"This is my victory pose!"
—Raven, Tales of Vesperia
It is human nature to celebrate when a victory is achieved. And so it is with video game characters.
At the end of a battle, the victorious character or characters will almost always perform an action to celebrate their success. It may be small (Ryu in Street Fighter thrusting an arm up) or elaborate (Chun Li in the same game jumping for joy and shouting "YATTA!") depending on the character or the circumstance. Stab the Sky is often a victory pose.
Every Fighting Game and Role-Playing Game since the earliest days of video gaming has done this to some extent. The poses grew more elaborate as technology advanced, to the point where you may actually see a full-on Happy Dance.
A common form of the Role-Playing Game version is when, after the battle is done, the camera rotates around to the heroes, who put their weapons away with a flourish and / or a pithy Victory Quote. For extra badass, it may be done Atop a Mountain of Corpses. Sword-wielding heroes may also Swipe The Blade Off.
Video Game Examples
- In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, every time you grab one of the level's stars, Mario spins around, throws up the V-hand-sign, and says "Here we go!".
- He has slightly different victory poses in later games. In Sunshine he catches the Shine Sprite and holds it toward the screen after collecting it. In Galaxy, his victory pose is identical to Sunshine's, with the added bonus of Antigravity.
- Galaxy actually has two, depending on whether it was a regular Star or a Grand Star you just collected.
- The sequel ups it to four, depending on whether or not you were riding Yoshi at the time you collected the Star/Grand Star.
- Eight if you count Luigi's poses.
- In Super Mario World, normal levels have Mario march to the right as the Course Clear message appears, then do the V-sign as the screen iris-in's around him. You can die while he's doing this.
- Mario or Luigi would do a V-sign at the end of a level in All-Stars.
- Hilariously parodied in Super Mario RPG. Just as Mario does his victory pose after getting the Masher, the hammer falls on his head!
- And again late in the game when one of the Seven Stars is intercepted mid-victory animation by a boss.
- Similar to Mario's V-hand-sign, Wario (particularly in recent games with him as the protagonist) performs a W-hand-sign when he does something particularly awesome.
- Luigi's poses—even more than Mario's -- are hammy, especially when Luigi does a Happy Dance.
- At the end of the Prime games, Metroid's Samus Aran tends to raise her Arm Cannon above her head like the victor of a wrestling match would raise his/her arm (putting her free hand on her hip is optional).
- Final Fantasy games have had these since the sprite days. Back then, the heroes would merely pump their fists, looking like they were running in place. As the technology progressed, the characters' poses gained variety, detail, and even sound, and in Final Fantasy XII, each character has a multitude of victory poses available after boss fights, depending on the type of weapon used or some little thing the character does independent of weapon.
- Final Fantasy II has a variation: The characters dance twice, then walk off the screen.
- Final Fantasy IV is the first game in the series to give some characters different pose animations (most noticeable with Cid.)
- Lampshade Hanging: In Final Fantasy VII, while passing as a soldier, Cloud is commanded by a superior officer to come up with a special salute for the President. He offers his Victory Pose. It's particularly funny as the guards he's with instantly declare it the coolest thing ever and spend the rest of the game practising it in the locker room. Once you reach the Submarine mission in the Underwater Mako Reactor, you meet them again and get a bit of dialogue and see them practice
theirCloud's victory pose for the last time. Now you got two choices: Take them as "hostage" and let them live, or fight them to the death while Rufus' March is playing on the background, complete with in-battle dialogue. An odd mix of comedy and making the player appear a Complete Monster.
- Interestingly, in Final Fantasy IX certain characters will stop doing their victory pose between certain plot points, usually when something is upsetting them.
- Final Fantasy X: when Lulu finishes off the last enemy, the camera may focus on her, and unlike Tifa, physics really come into play with her. The pose itself? She leans forward. Needless to say, her outfit is low-cut enough that plenty becomes readily visible. Finish any battle with the party on Haste in Final Fantasy X and you get to see their poses done in hyper speed. Just look at Wakka's...Ahh, yes. Wakka's air humping.
- Planescape: Torment subverts this in a hilarious manner: one of the items the player can summon with an in-game cheat (the "Tome O'Cheats") is the "Sword of Whynn" - an extreme version of the Sword of Plot Advancement, that, when held up in an appropriately pathetic victory pose, allows the player to instantly win the game. And all this is actually explained to the Nameless One by an NPC, no less.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, if the player puts away the sword immediately after killing an enemy, Link will spin it around and sheathe it in a classy, Badass way. He also does this in a Cutscene after each Boss Battle - this is lampshaded slightly in one case where he does this then realises that the boss is Not Quite Dead after all. This particular pose also returns as one of Link's taunts in Super Smash Bros Brawl and can also be performed right before the end of a match.
