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What is Grudge Match?
What is Grudge Match?

The Scenario

Guantanamo Bay military base, Cuba. The last line of defence against the Godless Communists awaits its new commander. Stepping off the plane and onto the last patch of free Cuban soil are the highly polished army boots of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. He is immediately troubled by the condition in which he finds the base: confetti everywhere, the odd bra hanging from the odd overturned jeep, a passed-out mariachi band sleeping it off in the middle of the drill square. "Enraged" is a quaint word which bears only a passing acquaintance with what Gunnery Sergeant Harman feels at this very moment.

"Who did this?" he bellows to no one in particular. "Who the f*** did this? Who's the slimy little communist sh**, twinkle-toed c***sucker down here who just signed his own death warrant?"

A figure stirs from underneath a tipped-over latrine. "Ooh. I wish I hadn't drunk all that cough syrup this morning," he says to himself. "Yo, Cisco!" he yells to Gunny. "Over here."

Hartman approaches PFC John Winger. "Get the f*** out from under that latrine. Now! Move it! I'm going to rip your b**** off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world. Now answer me this - where is your drill sergeant, scumbag?"

Winger lights up a cigarette. "Blown up, sir." He notices Dewey Oxberger wildly driving an oxcart in the general direction of the DMZ. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna catch the next bus into town. Me and Zisky got dates with a couple of chicas. Sayonara, my friend. (sotto voce) That's Spanish for goodbye."

So, Steve signify the survivor of this showdown... HAIKU STYLE! Yes, that's right, it's time for HAIKU GRUDGE MATCH!

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, Full Metal Jacket John Winger, Stripes

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman vs. John Winger

The Commentary


Winger wins for sure
There are so many reasons
No doubt in my mind

A Protagonist
(There may be a bumpy road)
Winger will succeed

Winger is clever
Leadership, skill, charisma
Not a Pauly Shore

Hartman shouts loudly
Underneath he is spineless
Shot by a psycho

"Major Malfunction"
Pudgy wimp of a private
Blows Hartman away

Winger beats Hulka
Hulka tougher than Hartman
Winger beats Hartman

A soft wind whispers
Freighted with the sea's remorse...
You're full of crap, Steve

Gunny made Joker
A Lean Mean Killing Machine
And the fat load, too

Full Metal Jacket's
Pyle was fatter, Kill-i-er,
than "mudwrestler" Ox

That's Gunny's M.O.
Shaping softness into steel
Just like your mom, Steve
(Obligatory deprecatory haiku mother reference
viz. 8 Mile)

Winger is cool, true
But why did he voice Garfield?
Crack in the armor?

Hartman wins this one
Molds troops, who invade Cuba
Then on to Iraq

This format is tough!
Iambic pentameter
has more room for jokes

Clash of rock and sea
Blood vessel about to burst

...I can't do it any longer! Your points are so faulty and ludicrous, that I must break back into prose 'ere I explode.

First, for the record, let me state that anyone who comes up with the word "Kill-i-er" does not deserve to win any match.

Second, let's look carefully at Winger's accomplishments and see if you can seriously think that Hartman has any chance: He single-handedly organized his platoon. He slept with a hot MP (and used kitchen utensils to boot). He stole the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle. He used this RV to defeat half of the East German army. He escaped unscathed. And he had the class to rescue Sgt. Hulka in the process. He's capable, commanding, and charismatic. You can't stop a character like that. Contrast this to Hartman, whom everyone hated to death. He's just a tough mean ol' bastard. No cunning, nothing going for him other than a real loud intimidating voice. Hardly a match, don't you think?

JOHN: I don't completely blame you, Steve, for not being able to finish the match in Haiku. Frankly, the blame must be liberally shared with our civil and religious institutions, particularly the ones charged with educating you and ensuring that your soul made it through adolescence intact. In any event, it was the Czech army that Stripes avoided, not the Germans, which as Winger noted was about as challenging as driving into Wisconsin. And I'm not sure how you can allege that the Stripes brass beats the FMJ brass. D.A. Dan > Hartman? Yeah, I don't think so.

