result 
  7. Meta Knight vs. Zero. Result 
  8. Bowser vs. Dr. Eggman. Result 
  9. Deadpool vs. Deathstroke. Result 
  10. Dante vs. Ragna the Bloodedge. Result 
  11. Mewtwo vs. Frieza. Result 
  12. Sakuya Izayoi vs. Dio Brando. Result 
  13. Dan Hibiki vs. Hercule Satan. Result 
  14. Lucario vs. Renamon. Result 
  15. Mega Man vs. Samus Aran. Result 
  16. Sonic the Hedgehog vs. The Flash. Result 
  17. Catwoman vs. Black Widow. Result 

    Season 2 
  1. Oni vs. Kenpachi Zaraki, AKA Akuma vs. Kenpachi Zaraki, Round 2. Result 
  2. Lightning vs. Wonder Woman. Result 
  3. Scorpion vs. Ghost Rider. Result 
  4. Monkey D. Luffy vs. Naruto Uzumaki. Result 
  5. Wario vs. Knuckles the Echidna. Result 
  6. Ryu vs. Jin Kazama. Result 
  7. Jotaro Kujo vs. Kenshiro. Result 
  8. Vergil vs. Sephiroth. Result 
  9. Link vs. Sora. Result 
  10. Himura Kenshin vs. Roronoa Zoro. Result 
  11. BB Hood vs. Peacock. Result 
  12. Bowser Jr. vs. Metal Sonic. Result 
  13. Master Hand vs. Polygon Man. Result 
  14. Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye. Result 
  15. Ippo Makunouchi vs. Little Mac. Result 

    Season 3 
  1. Ippo Makunouchi vs. Little Mac, Full Version. Result 
  2. Sasuke Uchiha vs. Ichigo Kurosaki. Result 
  3. Heihachi Mishima vs. Geese Howard. Result 
  4. Son Goku vs. Sonic the Hedgehog? Result 
  5. Natsu Dragneel vs. Portgas D. Ace. Result 
  6. Captain America vs. Guile. Result 
  7. Asuna Yuuki vs. Orie Valadier. Result 
  8. Mecha Sonic vs. Bowser. Result 
  9. Kirby vs. Pac-Man. Result 
  10. Trunks vs. Silver the Hedgehog. Result 
  11. Perfect Cell vs. Meruem. Result 
  12. Yu Narukami vs. Jean Pierre Polnareff note . Result 
  13. Saitama vs. Superman. Result 

    Season 4 
  1. Oni vs. Kenpachi Zaraki, Round 3 — AKA Akuma vs. Kenpachi Zaraki, Final Round. Result 
  2. The Incredible Hulk vs. Broly. Result 
  3. Rock Lee vs. Vinsmoke Sanji. Result 
  4. Paul Phoenix vs. Ken Masters. Result 
  5. Joseph Joestar vs. Edward Elric. Result 
  6. Batman vs. Iron Man. Result 
  7. Vegeta vs. Shadow the Hedgehog. Result 
  8. Liu Kang vs. Fei-Long. Result 
  9. Waddle Dee vs. Goomba. Result 
  10. Piccolo note  vs. Martian Manhunter. Result 
  11. Solid Snake vs. Chris Redfield. Result 
  12. Ibuki vs. Valentine. Result 
  13. Alice Margatroid vs. Sasori. Result 
  14. Genos vs. Raiden. Result 
  15. Painwheel vs. Decapre. Result 
  16. M. Bison vs. Rugal Bernstein. note  Result 
  17. Gon Freecss vs. Izuku Midoriya. note  Result 

    Season 5 
  1. Son Gohan vs. Superboy. Result 
  2. Kakashi Hatake vs. Byakuya Kuchiki. Result 
  3. Luigi vs. Miles "Tails" Prower. Result 
  4. Guts vs. Kirito Kirigaya. Result 
  5. Killua Zoldyck vs. Hiei. Result 
  6. Shantae vs. Filia. Result 
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog vs. Mario. Result 
  8. Tatsumaki vs. Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama. Result 
  9. Meta Knight vs. Shovel Knight. Result 
  10. Bill Cipher vs. Sans. Result 
  11. Crocodile vs. Gaara. Result 
  12. Vergil vs. Sephiroth, Round 2. Result 
  13. Vegeta vs. Thor. Result 
  14. Viewtiful Joe vs. Scott Pilgrim. Result 
  15. Mewtwo vs. Frieza, Revisited. Result 
  16. Son Goku vs. Saitama. Result 

    Season 6 
  1. Terra vs. Toph Beifong. Result 
