Created By: CaptEquinoxApril 14, 2013 Last Edited By: ArivneAugust 31, 2015

Friendly Fire

Someone trying to be \'helpful\' in a fight shoots/hits/damages the person they\'re trying to help.

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Trope
Usually happens in satirical mystery shows or films. One of the heroes is in a close melee/wrestling with an opponent. Hero's friend grabs something to hit the opponent over the head with, but ends up hitting the hero.

Film
  • In Deep Blue Sea, Preacher hits the last surviving shark with a harpoon but the projectile goes right through the leg of Blake, who was holding on to the creature, thereby pinning him to it.
  • In The Ex-Mrs Bradford (1936), Brad tangles with an intruder. Paula, never the type to just stand there looking cute and helpless, yells "HOLD HIM, BRAD, I'LL CLUNK HIM!" Grabbing a heavy bookend, she brings it crashing down — on Brad's head.
  • In The Great Dictator, Hannah enthusiastically clobbers stormtroopers from her upstairs window, using a heavy skillet. At one point as the stormtroopers mess with the barber, she clunks the barber along with his assailants.
  • Hudson Hawk. While Eddie is fighting with Alfred the butler, Anna picks up a gun and tries to shoot Alfred. She hits Eddie's belt buckle instead.
  • The Matrix Reloaded: During Neo's fight with the Merovingian's goons, one goon is hit and killed by another three times while trying to hit Neo: once by a morning star to the face, once by a trident in the chest, and once by a spiked staff to the face.
  • During the massage parlor fight in Hong Kong in Rush Hour 2, Detective Carter hits Inspector Lee in the middle of the fight with the Triads, and apologizes with the insensitive remark, "All y'all look alike"
  • Azazel pulls this on some CIA agents in X Men First Class.

Literature

Live Action Television
  • In the Series/Doctor Who episode "Let's Kill Hitler", Hitler shoots at his subordinate who is trying to assassinate him and misses, hitting Amy's friend Mels instead. (Mels was an "ally" of Hitler's only in the sense that she had hijacked the Doctor and his TARDIS and forced them to fly to Hitler in the first place, where they accidentally interrupted the assassination attempt.)
  • In MASH, Charles played a gag on Margaret involving a creme pie. When she realized it was a gag, she thought Hawkeye was responsible and hurled the pie at him; he ducked, and Fr. Mulcahy got it.
  • The Big Bang Theory: When an argument escalates between Sheldon and Howard over allocation of a car park space, their Distaff Sides join the fight and end up exchanging blows. Amy Farrah-Fowler tries to slap or punch Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz in defence of Sheldon Cooper, misses, and wallops the uninvolved Penny full in the face. Penny is next seen with two black eyes and one of those supporting plasters over the bridge of her nose, indicating that her nose was perhaps broken.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons And Dragons. As far back as 1st edition, if someone were firing a missile weapon into a melee and missed the opponent they were shooting at, they could hit an ally instead.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • The first time the Loonatics Unleashed faced Paula Hayes a/k/a Weather Vane, she summoned cloud monsters to attack them. When Ace Bunny tried using his Eye Beams on one, the beams went completely through the cloud monster, striking Tech Coyote in the glutes instead.
  • The Tom And Jerry cartoon "Nit-witty Kitty" opens with Tom Cat chasing Jerry Mouse near Mammy Twoshoes, who tries swatting the mouse with a broom. Mammy misses, striking Tom on the head instead, causing amnesia.
  • Chuck Jones short "The Dover Boys at Pimento University". At the end the three Dover Boys surround Dan Backslide and all try to punch him at once. Dan slides to the floor and each of the Dover Boys punches one of the others in the face, knocking them all out.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • April 14, 2013
    MonaNaito
    In the future, if you can't find a trope, don't take it to YKTTW but to Lost And Found. If no one there can find what you're looking for, then you bring it here. :)
  • April 14, 2013
    CaptEquinox
    Sorry. Should I delete this?
  • April 15, 2013
    TonyG
    We have a Friendly Fire Index. If what you're looking for isn't there, it might be worth keeping.
  • April 15, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the Doctor Who episode "Let's Kill Hitler" Hitler shoots at his subordinate who is trying to assassinate him and misses, hitting Amy's friend Mels instead. (Mels was an "ally" of Hitler's only in the sense that she had hijacked the Doctor and his TARDIS and forced them to fly to Hitler in the first place, where they accidentally interrupted the assassination attempt.)
  • April 15, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Seems like this should go in the last category of Friendly Fire Index, but neither of the tropes already there look to describe this. You might have hit on something (pun intended, I admit).

