'OHKO' is the acronym for 'One Hit Knock Out' and has appeared in many video games over the generations. It is commonly used in games such as Pokemon, where it is abbreviated as 'one-hit KO'.

However, where does the term actually originate from? Is there an occurrence of the term in any game, before it was commonly used in Pokemon?

Google Trends shows that it was mentioned as early as 2004, but we cant ascertain the origin. Also, using search filters and searching on google includes inaccurate dates in the results.

  • Are you asking if the term was used anywhere before it was used in Pokémon? Are you asking about the community's usage of "OHKO", or the way the phrase "One-hit KO" appears in games? Jan 14, 2020 at 8:19
  • @Wrigglenite Yes, I'm asking if it was used anywhere before it was used in Pokemon.
    – Yuu
    Jan 14, 2020 at 8:26
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    Been gaming since the mid-90's and I've never seen nor heard "OHKO" used in a game nor speech among friends.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jan 14, 2020 at 13:16
  • @MonkeyZeus I expect you wouldn't be likely to see it as "OHKO" anywhere besides like written forums. In most games they would probably at least write out "one hit" instead of going full acronym. With speech, "one hit knock out" or "one hit KO" have the same number of syllables as spelling out "OHKO", so it doesn't make much sense to use the abbreviation there.
    – JMac
    Jan 14, 2020 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


Searching for this phrase turns up very little, and in terms of any kind of hard evidence of an "origin" is, as far as I can tell, non-existent.

The Pokemon Dictionary is the primary resource that comes up when searching for this specifically:


Short for "One-Hit Knockout", though it can also refer to moves that KO the opponent in one hit, such as Sheer Cold and Horn Drill.

Magnezone can OHKO Gyarados with Thunderbolt.

The only other source I could find that uses the phrase is Dark Souls 3, which uses it in the same manner.

The only other source I could find was the wiktionary, which only has a description, but of the three is the only one with a date:

This page was last edited on 30 September 2019, at 10:46.

Since this was derived from the concept of a "One Hit" defeat, there is a fandom collection of other tv shows, comics, animes, etc that use variations of the phrase, but this does not seem to be any kind of official source for the phrase (i.e. it is a fandom wiki), and the anagram "OHKO" is used fairly liberally throughout the page.

In terms of the origin of the phrase of "One-Hit Knock Out", this does orginate from boxing and fighting in real life - being derived from the "Sucker Punch"

A sucker punch (American English) (also known as a dog shot, coward punch, king hit or one-punch attack (Australian English) or cold-cock (American English)) is a punch made without warning or while the recipient is distracted, allowing no time for preparation or defense on the part of the recipient. The term is generally used in situations where the way in which the punch has been delivered is considered unfair or unethical, and is done using deception or distraction, hence the term 'sucker' used to refer to the victim.

In boxing, a sucker punch—as is done when 'hitting on the break', for example—is illegal. For example, when James Butler knocked Richard Grant unconscious after losing a fight to him on points, his license was suspended. It is often thrown from behind—such as in the 'knockout game'—although striking from behind is not a prerequisite for a sucker punch.

  • I have tried searching on Google too, but to no avail. The boxing reference seems to be possibly the oldest!
    – Yuu
    Jan 14, 2020 at 5:03
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    If you're going to use wiktionary for getting a date, then you need to click the history button to see the earliest revision, which is July 2nd, 2011. Jan 14, 2020 at 7:33
  • In wiktionary as of 13:53, 16 June 2013 this is called a deprecated term, seems like Pokemon is just reviving it. (Older versions of the page are just page templates) Jan 14, 2020 at 8:02
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    I don't see any connection with a sucker punch. Could you explain why you think the term originated from there? Jan 14, 2020 at 8:57
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    @Wrigglenite I'm with you. A "sucker punch" is basically "unfair punch". It doesn't necessarily refer to knockouts nor even one hit knockouts. You could knock somebody out with a sucker punch but it can equally as easily be used as a technique to cause pain, not unconsciousness.
    – VLAZ
    Jan 14, 2020 at 9:27

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