  2. Bowser vs. King Dedede. Result 
  3. Kakashi Hatake vs. Shota Aizawa. Result 
  4. Wolverine vs. Black Panther. Result 
  5. Riku vs. Sasuke Uchiha. Result 
  6. Cyborg vs. Genos. Result 
  7. Ruby Rose vs. Spider-Man. Result 
  8. Cloud Strife vs. Link. Result 
  9. Son Goten vs. Boruto Uzamaki. Result 
  10. Pearl vs. Undyne. Result 
  11. Katsuki Bakugo vs. Yang Xiao Long. Result 
  12. Slender Man vs. Enderman. Result 
  13. Noctis Lucis Caelum vs. Zero. Result 
  14. Ryu and Ken Masters vs. Terry Bogard and Rock Howard. (Team Battle) Result 
  15. Sōsuke Aizen vs. Madara Uchiha Result 

Contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: While nearly all of the characters featured in the series are exceptional badasses, Bowser takes the cake for managing to destroy the Super Mario Bros. Z incarnation of Mecha Sonic, who, to keep it short, single-handedly destroyed Mobius and slaughtered everyone short of Sonic, Shadow, and Eggman effortlessly, not to mention leveling Yoshi's Island and horribly curb-stomping all who opposed him.
    • Meruem was already incredibly powerful and nearly unstoppable in Hunter Hunter. How does he get a boost? By delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle to Cell in arguably the most one-sided fight in all of One Minute Melee.
    • In Batman vs. Iron Man, the very-much human Batman is able to repeatedly tank laser blasts and solid blows from the cybernetically-enhanced Iron Man, as well as several massive explosions — upgrading him from Badass Normal to Charles Atlas Superpower-levels of durability. Even moreso when he outright wins.
    • Mario vs. Sonic is another example compared to the original DEATH BATTLE! between them; not only does Mario put up an even fight against Sonic despite neither of them using their power-ups, but he straight up wins against him.
    • Endermen in Minecraft are mooks (granted, Elite Mooks) that generally attack by teleporting and making melee contact with the player. Here, one is shown to have far more combat capability by fighting on par with Slender Man, being able to grab the environment as a weapon, throwing Slender Man around and smashing him through trees. Still wasn't enough against Slenderman.
  • Adaptational Wimp: On the other hand, you sometimes have characters who are shown to be far weaker than their canon selves- key examples being Meta Knight in Meta Knight vs. Zero, Dante in Ragna the Bloodedge vs. Dante, Wario in Wario vs. Knuckles and Alice in Alice Margatroid vs. Sasori — all of whom ended up being overnerfed and then completely stomped accordingly by their respective opponents.
  • Actually a Doombot:
  • April Fools' Day: "Goku vs. Sonic" was released on April 1, 2016. The fight entails Goku knocking out Sonic in the first two seconds, killing Godzilla, screaming at Kirby until he exploded, defeating The Avengers, blowing up the Death Star, then dying at the hands of Saitama, who is subsequently challenged by Superman. What's notable here is that this is actually canon in the OMM universe, as "Saitama vs. Superman" was the Season 3 finale (picking up where this left off, with "Raiden vs. Genos" as its sequel) and "Gohan vs. Superboy" acts as a P.O.V. Sequel — with the reveal that the Goku in this video was actually a clone.