- There is also a scene where Link participates in a joust on horseback, in which he must force his opponent to fall off of a bridge. When he wins the joust, there is a Victory Pose of Link and his horse Epona on the bridge; Link stares down after his fallen adversary while Epona rears up on her hind legs.
- The movie version of Street Fighter included a closing scene wherein all the "good" characters were celebrating the destruction of the Big Bad's hideout—the freezeframe at the end catches them all in their Victory Poses, which, as it turns out, is not as awesome in live action.
- In Kingdom Hearts, each victory at the Colosseum is celebrated with a shot of one of the characters doing one of three victory poses. Sora's victory poses echo those of Cloud, Squall, and Zidane.
- Also, in the sequel, in boss battles and other important fights, the camera gives a slo-mo close-up of the character who lands the final blow. Not quite a Victory Pose, but similar.
- A similar thing occurs in Dissidia Final Fantasy upon the final blow, which is then followed by a more traditional victory pose by the winner.
- 358/2 Days manages to give every playable character a victory pose upon winning a round in the Colosseum.
- Ditto for Birth by Sleep and the Mirage Arena.
- Also, in the sequel, in boss battles and other important fights, the camera gives a slo-mo close-up of the character who lands the final blow. Not quite a Victory Pose, but similar.
- The King of Fighters has a ton of these, naturally. There are ones that are always with certain characters from game to game, and even character-vs-character specific ones. Orochi Iori's is just him howling, and Shingo just collapses, exhausted and amazed that he won.
- Manabi and friends do a Victory Pose for the sake of doing one in Manabi Straight!.
- Jak and Daxter strike a victory pose whenever they acquire a power cell in Jak and Daxter The Precursor Legacy.
- At one point in Ratchet and Clank, another Sony second party game, the titular characters do the same dance as a nod/in-joke.
- A rather unusual example: Zappa in Guilty Gear is possessed by spirits, and as such is Not Himself during battle. His "victory pose" is the spirits letting go of him, at which point he passes out.
- Skies of Arcadia generally has at least three Victory Poses for each of its playable characters, including a 'weary' victory pose if they win with low HP.
- Also there are set victory poses in the game where Vyse, Aika, and later Fina all get together, do a lot of hand slapping and then all point and smile for the camera when they find a Plot Coupon. Funny as you've normally got four characters, leaving the fourth person in the background; poor Enrique looks like he wants to be part of it!
- Ash in Pokémon invokes a Zelda-ish, spinning Victory Pose pose after receiving gym badges. There's also a relatively long music sting (relative, because most of the leitmotifs in the games are four or five notes - this one's a classic victory horns that takes about six times as long).
- In the Pokémon Ranger games, every Ranger has his or her special pose. In fact, one of the things you learn in Ranger school is to develop your own pose for yourself.
- In Modern Warfare 3, the first thing Priece does after killing Markarov is to sit up, pull out a cigar, and light it.
- For an RTS example, Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 and later games have all of your troops start cheering after you get the "Mission Accomplished" screen.
- Previous games of the series had victory/defeat cutscenes. If you won, the logo of your faction kicks the ass of the logo of the other faction, for instance. If you lost, it was the other way around. This is a lot cooler (and more depressing if you lost) than it sounds.
- In Tiberium Wars, whenever infantry units win a battle, they will begin cheering and jumping up and down. The Forgotten mercenaries will even fire their miniguns into the air.
- Similiarly, all of your troops start their unique cheers when victory is achieved in the Myth series of RTT games.
- Another RTS example: Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth had your troops cheering after every successful minor skirmish. That is to say, if you send one squad of cavalry to run down one squad of orcs, they will stop and cheer once the orcs are dead. Every. Time. Well, at least morale is good. They will also cheer if a hero is present and nearby. Which makes sense for, say, Aragorn or Theoden, but the Hobbits?
- Krystal and Fox in Star Fox Adventures strike a pose when they acquire a Krazoa Spirit, and Fox strikes one when he releases a spirit. Oddly, he does not strike a pose upon defeating a boss.
- Mega Man X: X pumps his fist in the air, Zero just gives a thumbs-up, which he stops doing after X5. In later installments, Axl does X's fist pump and a backflip.