Clearly, Hartman is a better drill sergeant than anything the Stripes crew has faced. Tough, mean ol' bastard indeed. Hartman will turn these meek, undisciplined men into killing machines mostly through the art of applied creative swearing. Oh, yeah, and beatings. Plenty of beatings. If I may:

Curse and beat your way
to a kill-i-er future
Steve is a hippie.

The Results

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, Full Metal Jacket

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (1683 - 62.4%)

skull f***s

John Winger, Stripes

John Winger (1015 - 37.6%)

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Voter Comments

Obvious Disclaimer

Given the nature
of one of the contestants
read at your own risk


Holy Dogshit!!! This slimy-ass, pinko, communist, numb-nut, twinkle- toe, cock-sucker, clusterfuck of a God Damn Grudge-Match here on this god-forsaken turd that you maggots call Earth here is going to need an Extra God Damn Strength Exspict Lyrics Iron Fisting from a 800 hundred pound dyke! Hell, this may be the first God damned fucking Grudge-Match that the FCC is going to have to throw out a damn fine for. Death, Chaos and Destruction is one thing, but you have one damn ho pop a glorious titty out or say a few damn potty words and those cunts are all over your fucking ass! Fucking A! Man.

Now, for the Match. Being that this is just between Winger and Hartman, it will be no contest for the foulest mouth that's ever been in uniform. Hartman has at his control the world's greatest fighting force. They're so tough; they are not allowed to die without permission. He can just use the whole damn platoon to totally fuck up Winger. Hartman can verbally abuse Winger until he giggles about some of the shit he says, and then Hartman will punish the Platoon. Hell, they gave Private Pyle a good 5 minute beating for only one jelly donut, could you imagine what they would have to do to Winger for sneaking off base with a secret military vehicle to pick up chicks in Austria? The top brass will find Winger 3 days later, bound, gagged, half-naked, whipped by numerous dog tags, cold, shivering, and closer to death than life, and with a large pineapple up where the sun don't shine. The final touch is a small radio playing the old Mickey Mouse Theme (Not the Fucking Boy band wannabe's version).

- BIGMRG74 -Now get on your faces you pencil neck Geeks! You do pushups like old people fuck!! Your ass looks like 78 pounds of chewed bubble gum. I'm going to rip your balls off so that you can't c....

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM

What's so bad about getting killed in the bathroom? That's how all the cool people die! Like Hartman, Elvis, and... uh... I guess that's it. See? It's so cool it's practically exclusive!

Heck, in Pulp Fiction, John Travolta desperately wanted to be cool. So what did he do? He swore a blue streak and got plugged in the lavatory, just like Hartman! It didn't work, of course, but Hartman's the only one who can pull it off. Winger's only help in the bathroom connection is his first name "John", but that won't save him.

Winger's gonna come out of this feeling like he got stepped on by a jolly green giant that was anything but green and the farthest thing from jolly.

- Oxymoron - My heart belongs to Jen from MN

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

This place is a go***mmed disgrace to Hartman's beloved Corps! Winger may have been able to f***wit his way through the Army, but Hartman will be wearing winter gear in Key West due to blizzards before this s**t flies with Gunny and the Commandant!

If Winger and Gitmo don't get their collective heads and as**s wired together then Gunny will most definitely take a big s**t on them both, and they'll be doing push-ups until the Sergeant's arms get tired.

As for Haiku, the Sarge has demonstrated that his command of the English language is laser-beam honed for the task of creating curt, if vulgarity-ridden, phrases.

Grabastic private
On your knees and choke yourself
Use my hand dammit

Now your name is Pyle
You will be born again hard
Weapon of my death

- Cirrocco

You're pitting Brisco County, Sr. against a guy who took orders from JOHN LARROQUETTE! This is another joke match, right?