  • Back from the Dead: There are characters that get a second chance at glory after losing their matches in Death Battle, and even within the series itself — most notably, Batman and Meta Knight returned for future matches and won after they unambiguously died in their first appearances.
    • Most notably, Akuma and Kenpachi have fought each other three times, with each subsequent battle having them holding back less and less.note  Similarly, Sephiroth and Vergil have battled twice.note 
  • Big Damn Heroes: After the rematch between Akuma and Kenpachi ends, Yachiru carts the unconscious Kenpachi — who was drifting down a river of lava — away to recuperate.
    Yachiru: We'll keep on getting better and better together!
    • "Scorpion vs. Ghost Rider" starts with Scorpion about to finish off Ken, who fought Scorpion to avenge Ryu's death in the Death Battle episode. Ghost Rider then intervenes by wrapping his chain around Scorpion's neck, pulling him over, and socking him in the face, allowing Ken time to get clear of the fight.
    • At the end of "Bowser Jr. vs. Metal Sonic", Bowser showing up to rescue Bowser Jr. after his brutal beating at the hands of Mecha Sonic, moving him safely away from the fight before turning to engage the monstrous mecha himself for attacking his son.
    • "Meta Knight vs. Shovel Knight" ends with Meta Knight attempting to finish off the downed Shovel Knight with a Sword Beam — which, as a heroic invidual with a strong code of honour, seems very Out of Character for him. It's at which point the real Meta Knight teleports in to stop him, revealing that the one who had fought beforehand was the evil Dark Meta Knight, before quickly destroying his Mirror World counterpart to save Shovel Knight.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The end of Link vs. Sora reveals that Link was possessed by Dark Link, who then proceeds to summon hundreds of Heartless around them in the Gerudo Desert. The episode ends with Link, Sora, Donald and Goofy teaming up to battle them.
  • Broken Win/Loss Streak: A cross-media example with DEATH BATTLE! and DBX. Zero's win streak in his first One Minute Melee, Death Battle and Death Battle X is broken by Noctis in his second One Minute Melee.
  • Butt-Monkey: The universe isn't very kind to Ryu. First, his death by Scorpion's hands is alluded to in Scorpion vs. Ghost Rider. Second, his chance for redemption against Jin Kazama ends in a Double KO. Third, he gets blown up, or at the very least teleported away by Polygon Man at the beginning of Master Hand vs. Polygon Man. At least he didn't die in his actual OMM.
  • Call-Back:
    • To the "Ryu vs. Scorpion" death battle in Scorpion vs. Ghost Rider. Ken fought Scorpion to avenge Ryu's death and was about to die when Ghost Rider stepped in.
    • In "Jotaro Kujo vs. Kenshiro", the battlefield takes place where Sakuya fought Dio with Dio's still-living body still splattered along the ground with Sakuya's knives sticking out of them.
    • In "Roronoa Zoro vs. Ruroni Kenshin," it takes place in the same forest as "Naruto vs. Luffy,". You can tell because Naruto's body is still sticking out of the rock Luffy slammed him into.
    • In "Bowser Jr. vs. Metal Sonic", the fight takes place during or after "Bowser vs. Dr. Eggman" as Bowser is clearly seen rescuing Bowser Jr. after his defeat and getting ready to fight Mecha Sonic himself. The fight also ends in the same meadow that Bowser's fight did.
      • "Bowser vs. Mecha Sonic" begins with the last scene from "Bowser Jr. vs. Metal Sonic", but from Bowser's point of view.
      • "Waddle Dee vs. Goomba" has Bowser taking a vacation "after saving the world from a crazy scientist and a bulked up robot-hog", referencing the two melees he has fought in before.
    • "Trunks vs. Silver" starts out with Vegeta fighting Shadow, which is later expended upon in its own bonus episode. At the end of both episodes, Vegeta comes out with another victory against Shadow.