    I'd like to suggest "Accidentally Attack An Ally" as the title, but that might be still too ambiguous to avoid confusion with, say, Friend Or Foe.

    EDIT: It's usually played for laughs, so "Funny Friendly Fire"?
  • April 15, 2013
    ChunkyDaddy
    The opening sequence of Skyfall invokes this trope
  • April 15, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    I don't think we even have the non-comical version of this...
  • April 16, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Hudson Hawk. While Eddie is fighting with Alfred the butler, Anna picks up a gun and tries to shoot Alfred. She hits Eddie's belt buckle instead.

    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons. As far back as 1st edition, if someone were firing a missile weapon into a melee and missed the opponent they were shooting at, they could hit an ally instead.
  • April 16, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • The first time the Loonatics faced Paula Hayes a/k/a Weather Vane, she summoned cloud monsters to attack them. When Ace Bunny tried using his Laser Vision on one, the beam went completely through the cloud monster, striking Tech Coyote in the glutes instead.
    • While Tom Cat was chasing Jerry Mouse near Mammy Twoshoes, she tried swatting the mouse with a broom. Mammy missed, striking Tom on the head instead, causing amnesia in "Nit-Witty Kitty."
  • April 16, 2013
    Chernoskill
    • In Deep Blue Sea, Preacher hits the last surviving shark with a harpoon but the projectile goes right through the leg of Blake, who was holding on to the creature, thereby pinning him to it.
  • November 7, 2013
    CaptEquinox
    I like "Funny Friendly Fire". Here's another example. In MASH, Charles played a gag on Margaret involving a creme pie. When she realized it was a gag, she thought Hawkeye was responsible and hurled the pie at him; he ducked, and Fr. Mulcahy got it.
  • November 8, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • The Matrix Reloaded. During Neo's fight with the Merovingian's goons, goons hit and kill another goon three times while trying to hit Neo: once by a morning star to the face, once by a trident in the chest, and once by a spiked staff to the face.
  • November 8, 2013
    DAN004
    Strangely, we don't have a trope for friendly fire itself. This shall be it.
  • November 8, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ So do we have a Missing Supertrope here?
  • November 8, 2013
    GoldenDarkness
    It can be invoked by the target of the attack, in that he/she positions himself/herself that when dodging the attack hit an ally of the attacker instead.
  • November 8, 2013
    MiinU
    This sounds like Stop Helping Me, or something closely related to it.
  • November 8, 2013
    robbulldog
    Film
    • Rush Hour 2, in the massage parlor fight in Hong Kong, Detective Carter hits Inspector Lee in the middle of the fight with the Triads, and apologizes with the insenstive remark, "All y'all look alike"
  • November 8, 2013
    AgProv
    The Big Bang Theory:
    • When an argument escalates between Sheldon and Howard over allocation of a car park space, their Distaff Sides join the fight and end up exchanging blows. Amy Farrah-Fowler tries to slap or punch Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz in defence of Sheldon Cooper, misses, and wallops the uninvolved Penny full in the face. Penny is next seen with two black eyes and one of those supporting plasters over the bridge of her nose, indicating that her nose was perhaps broken.

  • November 8, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    Azazel pulls this on some CIA agents in X Men First Class.
  • November 8, 2013
    Hodor
  • November 8, 2013
    DAN004
    @ Golden Darkness: That method is called Deadly Dodging.

    Compare Shoot The Hostage.
  • November 8, 2013
    Arivne
    Western Animation
    • Chuck Jones short "The Dover Boys at Pimento University". At the end the three Dover Boys surround Dan Backslide and all try to punch him at once. Dan slides to the floor and each of the Dover Boys punches one of the others in the face, knocking them all out.
  • February 8, 2015
    DAN004
    So yeah, this shall be the supertrope to everything in Friendly Fire Index.
  • February 8, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Amended my two examples, to conform to How To Write An Example : State The Source. Also Eye Beams are a Trope, so they get a mention when they're put in play.
  • February 8, 2015
    DAN004
    Y u no simply call dis Friendly Fire?
  • February 9, 2015
    Koveras
    The gameplay mechanics equivalent of this is listed under the Common Tactical Gameplay Elements.

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