- Safety Swami Pippin Brown

Lee Armey is the quintessential badass. I had to type that first statement in a concrete bunker guarded by fifty marines to feel safe enough to use the word quintessential about him, because if he ever sees that statement and finds me, MY death warrant will be signed. Every tough thing a guy has done, he's either inspired it, done it, or will do it.

Bill Murray... um, yeah.

- Pareeha

Don't forget that the Dalai Lama blessed Winger's eternal soul.

So he's got that going for him.

- Grudge-Pops™ Just like grandma used to steal.

And now, a haiku response to a haiku commentary:

You don't f***ing mess
With Mister R. Lee Ermey,
Plain and simple fact

- Andy the Anarchist

Looks like Sgt. Hartman is going to win this match. Here are the reasons.

First of all, the two combatants come from different branches of the armed forces. While I am not insulting or dissing any branch, it should be noted that Winger is from the US Army. On the other hand, Sgt. Hartman is from the Marines. It is generally agreed amongst military experts that Marine basic training is much tougher than that of any other branch of the service including the Army. This would make Hartman a far more formidable opponent than anything Winger has ever faced.

Another point is that Winger was portrayed by Bill Murray. Bill Murray is a good comic actor, but has little or no military experience. Hartman was portrayed by R. Lee Ermey, an actual USMC veteran (served 12 years, rising to the rank of sergeant) who had and can still achieve the highest marksmanship level in Marines. Also, his portrayals of Marines in film and television impressed the Corps and earned Ermey a promotion to gunnery sergeant. In short, Ermey is the real deal. Murray is not.

Then we have that Grudge Match staple: Allies. Winger has his platoon mates, that attractive MP, and the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle. The Bill Murray connection can draw on the Ghostbusters and the latest incarnation of "Charlie's Angels" (he was in the first film). R. Lee Ermey, because of his promotion of the Marines can count on the entire USMC for support. But wait, there's more. Ermey hosts "Mail Call" on the History Channel and has a huge fan following in all branches of the service. In short, Hartman can call on the *entire* US military that is not already committed to Middle East duty as allies.

What will happen is as follows. After a vigorous 15-minute cussing session from Hartman, Winger will be ordered to attend a taping of an episode of "Mail Call". Once at the taping, Winger will notice that there are no watermelons (FYI: Ermey uses watermelons as targets for weapons he demonstrates on the show). Hartman will order Winger to fill in for the watermelons. By the end of the first segment on the show (an answer to a viewer question about the EM-50's weaponry), Winger will be reduced to a bloody pile of goo. Then, Winger's MP friend will get a very stern, cuss-filled lecture about the evils of fooling around with men in the military.

After the victory, Sgt. Hartman (actually his alter ego R. Lee Ermey) will prepare for a future matchup - a watermelon destroying contest with Gallagher.

- The Demented Astronomer

Gung Ho! Gung Ho! What Makes The Grass Grow? BLOOD! BLOOD!

Thats The Fact, JACK!

I think the choice is obvious.


--"Its not the speed really... I just wish I hadnt drank all that cough syrup..."

- worldconquest03

Winger was trained by Sgt. Hulka. Hulka was tough, but only about shoe leather tough. Hartman, on the other hand, is rhino's ass tough. (And if you know anything about rhino hide, that's TOUGH!) If winger had joined the Corps., and trained under Hartman, he'd either be dead or a basket case 4F within about 3 weeks. Hartman had no tolerance for the slightest B.S. from his Marines in "Full Metal Jacket". (Hell, he bitch slapped Joker TWICE just for questioning the existance of God and made Pile choke himself with his hand for just being a plain dumbass!) Even Winger's most benign offense in "Stripes" would probably get him beaten senseless if Hartman were in charge.

Hartman won't even take off his hat and call it even, he'll simply stomp a mud hole in Winger's ass, and then make Joker walk it dry with repeated cadences, because, as he'll say as he heads for the mess hall upon ceasing the merciless beating: "NOBODY defaces my beloved Corps., scumbag! NOBODY!"

- Walker: Plexus Ranger... Semper Fi, Boo-Rah!