    • Goku vs Sonic probably has the most continuity coming off of it:
      • Goku blasting The Hulk off the planet is what leads to Hulk vs Broly, which opens with The Hulk drifting through space.
      • "Saitama vs. Superman" begins when Saitama is accused of causing massive amounts of destruction which Goku (who he killed) was responsible for in "Goku vs. Sonic".
      • In a fun bit of continuation, Saitama's pupil Genos is accused of said destruction by Raiden when the two encounter each other, leading to their own fight.
      • The destruction is also blamed on Gohan by Superboy, which leads to their fight.
    • At the end of "Luigi vs. Tails", Knuckles finally gets his long-awaited revenge against Dr. Eggman for stealing the Master Emerald whilst he was distracted in "Wario vs. Knuckles".
    • A brief clip of Sephiroth from the end of "Vergil vs. Sephiroth" (the first one) is shown before the beginning of "Sephiroth vs. Vergil" (the second one), where, sure enough, Sephiroth keeps his promise.
    Sephiroth: I'll see you again.
  • Continuity Lockout: Saitama Vs. Superman is a sequel to Goku Vs Sonic?!. That said, the latter was uploaded to a different channel.
  • Continuity Nod: The final bit of Piccolo vs Martian Manhunter shows an opening clip from Saitama vs Superman, as Martian Manhunter was waiting for the latter to arrive.
  • Crossover Alternate Universe: Like Death Battle, every fighter from their own works live in this series' universe.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Metal Sonic vs. Bowser Jr. doesn't even try to hide the fact that both of the titular characters stand no chance against Mecha Sonic. Junior at least put up some semblance of a fight, but Metal gets absolutely trashed even before the actual fight begins.
    • Also, Master Hand vs Polygon Man. Polygon Man tried to put up a fight, but the fight is basically a fist punching a face, so the outcome isn't surprising.
    • Asuna vs. Orie starts off even enough, but when Orie brings in her Thanatos spirit, she very quickly gains control of the fight, with Asuna being forced to spam projectiles just to get a hit in.
    • Cell vs. Meruem is extremely one-sided in favor of Meruem. Try as he might, Cell can only land two hits on Meruem, while the Chimera Ant King disassembles him piece by piece.
    • GOKU vs. SONIC? is the biggest example of this by far. It takes all of two seconds for Goku to defeat Sonic.
    • Zero vs. Meta Knight is likewise extremely one-sided in favour of Zero. Not helped by the fact that Meta Knight's forbidden from using any of his special abilities and techniques beyond his basic swordplay (Despite using his voice and appearance from the Super Smash Bros. series), an unusually-bloodthirsty and psychotic Zero pretty much stomps him throughout. Meta Knight is literally only able to get a few hits in before the Maverick Hunter brutally and gleefully murders him, despite Zero's usual outright refusal to kill living beings.
    • Zig-zagged in Painwheel vs Decapre. When the fight starts, Decapre is relentlessly beating down Painwheel, blow by blow. Come the last twenty seconds of the fight, Painwheel flies into a rage and completely destroys Decapre.
    • Guts vs. Kirito ends on a similar note as Asuna vs. Orie. Once Guts goes into his Berserker Armor, the rest of the fight consists of him absolutely destroying Kirito.
    • Meta Knight vs. Shovel Knight involves the second-biggest example of this after GOKU vs. SONIC?. Although the battle itself is pretty even for the most part, it takes Meta Knight himself all of three seconds to appear and dispatch Dark Meta Knight at the end.
    • Played With in Bill Cipher vs. Sans. Although most of the fight ends up being a huge stomp in Sans' favour thanks to his telekinesis and Gaster Blasters, Bill Cipher still wins by pausing time right at the last second and slapping Sans once — giving the impression that Bill himself was just toying with him.
    • Gaara vs Crocodile: Crocodile manages to consistently No-Sell Gaara's attacks, up until the latter starts attacking physically instead of using only sand, but Gaara is unable to turn the fight around.
