…suddenly I saw that there was only one way, and a slender hope at that, but it was that or unspeakable death. The Flashman Gambit – when in doubt, run.
A fairly uncomplicated backup plan. When all your meticulously laid plans fail, run.
Often a result of Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...
. Compare to Know When to Fold 'Em
- A commonly used tactic of King Arthur and his knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, always accompanied by cries of "Run away!" They did it when the French knights hurled the cow and the giant rabbit at them, after the killer rabbit slaughtered several knights and after they encountered the Black Beast underground.
- When Valentine and Earl are dismounted from their horses by the Graboid's attack, they run away from it and it kills itself by running into a concrete wall.
- When Valentine, Earl and Rhonda are trapped on a rock by a Graboid, Valentine has an idea.
Valentine: I was thinking... Why not run? We outran him yesterday.
- At the end of the movie Valentine, Earl and Rhonda run away from the last Graboid, but Valentine comes up with a brilliant idea to kill it by using its weakness against it.
- Legend. Screwball and Brown Tom have to do this while inside Darkness' castle. They even have some dialogue.
Screwball: I vote we run like hell.
Brown Tom: I second the motion.
- As the page quotes details, Flashman provides the alternate trope name in Flashman's Lady. He mentions in another story that almost all his wounds are on his back, inflicted while escaping. He supposes elsewhere that he's had more fast exits than hot meals.
- Rincewind of Discworld seems to have studied under Flashy, as his default mode is running away.
- Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) has "Run like frak" as his Plan A. However, the presence of witnesses and quick thinking causes him to always go for the more complicated Plan B: look for an easier way out, discover that it is in fact far more dangerous than the original situation, and fight his way through, in the process throwing a fifteen-foot Spanner in the Works of the enemy. Helps that he's basically Flashman in the 42d millenium.
- In the first episode of Blackadder, Prince Edmund thinks that the forces of Henry Tudor have won the day at the Battle of Bosworth Field.
Edmund: Within seconds, Henry Tudor will be here at our gates!...
Baldrick: My Lord!
Edmund: What do you want?
[An army's drums can be heard faintly in the distance.]
Edmund: Oh my god! They're here already! [He begins to run down the hall, shouting.] Run for your lives! Run for the hills!
Baldrick: Er, My Lord, they're coming from the hills.
Edmund: [still shouting] Oh, sorry. Run away from the hills! Run away from the hills! If you see the hills, run the other way!
- The Creepy Pasta Survival Guide states; "Even if you're sure running won't save you, try anyways".
- The Penguins of Madagascar, when all their usual tactics fail to subdue Officer X:
Skipper: Kowalski, options.
Kowalski: I suggest a strategic retreat.
Kowalski: It's like running away but manlier.