- Capcom has actually put the fist pump in every series since Mega Man X, except for Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX.
- While the original Mega Man game just froze the Blue Bomber in place (and, depending on where you touched it, in midair) once you grabbed the end-of-level orb, in the Video Game Remake Mega Man Powered Up your character jumps into the air and assumes a victory pose.
- In sequels, Mega Man just freezes in places while the victory music plays, so most players have him jump up into the air and take an impressive-looking pose.
- The Tales (series) is very fond of this in general. Later games in the series have refined this to giving specific teams of active characters their own post-battle combination taunts, who are near Easter Egg in rarity and take creative party combinations—and a lot of patience—to discover.
- Note that in most of the Tales (series), the end-of-battle voice clip goes to the person who scored the final killing hit, mostly to prevent those sorts of collisions. And the clips vary from the standard Hot-Blooded male lead ("Piece of cake!", "It's not over yet!") to characters like... well, Mint from Tales of Phantasia ("Forgive me, please...").'
- Tales of Hearts adds new layers to the context-sensitive Victory Quote. Examples: If Kunzite is ever poisoned or cursed, Hisui will ask him exactly how that happens to a Mechanoid. With a certain party in the icy north, Shing gets cold, and his love interest Kohak offers to hold his hands to keep him warm - flustering Shing and angering her brother Hisui. Specifically, the game has seventy-four different victory skits for different parties, places, situations, enemy types and bosses, and your combat efficiency, not including the normal individual "we won!" lines.
- Tales of Vesperia has this as well.
- It's taken another step forward in Tales of Graces. In that game, solo victory quotes are said with all the fighting party members out. However, all of the group victory quotes have different characters, different poses (and moving around as if it was a cutscene), and many have different camera angles (which can change depending on what happens). An example:
- In One Must Fall, the competitors didn't have individual celebrations—but the robots did. The Jaguar, the Ryu/Ken of the game, raised an arm; the Flail gave a thumbs up and mimicked the motion with one of its chains; the Pyros fired its jets and floated majestically over its fallen opponent; the boss robot let out a big belly laugh (yes, a robot having a belly laugh), and so on. It was also explained as their turning to the camera and mugging for the crowd—the game would cut to a newscast (using black and white screen caps due to color limitations) describing your victory.
- In the Naruto Clash of Ninja (Gekitou Ninja Taisen) games, each character has a collection of victory poses and lines they use after fights (some are opponent specific). However not all of them are 'dramatic', Choji falls over with an upset stomach in some of his, when Lee loses to Tenten sometimes Tenten will be seen shaking Lee by the collar to see if he's okay, Guy vs. Lee ends with a hug if Lee wins. Shikamaru looks bored. Naturally, the characters that are more badass (Sasuke, Naruto, Kakashi, etc) do proper victory poses.
- The Super Smash Bros.: in versus, the victor will be shown doing a victory pose (sometimes awesome, sometimes humorous) while the losers (with some exceptions) clap politely.
- In Psychonauts, Raz has a unique victory dance that consists of him "walking like an Egyptian" while "singing" a strange victory song. It's hard to describe, but hilarious. (He apparently stole the dance from a bully. In fact the first time he uses it was when he knocks the bully off from a grind rail.)
- Characters in City of Heroes and City of Villains have access to the Victory and Winner emotes. There is also the You Bow Down emote to use against defeated heroes while playing a villain.
- The animations for different Stalker Assassin Strike powers all end with a sort of victory pose that the character will hold until the player decides to move or attack again.
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is the only Fire Emblem title to have victory poses. When an allied unit kills their target in a round of combat, they do a brief tauntlike triumphant flourish, either with their weapon or with their arms depending on their class, in the background as their EXP increases and they gain a level.
- Whenever Kirby completes a stage, he does a rather extravagant victory dance which ends with him splitting into at least three Kirbies.
- This is referenced in the anime, when a group of Waddle Dees do the shortened dance to thank Kirby at the end of one episode, music and all.
- Diddy Kong from Donkey Kong Country 2 breaks out into a sick freestyle when he completes a level...
- And Dixie goes APEsh... well, let's just say she gives a mean guitar solo when it's her that completes the level.
- All 5 playable kongs also have a shorter animation in Donkey Kong 64 after getting a banana.
- Soul Blade and Soul Calibur had two to three victory poses for each character, with about seven lines for each stance. Some of the poses depends on how much health the character has. For example - Kilik has one in which he stands and just slams the end of his staff down, another (usually a "Perfect") in which he displays some of his skills, and a third when he's nearly dead where he falls to his knees, using his weapon to steady himself. Usually the win poses give insight to a character's personality.