    • While for most of Goten vs Boruto, the fighters were about even, when Goten turns Super Saiyan, Boruto gets utterly trounced.
    • When Luffy, Zoro, and Ichigo try to attack Aizen in Aizen vs Madara, Aizen knocks them all out with a single attack.
  • Dedication:
    • The Bowser vs. Eggman fight was dedicated to Super Mario Bros. Z series.
    • Bowser Jr. vs Metal Sonic as well, as it takes place either during or after the above, and has Mecha Sonic show up from out of nowhere to deliver an absolutely brutal beatdown to both combatants.
  • Determinator: Kenpachi Zaraki earns this for having the sheer tenacity and power to go toe-to-toe with the incredibly powerful Akuma three times in a row, and being completely nonchalant about it.
    • Although he loses all three battles against his opponent, Kenpachi's still able to put up a good fight each time, and even came close to killing Akuma in his Oni form in the last confrontation they had before having the Shun Goku Satsu performed on him, so props to the guy for that, at least.
  • Double Knockout: Both Lucario vs. Renamon and Ryu vs. Jin Kazama end with both combatants knocked out at the same time. This later happens again in the extended cut of Little Mac vs. Ippo, after both fighters take a round each. This happens once again in Waddle Dee vs. Goomba to a humorous extent, after Bowser Jr. launches a massive Banzai Bill to attempt to help his team, but ends up wiping both sides out, as does Vergil vs. Sephiroth after the two impale each other with their respective swords in mid-air, before crashing into an erupting volcano.
  • Downer Ending: With Crocodile defeating Gaara by dehydrating his whole body, the Whole Sand Village was doomed and Crocodile's Bomb was set off, presumably killing everyone. Crocodile had some cold last words to Gaara.
    Crocodile: You couldn't save them.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode:
    • One could see the match between Lucario and Renamon as this when it comes to the two Fandom Rivalrys since the fight ended in a draw.
    • Another episode between Samus Aran and Mega Man has Mega Man seemingly fight Samus with the later reveal that its actually SA-X from Metroid Fusion. Mega Man is declared the official winner even though he technically didn't even fight Samus- he was actually fighting the SA-X the whole time. Samus herself actually stepped in to help Mega Man finish the SA-X off, and then left without any hostilities exchanged.
    • Also the case with Link Vs. Sora, since a more accurate title would be Dark Link Vs. Sora. Sora wins, beating the curse out of Link. They then team up to take on Dark Link and his army of Heartless.
    • Yet another case with Bowser Jr. vs Metal Sonic, as Mecha Sonic is the one who defeats/destroys both of them.
    • Ichigo vs. Sasuke ended relatively inconclusively. Ichigo was about to kill Sasuke before being caught in a genjutsu, but Sasuke opted not to take advantage of his incapacitation, leaving both fighters alive. Ichigo was given the win, due to having overwhelmed Sasuke with his bankai and having got the final blow in before the timer ended.
    • Simiarly, the April Fools' Day episode of Goku vs. Sonic ended with both characters defeated: Sonic is knocked unconscious 2 seconds into the fight while Goku, who had defeated Kirby, Godzilla and the Avengers, is killed by Saitama.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Bowser vs. Dr. Eggman, Mewtwo vs. Frieza, Vergil vs. Sephiroth, Bowser Jr. vs. Metal Sonic with Mecha Sonic joining in, Master Hand vs. Polygon Man, Heihachi Mishima vs. Geese Howard, Bowser vs. Mecha Sonic, Cell vs. Meruem, Painwheel vs. Decapre, M. Bison vs. God Rugal and Enderman vs. Slender Man all feature villains fighting against other villains.
  • Exact Words: Bowser Jr. vs Metal Sonic, just not the current or canon one.
