Sometimes, a character gets Put on a Bus. Usually, that's the last we see of them. But, hey, sometimes The Bus Came Back,and we get to see them again (usually for the last time). Occasionally, when that happens, they don't only return on the bus... they run over the villain with it. This trope occurs when a character that's been absent for an extended period of time reappears, usually unexpectedly, in a dramatic and thrilling fashion. Frequently happens at the end of an episode/season/storyline because it makes for a fantastic cliffhanger. Obviously, overlap with Crowning Moment of Awesome is frequent, and this moment often doubles as a Big Damn Heroes moment. Many series finales will include at least one of these. Frequently accompanied by a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner. Often overlaps with Like a Badass out of Hell. Examples:
- Michael Jordan's famous "I'm Back" press release.
- During Morrison's Justice League of America run, the Martian Manhunter took a leave of absence. He returned partway through the final storyline, initiating the League's counter-offensive against the forces of evil and turning the tide.
- Sluggy Freelance has had a few over the years, usually when a character's been out of time for an extended period of time. Riff's had at least two.
- Frequently in comic books, when a character returns from the dead, it'll be one of these.
- Hal Jordan of Green Lantern fame got one in 1997's Final Night crossover. After being off wandering around the universe for a couple years after Zero Hour, Hal returned at the last second to interrupt Ferro Lad's heroic sacrifice, and performing his own, re-igniting the sun and saving the world one last (not really) time.
- Brock Sampson gets one in The Venture Bros..
- The Suikoden series LOVES this trope. It's the go-to way to bring back returning characters in the sequels.
- Harvey Birdman: Phil K. Sebben returns in the finale, fittingly enough, he does so in a bus.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Giles' returning at the end of Season 6 to take on Willow. Additionally, Season 7 had one for Spike (early), Faith (late), and Angel (last episode) respectively.
- Shawn Michaels of the WWE had several of these, usually to superkick some rising villain in the face.
- While the absence was relatively short, Black Mage of 8BitTheatre got a fantastic one when he returned from (and as the Lord of) Hell just in time to save the rest of the Light Warriors from Lich. He even got a Bond One-Liner to go along with it.
Black Mage: Damn, but you goth freaks like to hear yourselves talk.
- The Wally West version of the Flash had a few of these over the years, usually after disappearing into the Speed Force for a couple of months.
- It's common for a major superstar to return from injury or semi-retirement during the Royal Rumble. When they do, it's often one of these.
- Dragon Ball Z: Frequently. This was pretty much the go-to way to reintroduce any character we hadn't seen in a while.
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