Alice and Bob are in a life or death stressful situation that has them facing off against a foe (We'll call him George).
Alice aims her weapon at George and one of two things happen:
1. She kills George putting an end to the struggle.
2. She pulls off enough of a bluff to scare George into retreating or distract him long enough for another partner to capture him.
Either way, this incident shakes Alice up. Maybe she is a layperson who has never fired a gun. Maybe she is a seasoned cop, but George has been playing mind games with her.
This trope is about what always happens next. Alice will still have her weapon posed for action. Bob will cautiously approach and slowly remove the weapon from her hands.
The fact that Alice will let Bob close to her in that intense of a moment speaks of a great amount of trust between the two characters. It is also a signal to Alice and the audience that the danger has (at least momentarily) passed. A lot of times, Bob will then comfort Alice in some way if they are especially close.
This happens all the time in cop shows, but not exclusively.
Since this often occurs at the climax of a work, Spoilers Ahoy.
- Every cop show. Really, ALL of them. But that's not going to stop the Legion of Tropers from listing important ones.
- In the Law & Order: SVU episode "Wrath", Benson shoots the killer who had been stalking her in a final standoff. She allows Stabler to remove the gun, but his attempts at comfort are harshly denied, as he had managed to piss her off earlier in the episode.
- In the 2012 adaptation of Les MisÚrables, Marius pulls off a threat to blow the barricade during the first attack that causes the French army to retreat for the time being. Enjolras is the one to remove the torch from his hands.