    • the title "GOKU VS SONIC?" implies that Goku won't fight Sonic in the episode. Turns out, this isn't because Sonic is KO'd in the first two seconds of the match, but because it was not Goku, but a clone accidentally created by Goku and Gohan during a training session that was shown in the episode.
  • Faking the Dead: We don't see it until the next season, but Dio Brando survived. Quite handily, in fact.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the One Minute Melee for Mega Man versus Samus Aran, Mega Man's scan search reads "UNKNOWN LIFE FORM DETECTED." Even with the physical changes to Samus growing up, she more than likely would've been identified as human or at least partially so. The SA-X, meanwhile...
    • In the melee between Shovel Knight and Meta Knight, Meta Knight is acting very oddly for his normal characterization. Meta Knight is normally stoic and follows a Code of Honor — here, Meta Knight is itching to pick a fight with Shovel Knight, and initiates the fight despite the latter's protests against it. This is your first clue that this is not Meta Knight.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Watching Trunks vs. Silver spoils who wins Vegeta vs. Shadow (the prequel fight), which is why it's labeled as a bonus episode.
  • Forgot About His Powers: As a result of the "No research" clause, many characters do not use the full extent of their abilities and lose fights they might have otherwise won. Word of God is that the versions of the characters used for the battles depend on what sprites are available.
    • Meta Knight for example, got hit particularly hard by this in Meta Knight vs. Zero. He's forbidden from using any of his moves and abilities from both the main Kirby series and Super Smash Bros beyond his basic swordplay, despite him still using the same voice and appearance as from the latter and official sprites definitely being available for at least some of his special moves, such as his Mach Tornado and Dimensional Cape.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Most fights are a duel between two singular characters: Waddle Dee vs. Goomba switches up the formula by having both sides fight as armies.
  • Interface Screw:
    • In Sakuya Izayoi vs. Dio Brando, with one second left on the clock, both combatants stop time, causing the clock to freeze. The fight lasts another full minute.
    • Downplayed version in Bowser Jr vs Metal Sonic; Mecha Sonic interrupts right when the announcer says "Fight!", cutting it off and replacing it with "Here Comes A New Challenger!".
  • Interface Spoiler: Some of the seasons feature a character select screen a la a typical fighting game. Considering how the animators seem to love comparing characters, it's usually not very difficult to guess upcoming fights.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • Kenshiro attacks Jotaro over a misconception, believing Jotaro and Dio Brando were allies. Jotaro doesn't even try to correct it, and just wants to fight.
    • Justified with Captain America vs Guile. Guile is bringing Steve in on a mission against Shadaloo, and wants to test his skills first-hand to ensure that he's up for the job.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the beginning of M. Bison vs. God Rugal, for a brief moment, there is a screen displaying two windows: One of which is some kind of news channel warning viewers about Painwheel's murderous rampage, while the other is Ibuki's Twitter feed. Where she posted a selfie. That was photobombed by Peacock.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Ragna somehow gains abilities he doesn't have in his series in his match against Dante.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Gets a bit of this, as the characters the series portrays come from different franchises.
    • Probably the biggest example of this is Peacock vs BB Hood, Ibuki vs Valentine, and Painwheel vs Decapre. Peacock, Valentine, and Painwheel's hand-drawn animation looks especially jarring when put side-by-side with BB Hood, Ibuki, and Decapre's 16-bit style.
      • Averted in Shantae vs. Filia, where both characters got custom hand-drawn sprites to more closely resemble each other's style, depending on the scene.
  • No-Sell: Downplayed in Jotaro vs Kenshiro. Kenshiro tries to use his famous "You Are Already Dead" Signature Move, and lands enough hits to think he's won. Jotaro ends up coughing blood, but doesn't die.
  • Out of Character: Some of the combatants exhibit behaviour that goes against their canon selves:
    • Samus viciously fighting Mega Man without a good reason to. It's revealed after the fight that it wasn't her, but the SA-X taking on her form. The real Samus shows up afterward to help Mega Man put it down for good.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog intentionally and brutally murdering The Flash for fighting his friends — who are implied to have attacked him first, no less — and saying he deserved it. Fortunately averted in Mario vs. Sonic, where he's portrayed much more accurately as the cocky but well-meaning Jerk with a Heart of Gold he is in canon.