Hartman has The Rage(TM)
Rage(TM) is paramount factor
Bye bye, John Winger

- Uncle Batman

Bill Murray kicks ass
Proton pack destroys Hartman
Mere nothingness left

- ShadowKat

What this all comes down to is Stanley Kubrick vs. Bill Murray. Let's check out both of their WWWF historys.

Stanley Kubrick
1. Hal 9000 defeats WOPR
2. Dr. Strangelove loses to Stephen Hawking, but defeats Larry Flynt
3. Spartacus loses to Maximus

Bill Murray
1. Ghostbusters defeat Beetlejuice
2. Caddyshack loses to Happy Gilmore
3. Saturday Night Live loses to Monty Python

And neither Hal nor the Ghostbusters won TOC III, where they both competed, so it seems our friends Stanley and Bill are pretty much dead even.

Or, so it seems. There isn't a whole lot of shame in losing to the smartest man in the world, and Spartacus was pretty evenly matched against Maximus, but losing to Adam Sandler? Inexcusable. You'll never see Alex and his droogs lose a fight against the GAP girls, or Jack Torrence lose to Billy Madison.

- Mike Brzeski, responding with his Eyes Wide Shut

Using Haikus here
was a silly idea.
Shame to John and Steve.

Anyway, this matchup reminds me of the classic Beetle Bailey vs. Sarge confrontations. It's too bad though; due to Miss Buxley occupying my thoughts, I an unable to continue with my commentary, or, um, whatever it was I was ... was ... what?

- Dom

You bastards.

You vicious, heartless bastards.

I was going to vote for Winger because, no matter how cool R. Lee Ermey is, he had a role in a Steven Seagal movie. And not just any Seagal movie... one written and directed by Seagal. That alone should get Hartman thrown into (or at least implicated in the attacks that took place at) Abu Gharib prison.


All the use of John Winger's last name served to remind me of the "metal" band of the same name.

HOW DARE YOU? I thought I had finally cleansed my brain of total crap like "Seventeen" and "Headed For A Heartbreak"... now, I fear they will plague me forever.

My head hurts now... I think I just spontaneously grew a giant brain tumor. Excuse me while I get some Tylenol.

Oh yeah... and Hartman wins. Damn it.

- Scotty J - My brain hurts... the one in my head, not my pants!

I am writing this on the second of November. It's Election Day. This was the first year I voted in a presidential race. I have never felt as excited and patriotic as when I was filling out my ballot. Because I know the importance of each vote.

Thanks to Grudge Match, I know how important each vote is. I have seen matches that end in ties. I have seen matches that are determined by two votes. I have seen combatants razed to the ground by the sheer number of people voting for their opponent. Each time, I see how each vote can indeed make a difference.

I realize this may be a silly way to see the genuine power of the vote, but if it has shown that power to me, perhaps it has shown it to others who also made their voices heard in today's election. And what does it matter where knowledge comes from, so long as it is received?

Thank you, Grudge Match, for showing me how powerful my voice is.

PS. Hartman kicks ass and takes names, even after he's dead (see The Frighteners). He walks this one.

- Rainwoman

Haiku? Ugh. Screw you!
Mister T's gonna throw you
Helluva far, fool.

- #34 Red (17 times better than you 2 losers)

You guys are about as good at getting the right answers as the interrogators at Camp X-ray. 1. Guantanamo Bay is a Naval Base, so the only rowdy drunks would be the Marines. 2. Drill Sergents are only when you are in boot camp. 3. Only once in History has the Marine Corps ever been in charge of any Army unit, and that was because the Army got it's ass handed to it during the Pusan Perimeter during the first push of the war. Finally, no way in hell those scrubs from Stripes would last. Ox would be a bean poll by the end of a month, and their ringleader would just be dead. Hartman would just slaughter all who would stand in his way.

- Morning Wood

Your commentary was amusing but as any Japanese poet would say, "STILL TOO LONG!" He would then proceed to destroy the computer with his samurai sword. I know I stole that from the cancelled show known as Hysteria but godwilling I will find out who suggested it to be cancelled and will slowly consume his life force.