- Soul Calibur IV introduces the Critical Finish, an ability that scores a one-hit KO if used. Winning the match by using one will prompt a unique victory pose.
- Lost Odyssey ends each successful battle with a pan over the party members, ending on the one who dealt the final blow, as they perform their various Victory Poses. The poses are mostly fairly standard, but Tolten's "victory pose" is an emphatic relieved sigh.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic and Knuckles have your chosen character (or characters, if you play as Sonic and Tails together) adopt a victory pose once Dr. Robotnik/Eggman (or the Robo-Robotnik/Eggrobo, for Knuckles) is defeated and the animal pod is opened - or, with Act 1 bosses, just after they're defeated. This is probably a result of these games having areas more 'linked' than in previous installments - Act 2 follows straight after Act 1 (as opposed to have the screen 'black out' between Acts) and there's usually a cut-scene to show the character moving from Zone to Zone, which probably requires that the character is in a certain spot to trigger it.
- Most of the 3D games  do this as well. Those usually have victory poses for playable characters, including what appears to be a seemingly failed victory pose by Team Chaotix in Sonic Heroes. Basically, Charmy hits Vector while spinning, then Espio trips him. He and Charmy pose while Vector sits up.
- In Sonic Unleashed, depending on what rank you receive at the end of the act, Sonic (whether as Hedgehog or Werehog) will use a different pose to celebrate his victory. This is also done in Generations, and again, both Sonics have multiple victory poses depending on your rank.
- Heroes of Might and Magic also has victory poses, the most recent iteration also has one for the units. They are played everytime an enemy stack is defeated.
- A few units in Warcraft III have a victory pose animation, but it's only used in cutscenes.
- Valkyrie Profile (original and Silmeria) features one victory pose per character, but also one out of four or five victory quotes.
- In Okami, Amaterasu usually does a victory howl whenever you defeat a boss. She doesn't do one after defeating Crimson Helm, due to being in a hurry, and in the fight against Yami, she stops mid howl as soon as she realizes that Issun shouldn't be standing on her nose right now.
- While playing a MMORPG in the Lucky Star OAV, Konata suggested to the rest of her party members that they should create a Victory Pose for themselves. Naturally, Konata chose to recreate the finishing pose of Suzumiya Haruhi's Hare Hare Yukai.
- In Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, upon receiving an emblem, Billy will spin around on one foot, before holding out a thumbs-up and yelling "Good Morning!".
- In Wild ARMs 2, Lilka celebrates solving her Millennium puzzle by throwing up the V-sign.
- Tomica Hero Rescue Force has Kyosuke and Hikaru deciding that they need a new victory pose because their new Combining Mecha is just that awesome.
- There's even an episode where they spend their free-time trying to synchronize their Victory Pose's
- In Metal Gear Solid, Snake will punch the air upon completing a VR mission. After completing the final mission in a bracket, he'll jump up and punch the air enthusiastically, yelling "yeah!" He does the same pose in all the later games (with minor variations, like putting his other hand on his hip in Metal Gear Solid 2), and his father does the same in Metal Gear Solid 3 after completing a Duel. In Brawl, he sneaks it in after scoring a successful hit with the NIKITA.
- In Rome: Total War, your units will have a brief celebration if they manage to completely annihilate an enemy unit. Note that the game is wise enough to ensure that they don't do this if there are other enemy units close enough to pose a serious threat.
- In Populous: The Beginning, your units form a conga line upon victory.
- Every character does this when he/she makes a touchdown in Backyard Football.
- Every character in Chrono Trigger has their own Victory Pose: Frog polishes his biceps, Marle leaps in the air, etc.
- In Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3/MUSIC FIT, during one-player mode, at the end of a song when your score is being tallied, your character will wait for the results of their score. It's even different depending on gender!
- The best score, AAA, the character is obviously very triumphant. The girls gesture to the audience around them, then throw their arms out proudly; the guys do an "ooh yes yes yes" pose before punching the sky.
- AA, they're not as triumphant, but they're certainly proud. The girls blow kisses and wave to the audience; the guys spin on the spot, then fist-bump the screen with both hands.
- A-B, it's "oh I got a good enough score" type of pose. The girls do a happy sort of jig before waving to the audience again; the guys glance around in surprise, then hurriedly fist-bump the screen again, only with one fist.