    • Link attacking the heroic Sora, Donald and Goofy without any good reason to. After the fight, it's revealed that he was being possessed by Dark Link, who most certainly would.
    • For a case of this from both combatants in a match, Meta Knight squealing like a little girl (Complete with derpy facial expression) at Zero's Rekkoha despite normally being very calm and collected (Although to be fair, this was likely intentional.), and Zero being outright gleeful at brutally stabbing him through the face and bisecting him vertically when his canon self certainly would not have been — not even taking into account his usual refusal of killing sentient living beings.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Most of the combatants form season 2 and season 5 have already been revealed by the fake Character Select screens.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The reason the animator gave as to why some versions of some characters — like early Shippuden Naruto and Sasuke — were used over others is because sprites of the later, more powerful versions and their abilities aren't readily available or are non-existent, and a lot of time and/or money they don't have would be needed to create brand new custom sprites.
  • Running Time in the Title: As is the case for each fight.
  • Running Gag: People getting lost in the same forest. It all comes to a head in the Season 4 Debut, where Luffy, Zoro, and Ichigo all try to get out of the forest together. And even then, it doesn't stop others form getting lost as well.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Akuma vs Kenpachi ends with Kenpachi being launched into the sky. This continues into Catwoman vs Black Widow.
      • Oni vs Kenpachi ends with Yachiru retrieving a defeated Kenpachi from the wreckage of the fight. This fight continues in Oni vs Kenpachi 3 and ends with Oni performing the Raging Demon on Kenpachi, thus finishing the feud.
    • Dio vs Sakuya ends with Sakuya leaving Dio's bloodied body behind, complete with the famous JoJo To Be Continued sign. This eventually leads to Jotaro vs Kenshiro.
    • Vergil vs Sephiroth ends with a defeated Sephiroth promising Vergil that they'll cross paths once more.
    • Zoro vs Kenshin ends with Sasuke finding Naruto waist-deep into the cliff he was launched into. This leads to Sasuke vs. Ichigo.
    • Peacock vs BB Hood ends with Valentine with a Slasher Smile, readying her needles for... something...
    • Bowser Jr. vs Metal Sonic ends with Bowser and Mecha Sonic facing off, ready for combat.
    • Sasuke vs. Ichigo ends with Sasuke limping away with Naruto after knocking Ichigo out with a genjutsu, all three living to fight again.
    • Goku vs. Sonic ends with Superman stepping up to challenge Saitama.
    • In an inversion, Trunks vs. Silver ends with the Sonic hedgehogs being beaten by Goku, Vegeta and Trunks. Vegeta and Shadow's fight was later released as a bonus episode.
    • A downplayed example: The ending of Waddle Dee vs. Goomba features Bowser and king Dedede playing tennis, but is presented as a sequel hook.
    • M. Bison vs. God Rugal ends with an ominous preview of Cyber Akuma.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • After going through Hell just so he can have his lunch, Goku gets pwned by Saitama in GOKU VS SONIC?
    • Scott Pilgrim beat up Viewtiful Joe in order to get the last tickets to the movie, only to find out that the tickets got sold out when they were fighting.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Trunks wins his fight, only to show up in the next episode skewered on his own sword thanks to Cell.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some of the moves in Link's battle with Sora are similar to the ones in his battle with Pit in Palutena's Super Smash Bros. trailer.
    • In the joke Ben vs. Craig battle, right after the person at the beginning of the short watches the conclusion of Goku vs. Superman, one of their portraits (aside from a Dragon Ball Z one) is an anthro Pinkie Pie with an ice cream cone.
