The Death Battle Curse is an in-joke within the Death Battle community, furthered by the cast and crew of Death Battle themselves, surrounding the release of Death Battles and the media surrounding them.


How the "Curse" works is, whenever a Death Battle is in production, announced, or released, the "Curse" will cause one or more of the combatants/series featured in the episode to receive an unexpected announcement or release of new media, often times in ways that would add new arguments and change how fights end up, making the episode's verdict quickly outdated. However, despite the Curse originally being about new media making new episodes inaccurate, the media does not necessarily have to have any impact on the research or result of the fight; so long as the media features one of the series/combatants and is sometime around the Death Battle's announcement/release or during the production of the episode, it counts as the Curse.

However, there are instances where the crew purposefully plans the releases of episodes to coincide with already known release dates so that more people will potentially watch the episode (e.g., Captain Marvel VS Shazam releasing in-between the releases of the combatants' respective movies). These instances cannot be counted as part of the Death Battle Curse.

The creator of the show, Ben Singer, believes the very first instance of the curse to have occurred before its first episode even released; the day prior to its release date of December 6th, 2010, YouTuber Noah Antwiler released a video called "The Deadliest Character", which was similar to Death Battle in concept.[1]

Examples of the Curse

  • Goku VS Superman 1: A few weeks before the episode released, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was announced, the first modern Dragon Ball movie in over a decade that also gave Goku a new form and power.

  • Ryu Hayabusa VS Strider Hiryu: A couple weeks before the episode released, an announcement trailer for a new Strider game dropped.
  • Gaara VS Toph: A few months after the episode's release, a new Naruto novel called Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage centered around Gaara was released, revealing several new abilities for him that counter all the points made for Toph winning the episode.
  • Goku VS Superman 2: Around the time the episode was released, Dragon Ball Super was announced.
  • Ivy VS Orchid: A few days before the episode's release, Double Helix showed a sneak peak for Orchid in Killer Instinct (2013).

  • Dante VS Bayonetta: Initially, Dante was going to be the character revealed for this episode during the Pokémon VS Digimon live event, but this was changed directly thanks to Bayonetta being revealed to join Super Smash Bros For 3DS and Wii U prior to said event.

  • Scrooge McDuck VS Shovel Knight: The day after the episode's release, a trailer for Ducktales (2017) dropped.
  • Sub-Zero VS Glacius:
    • Two days after the episode was announced, Sub-Zero was announced as a guest character for Injustice 2.
    • Around the time of the episode's release, it was announced that Glacius would recieve an Ultimate pack alongside four other characters in the third Ultimate pack for Killer Instinct.

  • Crash VS Spyro: The Spyro Reignited Trilogy was announced/leaked a week before the battle had been released.
  • Roshi VS Jiraiya: During the production of the episode, Roshi fought against Jiren in the Dragon Ball Super manga, requiring it to be added into the analyses.
  • Thanos VS Darkseid: The first official trailer of Avengers: Endgame premiered prior to the release of this episode.

  • Cable VS Booster Gold: A few days before the episode's release, Cable became a playable character in Fortnite as a part of the X-Force.
  • Zuko VS Shoto Todoroki: During production of the episode, and 2 months before its reveal, Zuko and other Avatar characters were announced as skins in Smite.

  • Yoda VS King Mickey: During the wait for this episode's release, the mobile game Kingdom Hearts Union X was confirmed to have its final chapter finished and releasing soon.
  • Korra VS Storm:
    • Around the time of the battle being announced, X-Men '97, a continuation of the 1992 cartoon, was announced by Marvel.
    • On the week the episode released, a new The Legend of Korra story, Patterns in Time, was revealed and announced for 2022.
  • Madara VS Aizen:
    • A few weeks before the episode aired, Naruto, Sasuke, and others from Madara's home series were added to Fortnite.
    • A few weeks after the episode's release, a trailer for the Bleach anime's Thousand Year Blood Arc was released at Jump Festa.

  • James Bond VS John Wick: A week after the battle released on YouTube, Rare/Microsoft announced that GoldenEye 64 would be getting a 4K rerelease on Game Pass, and Nintendo announced that the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack would also recieve the game.
  • Black Adam VS Apocalypse: Black Adam was announced for MultiVersus during production, most likely to also coincide with the release of the Black Adam movie.
  • Trunks VS Silver:
    • A few days before the episode was revealed, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 got an update in collaboration with Dragon Ball: The Breakers, which introduced Oolong as an NPC to the game. Oolong would then make a cameo during the fight, where he was summoned by Trunks alongside GT Goku and Pan.
    • The day after the episode was revealed, a new trailer for Sonic Prime was released.
  • Jason Voorhees VS Michael Myers: Just two hours after the episode released on YouTube, Peacock announced/ordered a straight-to-series prequel to Friday the 13th called Crystal Lake as of the time of the announcement.
  • Sauron VS Lich King: The day after the episode was revealed, Hearthstone announced its next expansion titled March of the Lich King, featuring the Lich King's return to the game and a new Death Knight class.
  • Deku VS Asta:
  • Gogeta VS Vegito: A few days after the episode was revealed, a new trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Card Game Digital Version was released.

  • Killua VS Misaka: Over a week after the battle released on YouTube, it was announced that Hunter × Hunter's [ Kurapika's Memories one-shot would be digitally released] on July 4th, 2023.
  • Phoenix VS Raven: On July 26th, 2023, a mere four days before the episode released on Rooster Teeth, Jean Grey died for the 16th time during X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023. This was acknowledged and edited into the episode when it released, right after they already scripted a joke about how she'd probably die again sometime after they recorded it.
  • Bill Cipher VS Discord: A week after the episode released on YouTube, Magic: The Gathering announced Magic: The Galloping 2, their second collaboration with My Little Pony, as part of the Extra Life fundraiser.
  • Frieza VS Megatron: Four days after the episode's release, a trailer for a new Dragon Ball anime called Dragon Ball Daima was released.
  • Gojo VS Makima: During the production of this episode, Gojo fought Sukuna in the Jujutsu Kaisen manga and was ultimately killed, with their then-ongoing fight causing the episode's script to be altered five times to include new information, including multiple jokes about Gojo's death.
  • Rick Sanchez VS The Doctor:
  • Goku VS Superman (2023): A few days after the episode's release, the new Dragon Ball fighting game Dragon Ball: Sparking! ZERO was announced at the Game Awards.

  • Wile E. Coyote VS Tom Cat: In an early instance of the Curse striking, during Week 9 of the Tournament of Champions (where the matchup was one of the four options available to vote on), the upcoming film Coyote vs. Acme starring Wile E. Coyote as one of the main leads was announced to have been shelved by Warner Bros. Discovery for a $30 million tax write-off, though the decision was reversed a few days later due to public backlash. However, in 2024, it would be announced that Warner Bros. were intending on shelving the film once again. In spite of this, as of April 12th, 2024, it has yet to be written off and is still available for acquisition.[2]

  • Trivia

    • This page was demanded by one Chad James, during the 296th episode of DEATH BATTLE Cast.[3] As the voice of Boomstick and co-father of Death Battle, we had no other option but to comply.
    • Season 6 is the only season so far where the Death Battle Curse didn't strike.
    • Season 9 and Season 10 are tied with having the most instances of the Death Battle Curse striking so far, happening in a total of nine times across seven episodes in each season.