- On C-D, the girls act surprised that the audience is giving them polite applause and wave politely back; while the guys flair their arms for a second or two before calming down to smile at the audience.
- On the failure score, E, their defeat poses are even complete with gloomy lighting and rain! The girls clutch at their head for a second before falling to their knees in despair; the guys do a "this can't be" kind of despaired shrug, before waving an arm dismissively at the audience and turning around, slouching sadly.
- Many sports games exhibit this trope:
- Madden NFL: Various incarnations of the Madden and NCAA (American) football series have featured automatic and/or player-controlled celebration poses/dances upon scoring touchdowns. At times, these could lead to "excessive celebration" penalties.
- EA's FIFA series has a very deep selection of celebrations when a player scores a goal. Some of them require more controller dexterity than the goal itself. Also, goalies sometimes show a short fist-pumping animation upon making a save.
- Sony's MLB: The Show series has short cut scenes when a batter hits a "no-doubter" home run. The shot is framed so that the batter, the pitcher, and the rapidly escaping ball are all visible. The batter admires his handiwork and casually flips his bat away before trotting off to complete his circuit, while the pitcher either stands with his hands on his hips or lowers his head in shame.
- Inverted in Team Fortress 2: The team that lost is forced into poses that look sufficiently frightened and/or annoyed with the loss and are unable to do anything except taunt. The winners do not enter any pose, but instead retain control of their weapons, have unlimited crits, and are encouraged to continue attacking the losers.
- Virtual On has a number of victory poses for each robot, and possibly one each for a perfect victory.
- At the end of Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide, when the Big Bad is defeated, the player character does a little sky-punching animation.
- There's also the "Cheer" emote that you can activate at will and depending on your selected class your character will perform one of three animations: Fighter classes get the dramatic and hammy striking of a pose while lifting their weapon in the air (unless holding a two-handed weapon,) support classes like Rogues and Rangers get the fist pump, and casters hold their arms out in a manner similar to pro-wrestler Raven's pose.
- RPG World, of course, spoofed this. Hero throws his fist in the air, Eikre folds his arms all cool-like, Diane bends over and makes the victory sign with her hands, and Cherry raises one finger while looking annoyed and bored.
- Akinator: Akinator, upon guessing your riddle succesfully, will celebrate by smiling beamishly with closed eyes and pointing both thumbs towards himself.
- Whoever lands the killing blow in Persona 3 and Persona 4 will pull a victory pose. In 3, if the final blow was an All-Out Attack, the game treats it as the main character landing the kill; in 4, the party will instead perform a Team Shot of their victory poses.
- The Tank from Left 4 Dead, a super muscular zombie, will raise its fists in the air and slam them down to the ground if it manages to incapacitate or kill all the survivors.
- Every playable pilot in Front Mission 3 has a unique pose when he/she destroys an enemy unit. Doubly awesome because it's the mecha they are piloting does the pose. Miho salutes, Ryogo gives a thumbs-down, Kazuki points skyward, Liu crosses his arms, and so on.
- Daemon Bride is one of the few fighting games to avert this trope at all.
Non-Video Game Examples
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Judai/Jaden has a Victory Pose on winning a duel—he extends his middle and index fingers and gives a quick salute, saying, "Gotcha!" (or "That's game" in the English).
- During the Legendary Heroes arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the heroes overcome a powerful enemy in the virtual world they're exploring. There's then a cut to the villains monitoring their progress via a viewscreen... which shows the heroes as 16-bit sprites doing a "jump up and down" Victory Pose. One of the stingers in Yu-Gi-Oh The Abriged Series set that clip to the victory music from Final Fantasy VI.
- In Cardcaptor Sakura, Meta Guy Tomoyo insists that Sakura come up with a pose because every Magical Girl has one.
- In the James Bond movie GoldenEye, Boris the Russian computer specialist does this when he cracks a system or performs another feat of coding mastery. 'I am inwincible!' are his final words, uttered while in this pose, just before a tank of liquid nitrogen exploded and froze him solid still in his pose.
- Some Power Rangers and Super Sentai series get a synchronized post-finishing procedure (to go with the morph pose and the roll call pose), though it's far from all. However, turning around and looking cool as the Monster of the Week goes boom in the background is a time-honored tradition. (Like all of 'em, it's subject to Lampshade Hanging. Once in Power Rangers Dino Thunder, the team does this... but the monster survives and blasts the Rangers from behind. In Power Rangers Samurai, a monster-hosted Clip Show had more than one bad guy complain about the Rangers adding insult to injury with the turn-and-pose.)