    • The finishing blow in Round One of "Little Mac vs. Ippo Makunouchi" is reminiscent of Glass Joe's KO scenes from Punch-Out!! for the Wii, even using the same sound effect. Likewise, the way Ippo punched Mac into the ropes and tied him up in them about halfway through is reminiscent of how his opponent knocked out Aran Ryan in the same game.
    • The opening to "Captain America vs. Guile" has Guile entering the scene like it's a level of Metal Gear Solid V.
    • In Shovel Knight vs Meta Knight, the shovel blade planted into a pile of burning skulls brings to mind strong Dark Souls imagery.
    • Scott seems to have taken moves from more than just video games in his episode.
  • Take That!: The title of Saitama vs. Superman's theme is No Limit Fallacy, which is a jab at the Hyper Gauge animators' former employers and their infamous analysis of Superman.
    • In Bill Cipher vs. Sans, Bill remarks that Sans is overrated and that the vocal fandom of Undertale in particular is having a profoundly negative effect on the game's appeal. Though at least part of it may have been out of irritation at the Annoying Dog flattening him with the Hat of Discipline to stop him from killing Sans.
    Bill Cipher: Eh, he was overrated, anyway. Hope their franchise bombs or whatever — think the fandom has that covered, already.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Bowser vs. Eggman is this to the Mario fanbase to some extent, since that franchise's characters always lost to Sonic Characters in DEATH BATTLE! until Donkey Kong vs. Knuckles.
    • On a more meta level, the fight is a tribute to Alvin-Earthworm and the fans of Super Mario Bros. Z, which was still canceled at the time. What fan of that series didn't want to pretend it was still a thing, if only for 60 seconds?
    • And an even bigger homage to Super Mario Bros. Z ? Bowser Jr. Vs. Metal Sonic, the sequel of sorts to Bowser Vs. Eggman, has Mecha Sonic show up, DECIMATE Metal, and fight Junior in his place. Yes, an actual SMBZ character fighting on the show. It's as much of a love letter as it sounds.
  • Twist Ending
    • Ichigo vs. Sasuke ends with Ichigo cutting Sasuke down... only for Sasuke to knock Ichigo out using a genjutsu with his Sharingan at the last second.
    • Goku vs. Sonic ends with Saitama killing Goku and being subsequently challenged by Superman.
    • After Meta Knight's victory in Meta Knight vs. Shovel Knight, the real Meta Knight appears to dispatch the first one in about three seconds — revealing him to be the evil impostor Dark Meta Knight, and in turn explaining why he attacked a fellow hero first and then tried to kill Shovel Knight afterward when normally, he would not.
  • Updated Re-release: Following One Minute Melee departing from Death Battle, the Little Mac vs Makunouchi Ippo Season 2 finale was re-released with some extra polish on it, turning the original one-fight battle into a three-parter and adding some voiced cutscenes in between.
  • Worthy Opponent: The winner of "Jotaro vs. Kenshiro" felt this way against the loser.
    • Guile vs. Captain America and Paul vs. Ken also end with the combatants showing their respect for one another.
    • In Killua vs. Hiei, this was the only reason Hiei didn't oughtright kill his opponent.
  • Wham Shot: For anyone who watched Super Mario Bros. Z, there's one at the beginning of Bowser Jr. vs Metal Sonic, when Mecha Sonic shows up from completely out of nowhere and effortlessly destroys Metal Sonic. Fans of SMBZ knew in that moment that poor Bowser Jr. was screwed before the real fight even began.
    Announcer: Here comes a new challenger!
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Kim Kaphwan vs. Juri Han; albeit in Kim's case, it's in self-defense.
    • Mega Man vs. Samus Aran.
    • Sakuya Izayoi vs. Dio Brando.
    • Alice Margatroid vs. Sasori.
    • Samson, Filia's hair-parasite definitely counts in Shantae vs. Filia.
    • Mob vs. Tatsumaki; although the latter started it.
    • Ruby Rose vs. Spider-Man; Frank West decides to try to make a buck off of that.