Now back to this match, You're putting a hardcore marine aganist a drunk who can't tell his ass from his hand? Sometimes I wish half of my DNA wasn't composed of you hairless monkeys because you're all idiots. Hartmen will smoke this drunken bastard like a cuban cigar, which won't be hard to find in Guantanomo Bay. However because I know what happens to American drunks when they go out on the town in order to displine him, Hartmen may need to use the last remaining weapon left in the base, an Abrahams Tank. In the ensuing battle to follow Hartmen will get this bastard in line but not before he blasts half of Havana to ash and kills Castro in the progress. "I hate the commies."

- Lizard-Man: Proud not to be Human but half Lizard

For me, this is very much a battle of movies with clear parallels. They are both movies that deal with war, one making it seem like a humorous trip to summer camp, and the other one starring the dudes from Ghostbusters™. Seriously though, I found that each of these movies screeched to a halt after a climactic scene.

In the case of Sgt. Hartman and Full Metal Jacket, the climactic scene was clearly in the latrine when Pyle goes completely Section 8 and blows away Hartman and himself. I can't honestly say I've seen the rest of the movie beyond this point. I could say that I've seen the rest of the movie, but I'd be lying. And I don't want to be known as a liar, so I am not going to say that.

As for Stripes, it basically ends at the graduation ceremony with the platoon's inspired performance. This is clearly the point where Winger establishes his leadership of the platoon, and the rest of the movie portrays a delightful RV trip through Eastern Europe.

However, both of these movies had profound and long-lasting effects on my psyche. My father was a sailor, and had a tendency to use some blue language from time to time, especially when he was failing in his endless attempts at carpentry or plumbing. However, I had never heard true swearing until I watched the first 45 minutes of FMJ. Sgt. Hartman (an honest-to-goodness military man) mixed profanity and racial slurs in a creative fashion that I had never even imagined. It was an awe-inspiring and unforgettable experience.

Stripes I first saw when I was a young lad of 12 or 13, shortly after my family got Showtime© for the first time. Needless to say, it was a life-changing experience the first time I saw John Laroquette put that telescope up to his eyes and enjoy the view of the women's showers. I don't need to tell you what happened after that, but suffice to say, I spent an inordinate amount of time over the subsequent few years in the bathroom.

So, essentially, we have a battle between two of the true Rites of Passage into adulthood: Swearing and Boobs. And, as much as I love to issue forth with a string of profanities now and again, looking at boobs will trump just about everything else in life. Hence, Winger wins.

- Adam B. (hoping to become a Two-Time Two-Time Two-Time Grudgie Award Winner!)

very creative match indeed.. I bow before your greatness.. lol.

Hartman isn't Hulka and Private Pyle isn't Winger to say the least..

It's "suck a golfball through a garden hose" vs. "kick me out of your army... but get o-ffff my back."

It's "you climb like old people fuck" vs "armmmmmyyy training sir".

It's mouth vs mouth.. hard ass stubborn sob vs. hard ass stubborn sob.

Two great characters.. I truly hate to see them fight..

can't we just invade france.

- Bartman

Do the words "I killed fifty men" mean anything to you guys?

- Never ever piss off the Gunnery Sergeant Hartman!

Five seconds from meeting each other, Hartman is drowning Winger in a toilet. A minute later, Hartman makes someone get the dead person out of his head.

Now does this mean Winger or allude to his post traumatic stress disorder?

- Rishar

Let me get this straight... You had to ask who would win... A nasty Army Soldier, or a seasoned Marine?

*Hysterical laughter*


Gunny Hartman stands over the exhausted, sweat-drenched body of John Winger, who has just finished cleaning the entire men's lavatory with a toothbrush. Just as Hartman turns to exit the lavatory, two shots ring out from an M-14 automatic rifle, and he collapses to the floor. As his life fades from sight, his eyes land on Detective Robert Green (Vincent D'Onofrio):

"Private Pyle? Is that you? You jelly-donut sucking momma's boy! I guess we finally found something you're good at! *gasp* hack* cough*!"

Det. Green tosses the gun to Winger:

That's the last time that asshole ever calls anybody "Gomer Pyle". I'll call you when I'm through giving Det. Eames the Aunt Jemima treatment.

- Dr.Stones

In the first paragraph of the scenario (actually, the first line), you mistakenly forgot to include a (TM) after "Godless Communists". I request--nay, demand--that you correct the mistake and add the (TM)!

I mean, come on; it's not like communists don't believe in capitalism! They believe in a free market system as much as any...

Oh, wait a minute... ...


Thank you for your time

- Mark Wentz

Yeah... even if Winger loses, he'll just pull a "Groundhog Day" to make sure he gets it right the next time.

- Ilsoap

Let me start by pointing out, R Lee Ermy isn't that much of a hardass anymore. Any respectable soldier will tell you that when you go from a real drill sergeant to a movie drill sergeant, you're already a lost cause, but by the time you're answering to Woody the Cowboy and being foiled by Sideshow Bob, your intimidating days are over.

But even if he were in peak form, you're talking about a Bill Murray character here. He's supposed to break a Bill Murray character? How about we get him down to Florida, see if he can bring those pesky hurricanes in line. The fact is, Bill Murray's characters lack the capacity for breaking, or even getting perturbed. It's a genetic thing. Think about it, he was cuckolded about a bajillion times over by Gwyneth Paltrow, he wasn't perturbed. His roommate started crossdressing on national TV, he wasn't perturbed. The biggest geek in the local prep school tried to steal his girlfriend, he wasn't perturbed. He was nearly beaten in a championship bowling competition by a man using a prosthetic hand, he was an alien in the worst movie of all time, his psychiatrist tried to blow him up, he was nearly killed by a sinister Laurence Fishburne virus, Steve Martin tore half his teeth out, he was trapped in New York while fleeing from the law, Hamlet stabbed him, Sam Rockwell kidnapped him, a giant made out of marshmallow attacked him, he was trapped in a personal time warp for a couple of months, he was sucked down a golf hole where Michael Jordan asked him to play basketball against a gang of cartoon aliens, and not once was he perturbed. Okay, so he was a bit perturbed at the end of Scrooged, when he was on fire. But I don't think Hartman's modus operandi extends to incineration.

So Hartman will yell at Winger for about ten weeks straight, at which point he'll be horrified to realise that he's finally used every abusive combination of words possible, down to and including "Your great-nephews will no doubt be freakishly tall and ill-informed on the subject of world politics". He retires in shame, and in celebration of his victory Winger accidentally launches a nuclear strike on Mexico, which leaves him unperturbed.

- Flag and Hat Boy

You are all Nothing,
but disorganized grab-asstic
amphibian feces.

Demoralized Bill?
No, "It just doesn't matter!"
Could this be a tie?

One other problem,
Pitting Marines vs. Army,
Two different jobs.

We've got a real situation here. Sgt. Hartman is a master of invective, but Murray is the penultimate slacker. Just like the Sarge in Beetle Bailey, Hartman is an unstoppable force smashing into an immovable object. We all know what happens in that scenario...

The force is dissipated, and the object destroyed.

15 years later...

...a frail old man, wasted to a pale shadow of his glory days as the number-one ass-kicker for the USMC staggers to his favorite alley to sleep off a bottle of port wine, bitter and broken by his inability to instill discipline in his greatest failure. The PFC he savagely beat into a coma lies in it still, in a convalescent facility a few hours' drive from Bethseda, a sarcastic smirk plastered on his unconscious face.

- Nate


Oh! I saw this one! Doesn't Tom Cruise prove Jack Nicolson did it in the end?

- Tuck

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Joe Clark v. Ferris Bueller
Happy Gilmore v. Caddyshack
Colonel Blake v. Colonel Klink

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Next Match: This is not your father's Saturday morning.
ETA: December 1st, 2004

© 2004, Dragon Hamster Productions, LLC